Obama's approval rating edging down?
February 8th, 2013
02:46 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama's approval rating edging down?

Washington (CNN) - As President Barack Obama gets ready to give the first State of the Union address of his second term, it appears his poll numbers are a bit lower than they were just last month.

According to a CNN Poll of Polls, which averages the latest surveys, 49% of Americans say they approve of the job the president's doing in office, with 44% saying they disapprove of his performance in the White House.

That's down just a bit from a 52%-43% job approval rating in a CNN Poll of Polls from mid January, just before Obama's second inauguration.

The new CNN Poll of Polls, compiled and released Friday, averages the three non-partisan, live operator national surveys conducted in the past week and a half: Gallup's daily tracking poll (Feb 5-7), Fox News (Feb. 4-6), and Quinnipiac University (Jan. 30-Feb. 4). Since the CNN Poll of Polls is an average of multiple surveys, it does not have a sampling error.

"Historically speaking, it's not a surprise for a second-term president to lose a couple of points in the aftermath of his second inauguration," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"It looks like the approval ratings for Bill Clinton in 1997 and Ronald Reagan in 1985 dropped two to four points after the celebratory coverage surrounding their inaugurations faded. It's possible that second-term presidents have honeymoons just like first-term presidents, except that in the second term the honeymoon can be measured in days or weeks, not months," adds Holland.

But the president's busy "to-do" list may also be contributing to the slight decline in his overall approval rating.

"I think he's put forward an aggressive agenda on guns immigration gay rights. It's hard to get much beyond 50% with that approach, unless the president gets a big tailwind from faster economic recovery," says CNN Senior Political Analyst and National Journal Group's Editorial Director Ron Brownstein.

And Holland agrees that there may be more to the slight dip other than just tradition. While President George W. Bush had a lot on his plate at the start of the second term, his one major controversial push right out of the gate centered on Social Security reform.

"President George W. Bush's approval ratings remained constant in early 2005, so there may be more at work here. Obama has promised to spend political capital to achieve some of his more controversial goals on immigration, gun control and climate change. If his approval rating has changed, it may be a sign that some of that capital has already been spent," says Holland.

Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Don

    A CNN.poll says Obama's rating edging down. Yeah right, "edging down". More like falling as fast as a 100 ton boulder.

    February 8, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. people don't kill people, religion does

    still higher than the polls conducted on bush for 6 out of the 8 years he was in office. Soooooo exactly how is this news?

    February 8, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Ind.

    CNN you're kidding right? That's impossible. The messiahs ratings can never go down. It's against the Utopian way.

    February 8, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Reality

    Like a rock! The fantasy is over.

    February 8, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Hopey Changey

    This guy sucks as a leader. His poll numbers will continue to fall – just like our take home pay

    February 8, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Martha in CF

    Enough of the stupid polls already!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 8, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. truthiness

    So is CNN ratings. In the wake of searching for news to report Liberal stations are reporting negative news about the president. CNN why do you choose which story you allow your readers to respond too? Response weren't open whne Kuntz spreaded his lying rhetoric. Too bad, more people are not smart enough to see through your tacits.

    February 8, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Nick

    Hopefully people are finally waking up. The only BHO I care about stands for butane honey oil not this joke of a president.

    February 8, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. is est quis is est

    Going against dogma. This is heresy and blasphemy. CNN you are now banned from the Whitehouse propaganda, I mean, press conferences.

    February 8, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Name lynn

    Yea people hate obama they would say anything because hes black, an obama is not mad because the people is downing him obama is smiling an during great.

    February 8, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. kayla

    wonder where is congress ratings cnn?

    February 8, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. GaryS

    Its going to fall even faster unless he figures out how to sit down with congress and work out a budget instead of just preaching. This guy talks a great speech but couldn't actually lead anything or anyone. He has no clue how to be a leader, just a bully.

    February 8, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. jono

    Funny how CNN mentions " averages the three non-partisan, live operator national surveys conducted in the past week and a half: Gallup's daily tracking poll (Feb 5-7), Fox News (Feb. 4-6), and Quinnipiac University (Jan. 30-Feb. 4)."

    Hmmm.... last time I checked Fox News was a Neo-gun-warmongering-antiprogressive-conservative channel that rants against any Democrat or Republican that has a brain in their head. Better check again CNN

    February 8, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Name VA865


    February 8, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Bill from GA

    Maybe if he will get all over Congress on his economic agenda, and stay focused, ...

    He's probably not too focused on his approval rating, considering the propaganda against him. But he does need to work most on getting the economy improving faster.

    It's going to take all the effort he's got to get the repubs in Congress to go along with any progressive actions, without distractions like the assault rifle ban. Has anyone got a number on the Americans killed in the last five years by assault riffles? Compared to so many other causes of death (hand-gun murders, for one) the actual numbers from assault riffles is pretty small. Especially for all the political capitol expended.

    Focus on the big issues, not the 'Big Media' issues.

    February 8, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. wade

    Americans are truly fat lazy and stupid as they voted twice for the biggest failure and loiser in history. The most un responsible con artist that has ever lived but even as stupid as Americans are they at some point have to see Obama is a total failure. America has been hurt BADLY by Obama and the stupidity of the American people. Democracy. Anit it great?

    February 8, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Obama talks a lot, but he accomplishes nothing. Smart Americans are catching on.

    February 8, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. funfor1

    The economy sucks and his approval rating is edging down? GET OUT!

    February 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. texasnotea

    Actually, dub'ya will go down as the worst president in history. Even now, no republican wants to take ownership of the mess he created and left for the fire department, (Obama), to clean up. If it wasn't for Obama, you gop'ers would be living in cardboard boxes under a bridge somewhere. Keep listening to Tokyo Rush and beck and continue to make them wealthy for lying to you and hiding the truth just so they can make millions.

    February 8, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. dzeez

    To all you libs, its Bushs fault!

    February 8, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. realitybite

    Don Said :
    "A CNN.poll says Obama's rating edging down. Yeah right, "edging down". More like falling as fast as a 100 ton boulder."

    Gravitational acceleration is a constant, so the weight of the boulder doesn't make a difference to the speed with which it falls. Let me guess, you're a republican?
    While you learn physics, you should try to learn about the good Obama has done, and why he won the last election. Don't watch fox news. They only propagate miss-information.

    February 8, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Logic N LA

    These posts are laughable. You complain when they include Fox and Quinnipiac. you complain when the numbers drop and when they go up. Is just seeing Obama's name makes you go negative or do you pay any attention to facts and sources?
    And to the guy that wants him to sit down over the budget- where is his invitation to discuss with the people that need to approve his proposal?

    February 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |