October 31st, 2013
02:55 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama's poll numbers fall, but he's not alone

(CNN) - Take a second-term president who has faced a series of setbacks this year and what do you get: public opinion polls that are nothing to brag about.

But when it comes to dropping numbers, new surveys suggest that President Barack Obama has plenty of company in the nation's capital.

According to Gallup's latest daily tracking poll released Thursday, only 41% of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing, with 51% giving him a thumbs down.

It's the same story in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Wednesday indicating 42% approval - an all-time low in NBC/WSJ polling for the President - with 51% saying they disapprove, tied for his all-time high.

And for the first time in NBC/WSJ polling, the President's personal ratings are underwater, with 41% seeing Obama in a favorable light and 45% holding a negative view.

The NBC/WSJ and Gallup polls are not an aberration.

Obama stood at 41% approval in a Fox News poll last week and at 44% in the most recent CNN/ORC International survey, conducted immediately after the end of the 16-day government shutdown earlier this month.

"I don't think it's all tied to the health care website rollout or the government shutdown. You've also got the NSA surveillance controversy, the Syrian conflict. The President's had a very complicated and tough time of it since he was re-elected. I often wonder why people want a second term in the White House. They end up with so many headaches," said CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

Just about all recent polling suggests Americans are angry and frustrated, and it's not just the President who's feeling the heat.

According to the NBC/WSJ survey, only 22% see the Republican party in a positive light, another all-time low those surveys.

The poll also indicates that more than six in 10 want to replace their own member of Congress, the highest percentage ever recorded on that specific question. And only 22% say the nation's headed in the right direction.

"Republicans should not take comfort in the fact that the President's numbers are dropping because their numbers are dropping even more. There is a sense of a pox on all your houses in all of this polling that we've seen recently," added Borger.

The government shutdown gave the President and congressional Democrats a short term boost in public opinion polls. The miserable launch of HealthCare.Gov maybe wiping away those gains.

The big question is which controversy may have a bigger impact with voters by the time the 2014 midterm elections roll around a year from now.

"Probably the biggest factor in the 2014 midterms will be the state of the economy next year," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But neither party seems to be directly addressing that problem right now and that has to be a major source of frustration for many voters."

"If they take that frustration out on the incumbent party in the White House, that's bad for the Democrats. If they take out that frustration on incumbent members of Congress, that's probably bad for the Republicans because there are more GOP incumbents than Democratic incumbents," he said.

Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. Donna

    Obama lied to the American people...again. Will we keep overlooking his lies?

    October 31, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Frank

    The average American makes a last minute uninformed voting decision anyway. Both sides will start to shape up in July and tell us they don't want to fight anymore and they are working together to build a better American.

    October 31, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Appalachian American

    In a plutocracy that is evidently morphing into a police state, what difference do polls really make- especially with a news media full of half-truths bent on keeping the sheep at each other's throats while the political class destroys this nation?

    October 31, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Tell it like it is

    "... 41% of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing," There's the real scandal.

    October 31, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. oharris30

    seems like the only losers are the people blaming the president believing all the GOP lies. So we are suppose to believe the few who are placing all blame on the president while they are not doing their jobs. what a bunch of easily led idiots. it's the gOP who are at fault and need to get back to work.

    October 31, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. skay

    Take out African Americans on the poll that will support Obama on anything, anytime, anywhere and it's really in the toilet.

    October 31, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. JoJo

    Right-o Doug. You'd never pick a former Gov/CEO/Olympic Chair over a Community Organizer empty suit. And people wonder why this country is doomed.

    October 31, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |

    Obama used the IRS to win an election. Most corrupt ever period.

    October 31, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. TomNPitt

    How can we trust Republicans with anything? They are just like the TeaBagger Flagger! Whatever way the wind blows, they'll move their opinion. Voting against their own ideas and their own proposals. They want to shutdown the government over anything they disagree with. There are no ideas, just ideology! Now the government will subtly be shutdown by not granting the Presidents appointees to fill their positions because of the need for people involved in Benghazi to expose what they know so everyone in the world will know what we're investigating and what organizations may be involved. Secrets will be out and the Republicans will form their own opinions of how Obama . . . did what? Screwed up?? I believe he and Hillary have both already admitted that. Again – the goal is not necessary. Only the action. Just like the obsession for Monica Lewinsky to appear in front of both Houses of Congress to tell in her own words what the American people had already read in every paper. It was just a massive expose of a 24 year olds affair with the President . We didn't really need to see that. And we don't really need to see any more of this debacle! We
    may not know the exact details, but then again, I do not need to see someone getting their head blown off in HD for me to understand we made a mistake here.

    October 31, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    Plain bull. I was not asked. ACA is a Law. GOP better shut up. Tricks never worked in democracy.

    October 31, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. NorCalMojo

    The attack dogs are going to make it even more pronounced. They're going to turn on the middle with the same venom they use on the Tea Party. They don't even try to persuade anymore. It's just attack attack attack.

    October 31, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    "It's going to be all of the independents who will benefits from this widespread disapproval."
    Beware of most independents. Independent does not in any way, shape, or form mean moderate. In fact, most independents are "independent" because their views are too far to the extreme to be accepted by either party. For example, look at the libertarian who is running as an "indepedent" in the Virginia governor's race.

    October 31, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "It's ironic that the only reason he was elected is because he's black. "

    The only irony here is that you don't realize you just announced yourself a die-hard racist.

    October 31, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. FubarObama

    Jimmy Carter is thrilled that he will give up the worst president in us history

    October 31, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    They hate for our freedom.

    October 31, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    People are so fickle. If we had Romney for President now, the country would be heading for a deep depression.

    October 31, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. rs


    President's approval down to below 50% with their various faux scandals.

    Seriously??? Millions of Americans losing their healthcare plans, a President lying to the American people and millions more paying more for their health insurance is a 'faux scandal"??? Wow. Are you left wingers living in a dream world or what?! You will see in 2014 have faux it was....
    And the GOP commits a failed coup d'etat two weeks ago, and loses ANOTHER 5 points in approval? Hello? Anybody there? Your party committed sedition AND Treason!

    October 31, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    Its funny that somehow, the GOP does not think they are in trouble. A 22% approval rating for an entire party is not a sign of political strength, but of disgust. The image of the GOP as nothing more than dysfunctional group of wackos who believe they are on a sacred mission to save this country from better private health insurance is not one that can be sold easily. The only thing missing from their party platform is the belief that the clues to finding the national treasure are found on the back of the Declaration of Independence. I've never seen so many examples of self-inflicted brain injuries and mental disorders as I see with some of the posters on here.

    October 31, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Phil in KC

    @liberal disease – We still approve because we don't feel we were wrong. If you held that same election tomorrow, knowing what I know right now, I would vote exactly the same way. I repeatedly vote Democrat because the Republicans just keep getting farther and farther from my viewpoint on the issues. There was a time when I at least respected many in the Republican party, even if I didn't agree with them. But that number has dwindled to a precious few. And, no, I'm not an Obama sycophant. I didn't vote for him in the primaries, even though I did vote for him in the general election.

    October 31, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. Jay David

    As messed up as Obama is, any Republican would be far, far worse.

    Just remember how Bush, McConnell and Boehner threw away our soldiers in Afghanistan for nothing and never got bin Laden, threw away our soldiers in Iraq...for nothing, abandoned thousands to their deaths after Katrina, and almost led us into a Second Great Depression.

    Of course, all the media care about is to stir up hatred and discontent.

    October 31, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Bill Cassara

    Contrary to what those on the left think, I don't "hate" President Obama. He is just a lousy president, who is not up to the job. He has proven to be a miserable failure, yet 40% of the country are so dogmatic in their ideology that they don't care. Very sad.

    October 31, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine


    Obama lied to the American people...again. Will we keep overlooking his lies?
    We overlook yours.

    October 31, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Tiny

    the spin from Obama supporters on his outright lie about no one loosing their healthcare plans due to the ACA provisions is laughable. Obama could light a daycare full of babies on fire and liberals would reason that he did them a favor because they were subject to economic disparity . Obama is more sacred then Allah or Jesus Christ to his followers.

    October 31, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Gurgyl

    @donna, you are drunk. Just go to bed. Spewing venom never works in democracy. Know this truth.

    October 31, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. glenview0818

    Obama said he did not know his popularity was down, until he saw it on CNN.

    October 31, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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