President's marks as manager take hit in new CNN/ORC poll
November 25th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 years ago

President's marks as manager take hit in new CNN/ORC poll

Washington (CNN) - Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning also indicates that 53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy, the first time that a clear majority in CNN polling has felt that way.

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According to the survey, conducted last Monday through Wednesday, 40% say the President can manage the government effectively. That 40% figure is down 12 percentage points from June and is the worst score Obama received among the nine personal characteristics tested in the new poll.

"A lot of attention has focused on the President's numbers on honesty in new polling the past three weeks, but it looks like the recent controversy over Obamacare has had a bigger impact on his status as an effective manager of the government, and that may be what is really driving the drop in Obama's approval rating this fall," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Does being an effective manager count more than honesty?

"Just ask Bill Clinton, whose overall approval ratings remained high during and after the Monica Lewinsky scandal because three-quarters of all Americans thought he could get things done, even though only about one in five said he was honest," Holland added.

Obama's woes are not limited to honesty and his managerial skills. Fifty-six percent say he is not a person they admire, and an equal number say he does not agree with them on important issues. Fifty-six percent also say he does not inspire confidence, and 53% don't view him as a strong and decisive leader. All of those figures are all-time records for Obama in CNN polling.

There is a silver lining in the poll for the President: He's still seen as someone who cares about ordinary Americans, six in 10 say he has a vision for the country's future, and seven in 10 say he is likable–his best attribute of the nine items tested in this poll. But the numbers are down for both admiration and likeability.

"It's clear that views of Obama as a person - once his strong suit - have taken a hit in October and throughout 2013," said Holland.

The poll was conducted November 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.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (676 Responses)
  1. Mary

    And what is the point of printing all of this negative garbage constantly? The United States needs unbiased reporting not this right-wing drivel.

    November 25, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  2. itwasntme904

    Headline should include "in spite of liberal media efforts".

    November 25, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  3. Grams

    I do not like being lied to no matter who it is.

    November 25, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. Nick

    He cant get things done AND isn't honest, what does that say....

    November 25, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  5. Alan

    If this had been about president Bush it would he the headline. Since it is their chosen one it is downplayed big time.

    November 25, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. Friends

    Uhhhhh Really ? (Sarcasm.)

    November 25, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  7. Name jl

    Uh oh, looks like the White House has run out of kool-aid!

    November 25, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  8. Michael W. Perry

    What's amazing is not that 40% still believe that Obama can effectively manage the federal government, but that anyone has ever believed that he was competent for our highest office.

    With any presidential candidate, it always helps to look at the resume. Carter had been a mediocre governor and became an even more mediocre president. Reagan had been re-elected multiple times as a union president and served two terms as governor of our largest state. He made a great President.

    Obama had been a so-so lawyer, a mediocre law school lecturer, and a typical Chicago machine politician. His only executive position had been heading a program that spent $165 million on Chicago schools without having any measurable impact on school children. The guy was clearly a loser at anything other than big city corruption.

    In short, Obama's failure as our nation's chief executive was about as predictable as tomorrow's sunrise. Now our primary problem is cutting our losses and getting rid of this disaster-in-the-making called Obamacare.

    November 25, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. critical thinking

    The youth and the poor were the last hold outs. Now the youth with one of the highest % of unemployment coupled with the highest cost for his health insurance finally are realizing that they were sold a bill of goods. The poor are still with him though, that is until inflation shows up, which will occur some time in his last two years. But America, this is what you wanted, ignoring the facts that this man had NO EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE, WAS A FRESHMAN U.S. SENATOR, AND A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, LET ME REPEAT A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. You have no one to blame but yourselves, enjoy the mess he has made.

    November 25, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  10. Kyle


    November 25, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  11. Roger

    This is what I always say, media always plays and exposes negative news more than the positive news. For example CNN Home page has a big tittle and a picture of Netanyahu calling the Iran deal a 'historic mistake but not even a picture of or a positive message from our own president. This is a shame. It's the media actually that causes this bad feud in the country. Why don't you report the good and the bad news equally and let people decide which side they want to pick?

    November 25, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  12. butch

    It appears that your poll and some of its respondents feel that the President is solely in charge of the federal government. Businesses, Wall Street and ceos have never been more profitable. Representatives and senators make minimum $174k a year. Lobbyists and power brokers, even talk show hosts are living high on the hog. Americans, whatever color or creed, are the people that are getting the short end. Near bouts as I can tell the only jobs created by polls are for pollsters. We can take polls for the next 3 years and do nothing or, we can stop grading the President and start aiding the President to get something done for Americans.

    November 25, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  13. MODU

    In other news, Jimmy Carter called President Obama to congratulate him on his new poll numbers, and to thank him for taking over as the new "worst President ever". Carter will be holding a ceremony to hand over the crown this weekend. It is truly a season of Thanks in the Carter household.

    November 25, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  14. CNeder

    No kidding! How long did it take the CNN Owebama stenographers to figure that one out??? Their little POTUS is a flipping disaster who knows not how to speak the truth.

    November 25, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  15. malibu123

    And 65 million voters were fooled again to sign-up for this guy.

    November 25, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  16. Floyd

    It took a sloppy Obamacare implementation and millions losing their health care coverage to sway the poll numbers slightly away from Obama. But most disheartening to me is that Obamacare and its roll out are the least of Obama’s failures, yet America as a whole has not noticed. First in my book is his blatant pre-2008 lies regarding reducing the US debt. GW Bush and his sickening spending was “unpatriotic” to Obama (and to me), who promised to tackle the debt head on. That promise alone won my Obama vote in 2008. And that promise was one of the first Obama broke and one of the first actions that caused a mountain of regret to slowly but steadily develop within me. Obama’s utter lack of leadership with a dysfunctional congress just piled on the regret. Finally, the obvious pre-2012 election cover-up of Benghazi caused me to forcefully realize I should have listened to paranoid conservatives all along. What happened in Benghazi was very tragic and I mourned along with the families of the fallen, yet at the same time I realized far worse has happened under other presidents. But the all-out lies and cover-up promoted by the Obama administration convinced me I’m probably always better to vote for a lackluster Republican (McCain in ‘08, for example) any day than believe any liberal. Obamacare’s website bugs will be fixed, whether this month or next year. But the mountain of debt will haunt my children and their children and so on for decades to come, and I will never forget the Benghazi protest that never was.

    November 25, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. jg

    A poll of 832 people??? Hardly

    November 25, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. Jodi

    "wooo a website has glitches....scary!" Really? You cannot be that stupid. You just cannot be. Obviously you do not take your personal information and health care very seriously.

    November 25, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  19. Charles

    Obama is the most divisive LIAR this nation has ever seen as president. Impeach the bum, he and his mindless followers make me sick!

    November 25, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  20. FubarObama

    Liar liar pants in fire

    November 25, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. Frank

    What is there to trust? He is a fraud!

    November 25, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  22. gahh

    Face it, the only reason people voted for this man was because, we were tired of 8 years of Bush's dictatorship. This man had zero experience in running anything. He promised us an open WH, and just like Bush, he pulled all the shades down, so the American people wouldn't know what he was doing. Just like Bush, he's a massive liar, and just like Bush, he's run this country into the ground. Big Business and their Lobbyists, now own America. Gone are the days of By the People, and For the People, now it's By Big Business, and For Big Business.

    November 25, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  23. Cody

    The poll questions are very different than what was asked regarding Bush...they questions seem to avoid impactful conclusions.

    November 25, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. givemea break

    This a great Thanksgiving for Obama haters. It's easy to focus on the failures, and not accentuate the gains. People need to look at that more.

    November 25, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. m.

    Ya know ... It's reached the point where nothing a mad-dog socialist Dem says is worth responding to. I'm outa here.

    November 25, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
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