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. AliB

    If politicians worried less about their rankings in the polls and more about what they accomplish for all Americans, across the board, we would enjoy the changes needed in our society. Obama shouldn't worry about his ratings. He should be focused on getting health care for everyone, regardless of income. His legacy would be accomplishing this extremely important act.

    November 21, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. richard

    Hillary 2016

    ......But it's without mention that the Republican-Controlled Congress's approval rating is even much lower at.... drumroll....... 9%!
    You need to catch up,... Repubs now have 41%... the shutdown was meant to save us from Obamacare.. and the Repubs were right!

    November 21, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. wolf

    Wow, republicans spend all of their time sand bagging the obama administration then get their zombies to believe it was Obama's fault that they are intentionally trying to drive the country into the ground

    November 21, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. Peace

    What about taking a poll how CNN are performing their job? They will be lucky to score 0.5%.

    November 21, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  5. Ran the Man

    What's amazing is that some organization like CNN would run this story at all. CNN has been propping up Obama for 6 years. I guess they think that their viewers will forget their love of the liberal president as he implodes. CNN is like rats off a sinking ship.

    November 21, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  6. Rob

    Obama cares. His a great person.

    November 21, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  7. Mak

    I see he called the press in to tell them how to properly carry his water today.

    November 21, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  8. Joe

    Worst President ever and it's not even close.

    November 21, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  9. CaliforniaAC

    Aoorival ratings be damned... full speed ahead, Mr President.

    November 21, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. tom

    It's about time his popularity truly reflects his performance.

    November 21, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  11. anonymous

    These are not intelligent men and women....they are spoiled children.

    November 21, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  12. Cam

    Obamacare should be referred to as the unaffordable careless act. There's nothing affordable about it.

    November 21, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. I.Conserve

    How many scandals can one be a part of yet didnt know anything about them. Hey Obama, just to refresh your memory, benghazi was an illegal gun running op to the syrian rebels... remember? Only humanatarian aid? Remember?

    November 21, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  14. erichx101x

    Sort of reminds me of the 2012 election when the Republicans were celebrating Romney's victory after that first debate. Obama will reform healthcare, and again the Republicans will eat their shorts. We've seen this movie.

    November 21, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  15. Tony in STL

    Oh no ...the sky is falling! It doesn't matter what his "approval" rating is ...I've never been personally polled. I'd definitely vote for our President again if we could! Whatever his approval rating is, ...he's that's many times better than the closest gotp'er. Hillary 2016!

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

    Is there an honest person ANYWHERE in this administration??

    November 21, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  17. airjackie

    Obama's polls numbers are lower then War Criminal President Bush. Americans don't want Obamacare and the Affordable Act with lower health insurance. But the good news is the Republican/Tea Party lawmakers and their staff have all signed on Obamacare care while telling American don't sign on. The Bill is law and the lawmakers had to help the insurance companies continue to get those overcharged premiums so this was a way it would work. Boehner saw Americans still believe Saddam had WMD/Mushroom Cloud and even Louisiana believe President Obama was responsible for the Katrina disaster. So with people following lies so well it was easy.

    November 21, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  18. libsSuck

    Those Idiots who support this fraud will have to answer to the American People! sooner or later!!! I hope these people who betrayed the American People know that the rope only stretches so far 🙂

    November 21, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  19. richard


    He cited what he said has been, over the past five years, "an unprecedented pattern of obstruction in Congress."

    "A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to re-fight the results of an election is not normal, and for the sake of future generations, it cannot become normal," he said.

    Funny thing David.. Obama said the opposite in 2005... when he was in the minority party. BTW... three nominations out of 1400... isn't exactly holding up nominations.. it's another Obama lie.
    Dems in the Seante know they are hated and can't get much done so they change a law on the books since 1789.. so they can be a dictator party.

    November 21, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  20. Liz the First

    People are so frickin' fickle. this is still the president who has done everything he can to pull the country out of the horrible mess he was left by the Bush regime. he's put his whole presidency on the line to give the American people health care coverage we all need. yes, Obamacare has some problems but they're fixable. the repugs are piling on with their totally bogus concern over people not being able to enroll. why can't people see their hypocrisy???

    November 21, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  21. tim

    1. Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare)
    I can't get past this "accomplishment" to read the rest of your "accomplishments".

    November 21, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  22. Republican who supports President Obama

    @Real Truth. Thanks for highlighting some of the many things our President and his administration has done. Pity many Americans are blind or ignorant of the truth. They should hold everyone equally accountable but at the same time be appreciative for the good things that happen. The GOP has not done anything good for this country in many years now and their policy of obstruction supported by right-wing nutjobs who have nothing real to offer or submit detail plans of their own for us to scrutinize to the same degree they critcise our President frankly disgusts me.

    Even though I may be Repulbican I do not fall for the constant obstruction and 3 card monty game the right-wing engages in.

    November 21, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  23. MJ

    It's lower than 41%. That's CNN's poll, but others have him as low as 31%.

    November 21, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  24. Jtom

    Hillary 2016 is your typical, low information Obama supporter. In quoting the low approval ratings for Congress, she assumes it only refers to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Hillary, you ignorant slouch, the word Congress refers to the House of Representatives AND the Senate – both legislative houses. Harry Reid and his Democratically-controlled Senate is a huge reason why Congress gets such a low approval.

    Please get an education before you cast yet another ignorant vote.

    November 21, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  25. Jack33

    Obama = 41%
    Republicans = 8%-15%, depending on the poll.

    Why don't you ever write constant articles about that, CNN?

    November 21, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
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