CNN/Time Poll: Majority approve of Obama and Biden in advance of gun control announcement
January 16th, 2013
11:36 AM ET
9 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Majority approve of Obama and Biden in advance of gun control announcement

Washington (CNN) - As President Barack Obama announces a package of proposals to limit gun violence, a new national survey indicates that his approval rating may be edging up.

The CNN/Time Magazine/ORC International poll (PDF) also indicates that a majority of Americans support stricter gun control laws in the wake of the shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut.

And according to the survey, nearly six in ten approve of the job Vice President Joe Biden is doing, slightly higher than the number who approve of his boss. The vice president led a task force in the wake of the shootings that came up with specific proposals for the president on how to reduce gun violence in the country.

The president's approval rating stands at 55% in the poll, which was released Wednesday, with 43% saying they disapprove of the job Obama is doing in the White House. The president's approval rating is up three points from mid December CNN/ORC poll that was conducted just days after a suicidal gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Of those who disapprove, 34% say they disapprove because Obama is too liberal, with 7% saying they give the president a thumbs down because he's not liberal enough.

More than nine in ten Democrats approve of the job Obama's doing. That number drops to 51% for independent voters, with just 13% of Republicans approving of the president's performance in office. The poll also indicates a gender gap, with women approving of the job Obama's doing by a 59%-39% margin, and men divided (51%-48%).

The Vice President's approval rating stands at 59%, with 38% saying they disapprove of the job he is doing. Biden's approval rating is up five points from last month. Besides leading the task force on curbing gun violence, Biden also had a high profile role, along with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, in striking a deal that temporarily averted the country going over the fiscal cliff.

According to the poll, 55% favor stricter gun control laws, with 37% saying that they strongly support such laws. Forty-four percent oppose such measures, including 27% who say they strongly oppose stricter gun control laws.

"Those numbers suggest that the change in public opinion in the wake of Newtown may come mostly in the intensity of feelings for and against gun control," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Gun control opponents in the past have developed a reputation for holding stronger views on the issue than supporters of gun control. But in the current poll, about two-thirds of those who favor stricter gun control laws feel strongly about that. That's a bit higher than the six in ten gun control opponents who strongly oppose stricter gun control. How strongly Americans feel about gun control may matter more to the success or failure of legislation tan the overall numbers."

The CNN/Time Magazine poll was conducted by ORC International Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 14-15), with 814 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Gun rights • Polls
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. glades2

    You can't solve crime with more guns – the change has to come from the inside out...

    January 16, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. FactsRBad

    First, I own a gun to protect my home and family. That is the right of every American. But that is not what those screaming the loudest in this debate consider the issue to be. All one needs to do to understand what is driving those gun owners who are on the fringe is to listen to them articulate about repelling some government/military take over – either from within the US or from some "world order" government from outside our borders. Is there an infinitesimal and remote possibility that this could happen? Of course – just about any scenario one can conceive is possible. Does it rise to the level of probability that we should sacrifice our safety today by having assault-style weapons and high-capacity clips – I don’t believe so. The paranoid fears of a small slice of our population appear to be driving the unreasonable positions being espoused. This is the tail wagging the dog – and it is unsettling.

    January 16, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Robert

    I love that 814 people are considered our entire country. Yeah, that seems right.

    January 16, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Scott wrote:

    814 People being polled represents what the majority of a country with a population over 300 million?? Let me guess as soon as the poll started looking the way they wanted to they quit making those calls....
    Okay, fine. Put your money where your mouth is.
    Let's do have a few national referendums on the gun issues..
    Okay? Are you okay with doing that?

    January 16, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Paul

    CNN, a more interesting poll would be to see what specific laws are favored. Universal background checks? A LOT of people would agree. Mental health screening? Sure. Ban of assault rifles? Not as many.

    As you have typically done, your headlines are somewhat misleading, but if you DO care about getting at the heart of the issue please consider another poll where you get a % agreement on the major aspects of gun control. Coming out and saying "X percent favor tighter gun laws" is misleading because there will be significant variability in agreement depending on proposed law.

    January 16, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Jim

    Bans of any kind never work where there is a thriving black market.

    January 16, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. dseeburg

    I have nothing to hide.. If you want to make stricter regulations for background checks go for it. What I do mind is people saying I shouldn't be allowed to own a semi automatic rife. I am a law abiding citizen who enjoys to shoot targets at either the range or in a controlled environment out in the country. I have never killed anything in my life. Not even a raccoon or a woodchuck.

    I don't see why those who follow the rules need to be punished. Stricter control for buying is a better answer than taking it away completely.

    January 16, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. disgustedvet

    CNN/TIME Polls . ? Enough said. When you poll sheep you get baas back. Only surprise is that it is so close .

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. golds

    We're barking up the wrong tree. We should be focusing on the guy who is holding the gun, and societal ills that de-humanize men and women, such as violence in the media and pornography. People aren't thinking, feeling flesh and blood to these perpetrators, and we hold a measurement of accountability in that thinking.

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. hari maharjan

    thanks u so much president for ur stance .god bless u .

    January 16, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Primewonk

    Ken wrote, " I want to see every single home in America have a loaded pistol, a shotgun and an assault rifle with ammo for all of it. That is my vote. Deal with it."

    And when I refuse? Then what? Are and your big guns going to come shoot me?

    January 16, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. Paul

    Jerubbaal, try being rational vs. just an ignorant twit. I know it's difficult for someone like you with limited mental faculties to realize, but it IS possible to disagree with someone due to philosophical beliefs, values, etc. Try being less of a simpleton and less of a bigot.

    January 16, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Polls are a joke

    814 people in a poll does not represent 300 million people. This poll was a joke. Way to go on MAKING the news rather than REPORTING it.

    January 16, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Ted van Tol

    I love this President and I am so proud of him. I know another one who will be very proud and that is our father in heaven.

    January 16, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Angela

    Targeting "insane" people is like trying to hit a moving target. Sane today; insane tomorrow. It's the nuts that perpetrate a sane person, we need to worry about.

    January 16, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |

    if the poll was taken by cnn this is true because only liberals took the poll. in reality their are thousands of people applying for gun permits rite now.

    January 16, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Steve

    According to the statistical abstract of the United States 2009 (last year data is available), there were 352 murders attributed to rifles (assault weapons fall under this category) in that year. By comparison, 10,102 fatal crashes were attributed to drunk drivers.

    My question is simple: If you feel a ban if the answer to 352 deaths, do you believe that bringing back prohibition will solve the over 10,000 deaths involved with drunk driving?

    If you would like an apples to apples comparison with the assault weapons ban, do you feel that banning high-powered liquors such as whiskey and vodka will solve the problem? How about making all drinkers register with the federal government?

    January 16, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. George

    Support more and more , and more gun control, NRA is a commercial interest focused and money earning aimed , it did not care about public safety , it cares mostly is its money in his pocket,

    the American culture should change by changing the gun culture , the use guns to control gun shooting is ridiculous ,
    Put NRA on criminal suspect list as gun shooting promoters ,

    No guns in Schools,

    January 16, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. empoweringconsumers

    Mass shootings in America have been increasing dramatically for a reason. Everyone is blaming the type of gun and mental health. No one is looking at the “cause” which is energy. To date, I have not heard anyone including Pierce Morgan (the loudest proponent of gun bans) discuss the mass energy that governs hundreds of millions of people. Whether it’s “needing” to have the latest iPhone or “needing” to post what you had for dinner last night on Facebook, few people understand the sheep-like mass energy that governs millions of people with low energy levels. The only way to get people out of negative energy fields is to educate them and motivate them to rise into higher more positive fields. The way to do this would not be to inflame an issue (any issue) in the media. This then would suggest the media not do their job by reporting on current events and creating discussions. This will never happen and so it continues. The media is constantly feeding the negative energy with more negative energy which then grabs hold of the individuals who watch and become consumed by it. Simply put, the most recent two men, may not have had the “desire” to kill without all the press feeding them with the idea. They both always had the potential, but it was driven to the surface by all the press. Now these ill individuals have the idea and the manner by which to be seen which is all they really want; to be noticed and understood. There are deep-seated malaise in each of us waiting to surface. The trigger may remain dormant or arise at a moment’s notice. Taking property i.e. their guns from sane people makes them mad. Taking guns from crazy people makes them more crazy and then they act without accord.

    January 16, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Reggie from LA

    @Erik Noll. I understand that the guilty must be punished for the evil of shooting people, but why cry over spilled milk. The goal is to keep it from happening. The punishment that people know awaits them doesn't STOP them from carrying out heinous crimes. We don't even know for sure what is being proposed and we are already "protecting" our rights using limited information and programmed talking points. Comment not aimed at Eric Knoll. Generalization, but we all know it's true. If you wash clean, you clean, you can have the darn thing. If not, you shouldn't have or get access to one...period.

    January 16, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Ed Watson

    It is easy to make a poll say what you want it to say. We the people I guarantee are not for more gun control, we are ok with background checks at all levels including private gun sales, we are not in favor of banning your so called assault weapons (Sporting rifles) we are not in favor of banning so called high capacity magazines. We are in favor of getting the mentally ill help, we are in favor of protecting our children why the are in school. Whoever is running these survey's are not asking everyone they are asking those that they know will give them the results they want.

    January 16, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Garrett

    Are we getting closer to declaring the Obama Adminsitration an "Enemy of the State" yet? How is it most Americans want stricter gun control, yet gun sales are the highest in years? Something isn't right? I'll be buying my next fire arm with my tax return by the way : )

    January 16, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. robert jay

    The hysteria being shouted out by gun owners is that of little children being punished for misbeahvior (of course that doesn't happen any more does it?) Gun owners quote the second ammendment – OK every gun owner can have a one shot musket or pistol and all other guns are outlawed with penalty of life in prison/ no parole. Now you have maintained your rights as the amendment was envisioned. Or can we go back to the wild west where I can carry a gun and shoot you because you looked at me, and callit self defense beacuse you have a gun too? Sounds good to me!

    January 16, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. Pete

    CCN and there polls are STUPID. They only poll people that would want guns banned. I for one think it should be voted on by the whole USA. That should be the only way to change gun laws..

    If these Fools want to change stuff. Give the ones that do crime with guns something to make them not do it again. Like chop the hand they use to do the crime. Chop it off and I get they will think before doing it again.

    January 16, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Scott wrote:

    814 People being polled represents what the majority of a country with a population over 300 million?? Let me guess as soon as the poll started looking the way they wanted to they quit making those calls....
    Okay, fine. Put your money where your mouth is.
    Let's do have a few national referendums on the gun issues..
    Okay? Are you okay with doing that?
    My rights under the 2nd ammendment are not to be decided by referrendum. Just like the so-called "right" to an abortion is not up to public sentiment. Leave such interpretation to the Supreme Court where it belongs.

    January 16, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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