NRCC - CNN Poll: Independents disapprove of Obama

Summary: 53% of independents disapprove of Obama, while 43% approve. This marks “the first time in a CNN poll that a majority of independents give the president’s performance a thumbs-down.”


CNN Poll: Independents disapprove of Obama

CNN Political Ticker Posted: September 1st, 2009 03:20 PM ET

From CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser


WASHINGTON (CNN) — A majority of independent voters disapprove of how Barack Obama's handling his job as president, according to a new national poll.


Fifty-three percent of independents questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday say they disapprove of how Obama's handling his duties in the White House, with 43 percent in approval. That result marks the first time in a CNN poll that a majority of independents give the president's performance a thumbs-down.


Obama's overall approval rating of 53 percent is down 3 points from a month ago, and down 8 points from June. Forty-five percent of those questioned disapprove, up 5 points from a month ago and up 8 points from June.


According to the poll, nine in 10 Democrats approve of the job Obama's doing, up three points from a month ago, with 15 percent of Republicans approving, down 8 points.


"Obama won a majority of the vote among independents last year, and that helped put him in the White House," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Losing their support makes it more difficult for Obama to govern from the center."


Broken down by issues, the president still gets majority support on foreign affairs and terrorism, but a majority now disapprove of how he has handled health care, taxes, the economy and the budget deficit.


Is the fight over health care responsible for the downturn in Obama's numbers?


"Yes, in part, but his standing on some other issues has taken an even bigger tumble," adds Holland. "Among all Americans, his rating on health care has dropped 13 points since March. Compare that to his 16 point drop on the deficit and 17 point dip on taxes and it looks like there is growing discontent with Obama's overall domestic agenda — not just his health care policy."


According to the poll, Obama's approval rating on how he is handling the war in Afghanistan also fell 18 points since March.


The survey also indicates that 37 percent of Americans think the media has treated Obama fairly, down 18 points from February. One in four say the media has been too critical of the president, up seven points from February and 36 percent say the media has not been critical enough, up 10 points.


The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Friday through Monday, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.