November 21st, 2013
05:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama approval rating sinks to new low in CNN poll

Washington (CNN) - As President Barack Obama's approval rating hits another all-time low, a new national survey also indicates that Americans say the President has less power than congressional Republicans when it comes to shaping events over the next year.

According to a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday, 41% of Americans approve of the job the President's doing in the White House, the lowest level for that crucial indicator in CNN polling. Fifty-six percent questioned say they disapprove of Obama's performance, an all-time high in CNN surveys.

The President's approval rating has now reached new lows or tied his all-time lows in polls released over the past three weeks from CNN/ORC, CBS News, ABC News/Washington Post, Quinnipiac University, National Journal Heartland Monitor, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal. And the CNN survey is the fourth non-partisan live operator national poll released this week to put Obama's approval rating between 40% and 42%. A CBS News survey released Wednesday showed the President's approval rating at 37%.

Geography appears to play a role in the President's falling numbers.

"The drop in Obama's approval rating comes entirely among suburbanites," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Compared to the October CNN poll, positive views of Obama held steady among people who live in big cities and rural areas. But in the suburbs, his approval rating was 45% a month ago but has dropped to just 37% now."

The President's overall job approval rating is down three points since mid-October after being stuck in the mid-40s for several months in CNN polling. But it's worth noting that Obama's woes did not begin with the disastrous launch of the website in October, Holland pointed out.

"The real damage came in June, when reports about NSA spying and IRS treatment of conservative groups caused an eight-point drop in his approval rating - a far more significant change than what the numbers from October suggest," he said.

Who should shape Washington?

Fifty percent believe that congressional Republicans will have more influence over the direction the nation takes in the next year while only 42% saying the President will have more influence, according to the poll. That's a change from November 2012, when more six in ten said Obama would have more influence in the year to come.

Who should have more influence is a different story.

The poll shows 47% want Obama to be in charge while 45% say the GOP should have more influence over the country.

"There is a hint of good news for the President - but only a hint - in those numbers, since that means that the number of Americans who support Obama in his struggles with the GOP is a bit higher than the 41% approval rating would suggest. But that number is also a step down in Obama's support, representing a four-point decline since the last time the question was asked just after Obama won re-election last year," Holland said.

The poll was conducted Nov. 18-20 for CNN by ORC International, with 843 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Filed under: CNN poll • President Obama
soundoff (712 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Watch the dems now set the plate for Hillary "We need real Real Hope and Change the American people deserve better, we've only just started and need to follow through and not go back to the failed policies of the past" blah blah blah–
    same falied ideas to promote massive govt, more taxes and less freedoms just different presentation to prey on the simple minded voters ignorance.

    November 21, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. Mike

    41%?? Why continually support a spiteful, incompetent failure? Have some self respect, people...

    November 21, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Ken

    Most people are so undereducated about what it should take to be a president, they assume if you can smile and speak well, then you must be qualified. Maybe we should go back to the days that required you to be a land owner in order to vote (or at least in modern times, be able to pay off a car loan successfully). The bottom line is that a better educated electorate is the only way to solve the mistaken direction our country is taking. Watching the speeches and actions of President Kennedy makes me hunger for that type of leadership again. Just look what he confronted in only three years of being president and admire the challenges he placed before the American public and the world at large – remember when he said let's go to the moon within 10 years and we did.

    November 21, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. mique

    I still think he is a good man.

    November 21, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Tim

    Love how many blame the GOP. They tend to forget the Presidents party also controlled the senate and congress when he came into office. Somehow he lost that and now the ball of yarn is just unravelling. Party in power always implodes. The senates move toady will drive the fall further once people see how it affects them. Every move is proof Democrats need to be sent home to figure out abuse of our government is not what we want.

    November 21, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I wasn't asked. Who did they poll? I would rate him one of the top ten presidents in our history.

    November 21, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. Evelyn Connaway

    It depends on whom was polled. I and the majority of people who voted for him have not changed our mind. Screw the polls – they don't do an even poll of the same amount of democrats and republicans, if they did all poils would be 50/50%.

    November 21, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  8. contessa

    Of course! That's all the media does these days is portray him as "bad! I've got it all figured out after yesterday's Medal of Honor Ceremony . . . . President Obama is in a class far and above all of you media people! He is educated and very intelligent. His picks for Medal of Honor ALL are educated and intelligent! You all may consider him "bad", but the real truth is he is far superior to any of the broadcasters or owners of media outlets! Polls are polls! Plain and simple! They can be manipulated, just like you and all media outlets try to manipulate politics! His intelligence and respect for others is far and beyond that of John Boehner, the House Republicans, and Rand Paul, and the Republicans of the Senate. Have you polled John Boehner and Rand Paul lately? or the Tea Party Republicans?

    November 21, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  9. Evelyn Connaway

    It depends on whom was polled. I and the majority of people who voted for him have not changed our mind. Screw the polls – they don't do an even poll of the same amount of democrats and republicans, if they did all polls would be 50/50%.

    November 21, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. Bill

    Obama has been discredited by his constant lies.

    November 21, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Yup, Fox finally got wind of this blog. Lots of new posters here who have so much negativity to say about the President. How many pieces of silver are you Judas' being paid?

    November 21, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    BS. It is a garbage. How about congress rating, GOP?

    November 21, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  13. Jim

    Look out worries Barack just had the poll changed and now he is at an all time high....

    November 21, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. Jason

    Only 41%. Well that is actually quite normal highs for previous presidents. Considering all the controversy, and set backs and the big (sort of) lie. 41% isn't as bad as I would have figured. I was coming into this article thinking it would dip into the low 30's at least.

    November 21, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Thanks for making my perfectly good health insurance policy go away and replacing it with one that will cost me over $200 more per month. Great job!

    November 21, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. Veritas Lavinga


    What are you smoking, CNN? It's more like 27% right now. No one around here approves of the President and I'm in quite a progressive area. ObamaCare has been a complete disaster and people are finally seeing how harmful the Senate Democrats have been in the last 6 years.

    November 21, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. Truth

    @Tampa Tim – I learned when I was about 8 how much the President has to do with the economy. Virtually 0. That's why I don't blame Bush for the economy's dip and Obama hasn't done anything to cause the Dow to go up. I think the economy is improving DESPITE what he is doing to the country. And am not a Tea Party type (I won't resort to your name calling) – I voted for Obama and more and more there are people that supported him that now realize it was a mistake.

    And your thought that Obama killed Osama or even set any of the strategy in motion is silly. I had as much to do with the killing of Osama.

    November 21, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. roccorenzo

    Thank you for making my perfectly good health insurance policy go away and replacing it with something that will cost me over $200 per month more. Sure I could pay less for less coverage and and get an even larger deductible than I had with the plan that is no longer offered, but that's big government. Nothing makes sense and this administration is full of amateurs, starting with the guy at the top.

    What a joke....

    November 21, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  19. Wade

    CBS has Obama at 37% approval I tend to believe CBS since CNN works for Obama. AP also has Obama at 38 % many places have him even lower so it is unlikely that this poll is close to being correct.

    November 21, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  20. John

    I very much approve of Obama. I am appalled, of course, at some of his doings and sayings, but on balance the ACA alone will rank him high in history. Healthcare is expensive because it is driven by research and development-especially of people, whose educations cost fortunes-and it is now a major part of American life. Should anyone die in the gutter because they can't pay what medicine costs? I say no, not if it can be helped-and Obama has tried to help. Who else has?

    November 21, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. Carolo

    Of course his poll numbers are down. The Republicans have been doing nothing but work to this end since they took office. Nothing has been to help the economy, put people to work, get things done. It has been to bring this President down and continue to lie about Affordable healthcare until people have soared on it before they ever had a chance to look at it themselves or form their own opinions.

    A redeeming factor remains............Bush left office with a 23% popularity poll.

    November 21, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. Kevin_B.

    All i m saying is i knew from day 1 obama was a liar and a cheat he is a great person but as a lib politician an ye politicians in party the gop r liars but pres obama sen reid and rep polosi them 3 lie the most an cheat us the american ppl im done ty lol

    November 21, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. Dan

    Why are the comments about governing and politics mostly comprised of insults and factually incorrect statements? Applying mundane logic to complex situations will never add up; this is beyond your ability; quit, you are just going to make it worse.

    November 21, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. Bill Mitchell

    Pretty bad for Obama considering a completely ludicrous sample of a mere 23% Republicans was used. In every one these MS polls they weight the response to less than 24% Republicans. This is absurd and corrupt. But Obama is so unpopular that even putting their thumb on the scale doesn't help anymore.

    November 21, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. al

    Liberals and other low information voters will stick with Obama no matter how bad things get for him.

    November 21, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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