Obama approval rating sinks to new low in CNN poll

CNN
Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 5:56pm

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 HealthCare.gov 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.

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