December 20th, 2013
01:01 PM ET
9 years ago

President ends year at all-time CNN polling low

Washington (CNN) – Fourteen points.

That's how far President Barack Obama's poll numbers fell in CNN polling over the course of what's been an especially tough year.

Obama's approval rating stands at 41% in a new CNN/ORC International survey released Friday, which matches the all-time low he fell to in CNN polling just last month. The President's disapproval rating remains unchanged at 56%, which is an all-time high in CNN surveys.

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CNN/ORC International full survey results

In the afterglow of his 2012 re-election victory, Obama's rating stood at 55% in CNN polling in January. That number ranged from the upper 40s to the low 50s through May in CNN and most other national polling, but steadily declined in the following months as Obama dealt with one controversy after another, from NSA surveillance and IRS targeting of political groups to the disastrous startup of and the controversy over millions of Americans being told they would lose their current insurance plans because they didn't meet stands mandated by the new health care law.

According to the poll, which was released Friday, 40% say they disapprove of the President because they say his policies and actions have been too liberal, with 12% saying they disapprove because he hasn't been liberal enough.

"The growth in negative views of the President comes almost equally from the left and the right," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Not surprisingly, the number of Americans who disapprove of him because he is too liberal is up six points since the start of the year.  But the number of Americans who disapprove of him because he has not been liberal enough is up almost as much since January, indicating that his slide is due as much to disappointment as it is anger."
Obama's support is weakening in some key demographics.

"A majority of women and half of younger Americans, two key components of the Obama coalition that helped to elect and re-elect him to the White House, disapprove of Obama's track record as President," Holland said.

Three-quarters of Democrats questioned say they approve of the job the President is doing in office, but one in five give him a thumbs down. The President's approval rating stands at 32% among independent voters and just 8% among Republicans.

Besides the CNN polls, Obama's approval rating reached new lows or tied his all-time lows in six other individual non-partisan, live operator national surveys conducted over the past two months.

Division on budget deal

The poll was conducted Monday through Thursday, as the Senate passed, with bipartisan support, a budget deal struck by Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and his Democratic Senate counterpart Patty Murray. The House overwhelming passed the agreement last week. According to the survey, 46% of Americans support the deal, with 42% opposed, and 12% unsure.

"Positive views of the budget agreement, passed by the Senate on Wednesday, outweigh negative views, but the number of Americans who don't have an opinion about the complex bill is in double digits, keeping support - and opposition - below 50%," Holland said.

There is a wide partisan divide over the spending plan: 65% of Democrats and 42% of independents support it but only 28% of Republicans are in favor of the deal, which sets spending levels, reduces the deficit, relieves some of the forced spending cuts known as sequestration, and prevents another government shutdown in January, when current funding for federal government runs out.

Obama compared to previous presidents

How does Obama's approval ratings match up to his most immediate two-term predecessors as they finished up the first year of their second terms?

George W. Bush also stood at 41% approval in CNN polling at the same point in December 2005. Bill Clinton was at 56% in December 1997 and Ronald Reagan was at a lofty 63% in December 1985.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International December 16-19, with 1,035 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. Jeffrey P

    Hey Bob, how many people would make the poll valid? 5,000, 10,000, 50,000, 100,000, 1,000,000, 10,000,000, 250,000,000. Either way, it's still the same number or it might even be less. Better watch what you ask far...

    December 20, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. jcvet33

    That's about the % that live off the govt.

    December 20, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Tiffany Young

    The real number is more like in the low 30's at best! And that's for the idiots that are naïve!

    December 20, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. LandSlide

    Remember the pre election poll? I thought that was garbage too.

    December 20, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "I will take his rating over congress's rating of 5% LOL Even Chlamydia polls higher than this congress!"

    That's because chlamydia will never lie to you.

    December 20, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. VTGUY

    It is a "VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY!" What did all of you expect from a community organizer who never was responsible for anything in his life...... We told you so!

    December 20, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Michael

    Makes sense. There's nothing wrong with his ideals, but is administrative skills and his ability to put the right people in the right jobs has cost him dearly. His insistence on cronyism and his loyalty to those cronies has hurt him immensely. A good president MUST be held accountable and MUST hold their secretaries and other administrators accountable for their work.

    December 20, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. just asking

    And all this only 1 year after his election win where a majority of voters voted for him.

    but they now know they were lied to, conned and deceived by obama and the democrats. he never would have won had the truth been told by obama, the democrats and their lackeys/backers in the msm. it looks like all the smoke the democrats blow is being seen through by an ever growing number of americans. about time.

    December 20, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Homer

    I'm just glad for the QE. I never dreamed of having this much money. I may be in the minority but think we'd be in far worse shape with McCain. GM, BOA, CITI, etc. would be history and we'd be taking lots of causalities in Syria and Iraq.

    December 20, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Tea Party and GOP death throws!

    #1) Congresses poll #'s are even lower!
    #2) It's a POLL! WHO CARES! Everyone too busy shopping and enjoying family time around this time of year.

    Nuff said!


    December 20, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Ancient Texan

    Like the unemployment numbers prior to the 2012 election......the number is vastly inflated.

    December 20, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "I predict very quick action to remove Bussein from office"

    Yeah, because any time the opposite party of the POTUS has control of both chambers of Congress, it's an opportunity to undo the last presidential election. If they pull a stunt like that, they're not winning the WH in 2016, guaranteed.

    December 20, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. Government Waste Rules

    41% of respondents are dumb as rocks.

    December 20, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Rusty Krus

    It kills the right wing TARDS that they have to see his black face for three more years. ENJOY!

    December 20, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. dinkydow

    The years isn't over yet. More Obamacare failures are still or about to hit again before the end of the year. My bet is in the next few days they fall even more, a lot more.

    December 20, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Tom


    Highest and Lowest Approval Rating

    Obama 76% – 41%
    Bush (G.W.) 92 – 19
    Clinton 73 – 36
    Bush 89 – 29
    Reagan 68 – 35
    Carter 75 – 28
    Ford 74 – 37

    December 20, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Ancient Texan

    Old West- Bush was a gentleman and a leader, Obama is a charlatan imposter.

    December 20, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. sammy zoso

    Stock market at an all time high. Economy growing 4.1 percent last quarter. Unemployment slooowly declining desp[ite no help from he Nazis. Obamacare launched and will succeed despite the best efforts of the Nazis to kill it. Thank you Mr. President for a great great job. Happy holidays to you and your beautiful family and have a great year in 2014.

    December 20, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. LandSlide

    Remember the presidential election polls? The one that had Mr. President losing? Yeah that one. I thought it was garbage also, just like this one.

    December 20, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. Taken4granted

    Wait when there is an OUTCRY of how expensive is OBAMACARE for the middle class. There would be some revolt on healthcare come 2014. It is just pathetically expensive, expensive more than buying a car. At least when paying a car loan at the end of the term it is yours. While OBAMACARE looks cheaper but adding the out of pocket and other %coinsurance, the insurance companies do not have recourse but to offer the same outside of the state/federal exchanges. I do not know who can really afford the BRONZE premiums even. There is definitely an income level discrimination going on. Why? If you earn more than $62000, you do not get a healthcare tax credit. So if you are making $63000 a year, you are toast.

    December 20, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. stan

    How is that any surprise at all?! At the end of the day it's not really Obama's fault, it's the fault of the voters that elected him. The blame lies squarely with anyone that still supports this amateur poseur.

    December 20, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Marshaun Tate

    While all these people bash the president......they are laughing all the way to the bank off the money they have made with him in the white house. I didnt hear all this complaining when Bush sent our jobs over seas, started 2 wars that lasted over 10 years each because of weapons of mass destruction that were never found. No crying when Bush litterally destroyed the housing market, and put our economy in a hole while his companies proffited billions. Obama can only do what the Legislative branch alows him to do. F.Y.I. he doesnt run the CIA and NSA, so how can he prevent the things that have surfaced regarding those two offices? What nobody is talking about is how the Secret Service let an imposter sign language person get close to the President? I am sure most of you Republican/Capitalist would have been partying in the streets had he been assasinated. Why soo many cant stand to see a black man lead this country I will never understand. The U.S. is no longer black/white.......we are a blended society from many nations and he will not be the only minority to lead this country. Get used to diversity, it is about to be 2014!!!!!

    December 20, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Joe

    Wow, the big surprise here is that 41% of those polled are clueless! What positive could anyone see in Obama?

    December 20, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  24. Donna

    Man, he is never getting a third term unless he can turn things around.

    WOW! Even the greatest of the Obamadroids can't refute these devastating poll numbers. Come on Sniffit, at least give it the old college try! I'm absolutely certain you have not run out of smoke, mirrors and lies to toss out there in support of your man.

    December 20, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. splinter

    meanwhile the economy is improving, the market is up, 401Ks are growing, Obama ended the ill-fated war in Iraq, took out bin laden despite a Republican Congress that tries to do everything they can to ruin this country.

    December 20, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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