November 30th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Pres. Obama approval rating drops 20% among whites

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

On the eve of his address to the nation about Afghanistan, President Obama could be at a crossroads for his presidency early in his first term. Politically - the stakes for both Afghanistan and health care couldn't be any higher.

Politico suggests that the president's gift for controlling his image shows signs of faltering; and they point to several anti-Obama storylines gaining momentum.

Including things like:

  • The president thinks he's playing with Monopoly money... the way he's been spending tax dollars to revive the economy
  • That the West Wing is dominated by Chicago-style, brass-knuckled politicians like the public battle with Fox News - which isn't exactly the change Mr. Obama promised on the campaign trail
  • That he's given House Speaker Nancy Pelosi too much power
  • That the president is a pushover (i.e. setting a deadline for health care, which lawmakers in his own party missed)
  • That he should appear prouder of America than he sometimes does when he's overseas
  • And that he thinks too highly of himself

The White House argues that all of these storylines are inaccurate or unfair, sometimes pushed by Republicans or the press. But there is a problem somewhere. The president is losing considerable support among white Americans.

Gallup puts the president's approval among whites at 39 percent - down from 61 percent last February. And a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows the president with a 50 percent approval rating among whites; but that's down from nearly 70 percent in the same poll last winter.

Here’s my question to you: What does a drop in approval rating of 20-percent among whites mean for President Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jan from Etna Green, Indiana writes:
President Obama decided to keep the one campaign promise I'd hoped he'd break: this insanity in Afghanistan. Unless the president starts making good on his promises and puts an end to the continuation of many of the unpopular Bush policies he's kept in place, he can move back to Chicago in 3 years.

Rus from Minnesota writes:
I guess I would be one of those folks who has added to his approval drop; the fact that I'm white means nothing. We were promised a new type of leadership, a new transparent Washington – from someone intelligent enough to see through the partisan lines and willing to get the job done. If he wants my support back, he needs to live up to the hype he himself promised.

Ed writes:
These folks need to get over themselves. President Obama is doing the best he can under the horrible circumstances under which he came into office. Let him do his job with out all the backbiting rhetoric of which we already have too much form both camps. If he fails, we can elect a new president in 2012. People are too spoiled and want instant gratification and a quick fix for everything.

Danny from Grundy, Virginia writes:
Simply put, it means that as long as the GOP doesn't nominate Sarah Palin in 2012, no re-election of President Obama.

Dave writes:
Jack, It means nothing. Who else are thoughtful, intelligent people regardless of their race going to vote for? Sarah Palin? I don't think so.

Steve from Virginia writes:
It means that Independents are no longer drinking his Kool-Aid.

Brent from Japan writes:
It means there is more to being president than NOT being George Bush.

Filed under: President Barack Obama
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Tom from Philly

    It is ironic those that oppose him think that those that support him think he is the messiah. If people lost faith in their religion the way they to for icons like the president. There would be no religion at all.

    November 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  2. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    The White people who voted for Obama voted for Obama the candidate and his message of change. The same people are now unhappy with Obama the President and the change we are actually getting. It was never about race for the white people. The black people will support him no matter what.

    November 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  3. Carl D.

    What this means in my opinion, Obama is a man of many words. Having said that, he never gets anything done, he just keeps moving his lips. He promised to end the wars in the Middle East, he hasn't done that either, he just keeps escalating the wars, he's your typical politician in my judgement. I also feel like Obama will be a 1 term president. The next president to replace him will probably be just as bad, if not worse. This is what has become of our countries political view on our politicians.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  4. Bob Louisville

    The drop in Obamas approval ratings is due to his inabililty to fix the mess Bush. Obama inherited two wars, one which should never have started and one that was grossly undermanned and poorly prosecuted.

    Unfortunately people have short memories and high expectations that are impossible to satisfy in less than two years.

    The pollsters should be asking, "who could have done a better job in this short period of time ?"

    Louisville, Ky

    November 30, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  5. Jayne

    I don't think color has anything to do with it. Afghanistan, Wall Street and health care might though. I'm disappointed he's continuing the Bush wars, surrounding himself with Wall Street millionaires and remaining silent while Senate Democrats weaken an already pathetic health care bill. Next election I'll work to elect progressives, but I'll never, ever, ever, ever vote for a Republican again in my lifetime.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  6. Ed from California

    First of all Jack, who answers their phone with caller ID lately? I sure don't. But, when one sneeks through do you give them the answer their looking for? I don't! Who wants to be bothered by these telemarketers. I just turn them in to the no-call people, who do nothing about it anyway. Just, don't answer your phone!!

    November 30, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  7. Independent Joe


    It means those who voted for him in the last election are going to take a closer look at him before filling in the oval next to his name in 2012.

    Joe M (Minnesota)

    November 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  8. John from Alabama

    Jack: It means that President Obama would have a tough time winning the next election with a 20% approval rating, but I believe the economy will improve, his foreign policy is going up, and his support of the Afghanistan War will be clear, common sensed, and certain milestones will be reached in the next 3 years. I believe if some type of health care reform that does away with "pre-existing conditions", and ends the favored status of insurance companies his ratings will go up.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  9. Chandra - Las Vegas

    It means he probably won't get a second term. People were color blind when they elected him and they'll be color blind when they cast their ballot in 2012. It has nothing to do with race, it's the old bait and switch. You cannot run in the center and then govern as far left as he is and expect a second term.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  10. Mark, Bradenton,FL

    Obama is a huge dissappointment. He did not deliver on anything only speeches. We don't need health care we need jobs period. If he keeps this up Palin will even beat him in 2012.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  11. Irv Lilley Ephrata, Pa.

    Jack, Obama's rating among people of Caucasin descent may have dropped because people that think only white people should be president are so full of bitterness , they will do anything to discredit
    Obama. I have never seen such childishness on the part of people
    who can't accept defeat.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  12. Chandra - Las Vegas

    Independents aren't happy, we put him in the White house and we'll send him packing in 2012. We didn't vote for Obama based on his race. We were swept in by the promise of hope and change. Now reality has set in and we have learned Hillary was the better choice.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  13. john .... marlton, nj

    First it means the pollsters are assuming a racial basis.. and perhaps that is the case ..or maybe it is that blacks are bolstering Obama just becasue he is black ??

    NEWS FLASH – Obama's performance, as unprecedentant as it may sound, is lets just say, less than expected and ...leaderless..

    November 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  14. Talitha

    I've got news for you Jack, Obama's popularity is dropping with African Americans too.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    It means adios Obama in 2012. Not a minute too soon.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  16. Terry, Chandler AZ

    It means that a few white people feel as though they were taken by the Obama 'Hope and Change' slogan. I just hope that those white people do not change into biggots.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  17. Scott

    We really aren't happy with the direction Obama is taking the country. Obama the campaigner was full of hope and change. Obama the president is in way over his head and has not kept the majority of his promises. We are seeing it is business as usual, as with any politician.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  18. Sean Delgado

    It just means that he hasn't delivered like he said he would on Afghanistan, jobs, not getting rid of the Patriot Act but keeping it in place and having the suspected terrorists trial in New York City.. It has nothing to with color in my opinon.. While I do believe not all but alot of Blacks will back Obama a little more because he is black..

    November 30, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  19. Peg from NY

    It means people are forgetting WHY they voted for President Barak Obama. Wake up, people! Stop drinking the koolaid and believing the koolaid makers.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  20. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    In my circle it simply means that he hasn't kept his promises, certainly not in Iraq where we are still spending billions for nothing. And no one of my associates think we should be in Afghanistan. We didn't expect him to cave in to the drug companies but we did expect him to at least advocate for a national alternative for health insurance. Also, we expected some strong regulations for Wall Stree. He has been a disappointment.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  21. william fitzwater

    I approve of President Obama and I'm white.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  22. richard

    means there are lots of loons out there listening to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. this is Sad.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  23. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Jack, it depends on which whites. Some of the drop is due to liberal whites who want him to be more aggressive on health care and less aggressive on Afghanistan. Taking them out of the equation likely makes the drop less significant.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  24. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    It means there's more stupid people in America than anyone guessed and our primary educational system is broken. By the way, I'm white. Jack, do you mind showing us that new poll broken down by region?

    November 30, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  25. William Joseph Miller, Los Angeles

    It proves the obvious. Namely, we are not in a post-racial era. Racism is alive and well.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  26. Lou from North Carolina

    Before this thing is over, ratings will not matter. It will whether we survive or not. I used to think that if we got into trouble everyone would gather the wagons into a circle and we would solve it easily but now part of Congress wants to see him fail and fall and therefore we do the same thing.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  27. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    This man that was going to change Washington has failed and the people that elected him have come to realize that he is a lot of talk and no action so he will be another one term President and the Republicans will take control of Congress in 2012.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  28. Anthony....NJ

    It tells me that these people have no patience when it comes to the new president. Any cogent person would give him a chance to close the Pandora's box that George W. Bush opened. The fact that they're white only reflects a tinge of racism that is always part of the equation.

    November 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  29. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack, it simply means that the 'whites' have a 'thin skin' when it comes to a 'black' politician !!!
    Any president entering office with the social, military and financial 'cluster[bleep]' which this individual had, should be cut some slack!!
    The problems arise from the politicos of both parties who can't govern the nation without tending their own 'garden[s]' and the barely hidden racial bigotry exposed for all to see by those who lost the reins of power!!

    November 30, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  30. Randy from Salt Lake City

    It might mean that some 20% of of white voters have become disillustioned by most of Obama's actions vs. the things he promised as a candidate. It's starting to look like GW Bush's third term.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  31. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    It means big trouble unless he's able to turn the numbers around which I think he will.
    But the truth is a lot of peopl are showing their disappointment in the President because of this health care predicament. he made a big mistake by letting it get totally away from him and he's payinjg the price for that.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  32. Brian Smith PhD

    Fewer country clubs will accept his membership.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  33. DT from Fort Walton Beach, FL

    That 20% are waking up...

    November 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  34. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    It means his approval ratings are dropping like almost every other first-term president in his first year of office. Next question...

    November 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  35. Dennis North Carolina

    stop the race card questions and the false polls. I am white and still back Obama. he has not been in office long enough to be rated and he is not God so he can not wave his arms for a miracle or create wine out of water. the media can but the end results is mirror tricks.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  36. BigD WarCost, Minnesota

    It Means that White America Doesn't Really Give a HOOT about Families Without Affordable Health Care + the PUBLIC OPTION is a MUTE Issue + a War Tax is Beyond Their Small Mind Imagination to ADMIT the COST of WAR Even When it Could Hit Them In Their Pocket Books or Even in Their Hidden OVERSEAS Account!

    November 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  37. Linda in Charleston, SC

    It means his storytelling is not going too well. There are only so many speeches that can be made until some actions needs to come out of them. Narcissistic tendency needs to stop as the fairytale is over. Taxpayer dollars are not to be considered monopoly money. And he better start counting the unemployed people in this country. A country in crisis. The USA can't police the world broke and wars must end. The financial world has to quit preying on Main Street and bankers need to be put into their place and he hasn't done enough about lobbyists to make a difference.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  38. Dawn

    Jack, it means people are fickle. He has only been in the W.H for 10 months and everyone wants a miracle. It took 8 years for Bush to ruin the country, yet people want President Obama to fix everything overnight.
    Talk about being unrealistic. Give me a break.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  39. John

    Presidential ratngs constantly go up and down. Should the government pull off health care reform, employment resume and things turn around in Afganistan Obama's approval ratings will go off the chart. Until then there will be wild swings and growing anger ultimately aimed at both the republicans and democrats. We need a true third party.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  40. George Ukah,Aba,Nigeria.

    It's purely racist ideaology.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  41. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    whites have health care...don't jeopardize their benefits, and don't charge them more $$.


    November 30, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  42. george

    Well if my math is still good, it means that one in five whites now have lost confidense in President Obama, but ask those same 20% if they had rather have the Bush Administration still at the helm, and the number would go back to normal.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  43. Rob in NC

    It means white people change their minds regularly, just like they do with every other president. We only care they are white voters because he is a black president. My guess would be because of the war – that's why Bush tanked. Rob in NC

    November 30, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  44. Simonsays/Orlando

    It means that the that the swing vote that elected him to office has finally realized that he was all hype and no substance. His inexperience as a leader is showing through by his lack of action and positive results on the economy and his willingness to spend this country into a pauper's state owned by the Chinese. I think his chances of being re-elected are rapidly deminishing.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  45. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    It means that too many Americans are fickle, unrealistic, naive, disloyal, selfish, quick to judge & jump to conclusions, easily swayed, intolerant, incredibly impatient, uninformed & gullible. They have tunnel vision, memories that aren't reliable, & are ignorant of the FACTS. (Is that enough for now?) As a white woman, I can tell you that my admiration & respect for the President just keeps growing.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  46. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Isn't if funny that President Obama puts all the expendatures out infront of the American People and his poll numbers go down.

    Yet the former President hid the cost of the two wars by not including them in the Budget and repeatedly requesting Suppliments Spending for the War, that way the American People would not know the true cost of the wars.

    I give President Obama more credit for being up front with us, than with Bush who increased the size of the National Debt and took us into a War that he forced all of us to pay for instead of allowing the Oil Profits of Iraq to pay for part of it.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  47. Mary from Minnesota

    People in this country have the attention span of a flea. Did
    these "whites" think President Obama was going to fix all
    the problems that were "dumped" in his lap in a year? It took
    eight years to create those problems and it is going to take
    more than four years to "fix" them. Get a grip people "white" or otherwise.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  48. sean from VA

    And how is this any different that the 8 worthless years of republican leadership? Oh I forgot.....the difference is that the president is doing his job! Approval rating do not mean much now at this stage of the game. It really never did. And when you actually look at the job he is doing it is not bad at all considering the republicans have offered nothing to help find solutions.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  49. Brandon from MO

    I think the drop indicates that people want to see more action and less talk. If you evaluate the President's perfomance based on results, and without bias, the poll results make sense. Remember, this is the guy who delivered speeches with a greek temple theme background and created his own presidential seal during the campaign. He carried himself like he is the One, but his actions don't match his words. I could go on an on...

    November 30, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  50. Sherri-Illinois

    The HONEYMOON is over! President Obama hasn't made a impression on ANY race in my opinion. He INHERITED a economic crisis and Recession and instead of staying focused on that and making sure this country experienced a significant recovery, he stumbles right into healthcare reform and put the economy on the back burner. Now this county has over 17 MILLION people unemployed and a jobless rate in double-digits! NO JACK! He's low on the poll with ALL races because he hasn't done a thing to fix this economy and to create some kind of JOBS JOBS JOBS incentive to get people back to being employed! President Clinton INHERITED a mess and he created 22 MILLION JOBS by the end of his 2nd term!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  51. Brandon

    Means he's putting his agenda above the 2012 election. Bravo.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  52. Katja in Florida

    The old saying of you can't please everyone is what comes to mind. President Obama has been expected to fix a nation that has been screwed up for so many years that no one is really sure when it went bad. I do offer a suggestion, TERM LIMITS starting NOW!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  53. Justin Nelson

    The President campaigned first and foremost on the Iraq war issue. That is how he won the support of moderates and anti-war conservatives, and that is the one issue he has done nothing about. He has chosen instead to further entrench our military in Afghanistan and to spend all of his political capital pushing for a national health plan that the majority of Americans do not support. No one should be surprised that he is losing support because he has not made any progress on his primary campaign promise.

    Justin, New Jersey

    November 30, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  54. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    Obama has absolutely no leadership abilities or executive savvy!
    He will never truly be our President, just a thoughtful Democrat mistake!!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  55. June

    I don't know it means for everyone else but for me it means I don't agree with his policies and don't like the direction he is taking the country. Lets not see race behind every drop in poll numbers,

    November 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  56. David fm San Diego, Ca

    It shows that the honeymoon is over and the people are realizing that they have been had by the "Carpetbagger" from Chicago !!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  57. William

    Simple math, it means we gave him a chance, and he has blown it. He seems more intent upon being a TV star than a leader. Walk softly and carry a big stick, a famous man once said. Not be in our face every single day it is him or his wife. He is becoming like I love Lucy reruns. Always there. I'm white, a usual republican and I voted for him, but not again. I voted for him because I couldnt stand Hillary and what does he do? make her Secretary of State. Won't vote again for him or her.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  58. Victoria Pensacola, Florida

    Obama has shown his true color and that is green.. He like so many of the elite take care of their own. People are seeing the govt has become a welfare state for the ultra rich while leaving the middle class and poor to fend for themselves. Just like health care ...the govt will decide what health care you will receive, yet they want their own private insurance. If it is good enough for the American public then it should be good enough for the Congress.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  59. Conor in Chicago

    It's misplaced disapproval. They are mad that he hasn't gotten anything done. From my seat it's the Republicans that are holding most things up and he is getting all of the blame.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  60. vern-anaheim,ca

    jack ,of course republicans are saying lies about president obama,he is trying his best to fix the problems which are plenty and inherited from his predicessor george w. bush.these people who are critisizing the president don't realize it takes some time to fix the problems it took bush to create in 8 years

    November 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  61. LS in Rochelle, IL

    His approval ratings have nothing to do with the skin color of voters.
    People have finally come to the realization that Obama is no different than any other politician who will promise anything to get elected and deliver nothing once in office.
    We were all hoping for the "change" Obama promoted while on the campaign trail. Where is it?

    November 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  62. james in Idaho

    It means if you look for "anything" you're bound to find "something".

    The fact is, these approval ratings reflect the feelings of faltering confidence that Bush's wartime escapades and fiscal fubars aren't so bad that someone couldn't just come in and fix them with ease. I'd say that this question stems from some people's need to explain away the true difficulty of the situation this man has been put in, rather than to find a solution to a problem.

    Aside from that... after the fact that a republican administration got us into a war with an innocent country based on false data, I wouldn't put it past the now minority republican power to actively look for these polls, and then auto-call their constituents to flood them with repetative negative votes.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  63. Rory Murray

    It means nothing. The President will easily pick up that 20% when he and Queen Pelosi grant amnesty and give illegal aliens the right to vote. Not exactly the "CHANGE" that I voted for.
    The Federal Government's refusal to secure our borders while wars are being waged smacks of Treason!
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    November 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  64. James

    Come on Jack......................... there was only about 20% of whites that voted for him in the election. The rest were made up of blacks, Asians, American Indians, Jews, Latinos, etc. He didn't even get 100% of them! News flash........he didn't get 100% of any one group!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  65. Jim


    How does it happen that two separate polls asking, apparently, the same question of white Americans, and probably claiming a margin of error of 3 or 4 points, come up with results that differ by 11 points (39 versus 50)? Could it be that at least one of these polls is grossly inaccurate? Presidents are always going to be slammed by their political enemies. What matters is what they're getting slammed for – not fixing inherited problems fast enough and bowing too low to a foreign monarch, or starting two wars, trashing the economy, winking at torture, and making us a laughing stock among other nations. I'll take Obama over Bush ANY day.

    Reno, Nevada

    November 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  66. Ron from SF

    He's not only getting resistance from the Wingnuts, but he's also loosing support of White Progressives like me. The sell out on Health Care, to get a phony "bipartisanship", was the last straw. We could have had Medicare for all, but he bargained that away and now we'll get nothing but a wet kiss for the Insurance Companies. Sure they can't deny you insurance on a preexisting condition, but they can price coverage and terms, so that they achieve the same result. Worse yet, he allowed Pelosi to compromise again to please the Stupak crowd and the unseen result will be that women won't be able to get abortion coverage from PRIVATE insurance companies. What a ClusterFrak. To think that I donated my hard earned money and spent time to talk to others; to not only elect this man, but to get more Democrats in Congress. What a waste. I wanted Real Change and this is supposed to be it?

    November 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  67. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, it simply means that folks are beginning to realize that they made a mistake. They are beginning to see the socialist agenda that will drive this country ever further into debt, because every single solution Obama has proposed involves more unfunded spending. Campaign promises are hollow promises, as they were during the election, and people are seeing the results of their "historic vote for equality". Those results are bigger, more expensive government, and more give away programs for the welfare state that consists of the 10% of the country that eats up 50% of the entitlement programs in welfare.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  68. Jackie in Dallas

    It means, Jack, like all Presidents, that his approval rating goes up and down depending on the attention span of those polled. Since less than 1/1000th of 1 percent of registered voters are ever polled, it doesn't really mean much of anything else.

    The more dangerous drop in his poll numbers will be among the younger voters if he cannot justify his policy in Afghanistan. That concerns me a lot more.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  69. jerseylou

    Depends which whites you ask if its the repugs,nazi's and kkk yes you are right .But if its the ones who voted for him your polls are wrong. They know its to soon to make that judgement call right now. So you in the media should stop trying to stir up the pot. Let this president try to clean up the mess bush and company left this country in for the last eight years pretty,pretty please with sugar on top.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  70. Mode (Portland, OR)

    Jack, I count myself among the 20% of whites who no longer approve of Obama. I think the color of my skin is irrelevant to my regret in having voted for him (I should have Voted for Nader). I regret voting for him because Obama is a bold face liar. He said he would increase taxes on the rich–he didn't. He said he would set an agenda free from special interests–he hasn't. He said he would adopt a respectable foreign policy–he refuses to do so. At the end of the day, Obama is just another Ronald McDonnald President working for Berkshire Hathaway. He is serving the working class a happy meal full of garbage (bailouts & National Health Care) with empty rhetoric for a toy . He is nothing but another borrow and spend, pass the buck to Gen X, baby boomer politician. I image many other Americans feel the same as I, and I doubt we'll change our minds by 2012. I look forward to the real change I sincerely hope a Gen X President will bring.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  71. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Without knowing why they supported Obama in the first place, and why they have stopped, it really doesn't mean much.
    I SUPPOSE that some of them were "racists" who were just unable to overcome their fears, and some were probably Republicans who just couldn't consider the idea of Sarah Palin being a stuttering heartbeat away from the Oval Office. There are LOTS of reasons why support appears to be dropping. Ask this as a go along – "Would you rather have GWB back?
    My point is, WHY is as important as what, in this case.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  72. Thom Richer

    What the hell did you expect? He's "black!" It was just a matter of short time before white American's bias surfaced for real. It isn't what he has done or not done. It is pure and simply because of his race. However, this puzzles me each and every time I hear him referred to as "black." Isn't he half black? I assume his other half is white? So why isn't he referred to a "white?" At least "half" of the time, Jack.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  73. Susan Frost

    It never ceases to amaze me that people who voted for a dunce like Dubya not once but TWICE and sat idly by while he ruined this country can't cut the poor guy who's trying to fix it a little slack! So, Obama's not perfect...would they rather have that senile old goat McCain and the moosekilling broodmare from Alaska in charge? No rational person could possibly think so, but who said Americans – whites in particular (and I am one) – were rational?

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    November 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  74. Sue

    The bumper sticker is coming off. The points made are exactly how we feel and to blame the Republicans and FOX news just makes him look weak. It is the independents who put him in the white house and this isn't the change we voted for.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  75. Ed Lexington, KY


    Get real - it doesn't mean anything! All presidents drop after they are in office for a few months. Enough said.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  76. Dan, Chantilly VA

    Basically, he needs to get something done. He stepped in and tried to take on every major problem at once and hasn't finished with any of them. The closest he's come is with Iraq and that's still a mess. He needs to pick one thing and finish it then move on to the next.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  77. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack I think the 20% drop in the white vote has largely to do with unemployment, health Care and the Afghanistan war. When we see improvement in these areas that 20% should decline. I am a white male still in his corner and willing to give him more time, The only problem I have with the president that could cause me joining the 20% is sending more troops to Afghanistan. I sees the Afghanistan war as another Vietnam war and the need to pull our troops out and fight Al Qaida more wisely. I don't see anyone on the republican side to fit that criteria for me to support at this time.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  78. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    It means that too many Americans are fickle, unrealistic, naive, disloyal, selfish, quick to judge & jump to conclusions, easily swayed, intolerant, INCREDIBLY impatient, uninformed & gullible. They are ignorant of the FACTS. (Enough for now?) As a white woman, I can tell you that my admiration & respect for the President just keeps growing. When we caucused for him in January of 2008, I thought that I couldn't be more impressed with him than I was at that moment; however, with each of his acheivements, comments, & speeches, my opinion of President Obama becomes still higher. Because I paid attention during his campaign, I know he told us that the MORASS, (known as our economy), would take a long time to straighten out, possibly years. [Bush made such a hash of things,with more of his mistakes coming to light daily,that] no one can predict how long it will take, & that, meanwhile, every 1 of us would have to make sacrifices. Like SO many others, I agreed with him, so I voted for him; he told the truth.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  79. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    It means that there are a lot of unhappy, unemployed people who were counting on him solve all of our problems. I know it will take a long time to clean up all the messes made by the Bush/Cheney administration, but he had better focus on JOBS like a laser beam. No matter what else he accomplishes, if people don't have jobs, they will not support him! It's the economy stupid!! (not you, Jack).

    November 30, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  80. Jay in Texas

    I would say that the main reason President Obama's popularity is dropping among many Americans is breaking his promises to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, he has lengthened our stay in Iraq and increased the number of troops and funding for the war in Afghanistan. We are sick and tired of seeing our young people die or be injured for life needlessly in unwinnable and illegal wars. This Administration, just like the previous one, has done a good job of keeping the death tolls and the wounded totals off of the daily news but we know what is happening. End these wars and end them now !
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 30, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  81. Mike from Indiana

    Maybe we should go have a beer at the Whitehouse and discuss it.
    The press put him there but his performance dictates his approval rating.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  82. David in Raleigh, NC

    Obama's image that was created and propagated by his handlers is quickly dissolving. People are now seeing him for who he truly is.

    As they say, "the emperor wears no clothes".

    November 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  83. Loren, Chicago

    The drop means that his own party will be quick to abandon him come midterns unless he can show real progress on delivering on his campaign promises, and that abandonment could happen even sooner if there isn't progress on the economy. President Obama will be Jimmy Carter redux, unless he starts showing that he is a real leader and not merely a gifted campaigner.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  84. Nelson Lagos

    A drop in approval rating of 20% among whites for president Obama signals a certain 'fed-upness' among a core voting group.Pop culture and expectations of a quick fix for every national challenge means american voters are fickle and easily swayed by the republican spin machine.President Obama needs to re-connect with this group or kiss his re-election prospects goodbye.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  85. Maria

    A drop in approval ratings among whites should not worry the President, but I'm sure he's accutely aware of it. I think the drop is mostly due to lack of patience among constiuents. Everyone thinks every single promise should be kept on the day the Prez. takes office, or at least within 6 months. We are a culture of instant gratification and have lost our perspective of what it takes to run this country.

    Pelosi isn't granted power by the Prez, the House does. He may listen to her advice too much, who knows? He does not seem apologetic in his trips overseas. It takes great courage and humility to admit this country's past actions which were not well-intended. It's time we all grew up and studied our own history in the 20th C.In our name, the government terrorized countries, decided who to take out of power by any means necessary and who to prop up with infusions of cash we need here. We ran concentration camps during WWII, taking everything the prisoners ever had, including all possesions,land, homes etc. We deliberately tried to exterminate the native peoples of our own country. We let Dick Cheney act as President w/Bush as his puppet, ad nauseum.

    Develop some patience and Obama will be fine.


    November 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  86. Chris in Philadelphia

    Simple. Many are having buyers remorse.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  87. tj Tampa

    Black people have to work twice as hard as whites and show instant microwave results or get fired everday. So it is no suprise at all. Bush was given eight years to screw up this country after Bill Clinton handed it to him on a silver platter. Obama got eight months to fix almost a decade of Republican mismanagement. However, reality will kick in when the economy turns around and people will see how hard he has really worked.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  88. ken nj

    It means he is just like bush . The white independents didn't vote for him because of his race. We expected him to be a change. Since he turned out to be more of the same he has lost my support.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  89. Don in Grand Rapids , MI

    It means that those real Americans are waking up to their MISTAKE! Those working Americans want to keep what they have worked for and will resist giving it up to those who won't work! We believe in a strong America not a weak America. We love our counrty Obama has shown his true colors, No pun in tended!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  90. Mike from Denver

    People like politicians they think are doing something for them, and honestly, what has Obama done lately?

    November 30, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  91. Scott Stodden

    Absolutly nothing Jack, Iam white and I voted for President Obama and if the election was held today I would vote to re-elect him. President Obama in my opinion has come under way to much public scrutiny and its not right to blame him for any of the problems our country is facing he's only trying to do what's right for the well being of our country. Sure as an Obama supporter let's keep it real he has spent way to much money but in order to jolt the economy that's what's needed in my opinion and as far as the Chicago brass-knuckled politicans I feel like we couldn't have a better administration than the Obama administration. Also Nacy Pelosi is the diva of the House and deserves as much power as she can get and President Obama should think highly of himself with everything he's done.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    November 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  92. Linda in Arizona

    I think it means that people like me who supported him, sent him money, and voted for him are appalled at what he's turning out to be, which is all of the above, and then some. He has pretty much lost the left, and even the centrists are getting a clue. If he doesn't shape up (and really, with rahm running the show, how can he?), he will get primaried, and will be a one-term president. I'm thinking that he's the republican Manchurian Candidate, a place-holder president who will turn the nation back to the republicans in 2012. I can only hope and pray it doesn't lead to a palin presidency, which would be the end of the US for good.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  93. Rich

    I don't what it means , but I do expect that a lot of blacks will cry it is due to racism, ignoring the fact that the overwhelming support of blacks for Obama is itself based on racism more than anything else.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  94. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    It means that President Obama is far more popular with white American than Martin Luther King, Jr ever was during his life.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  95. Sue From Idaho

    The same thing it meant when whites were disapproving of Bush. Why do the numbers of people in the popularity pole have to have a skin color?

    November 30, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  96. Eimerd CA

    Most of the time race-baiting will work in the short term.
    That is what the right wing extremist have been up to now
    for months on end. So I am not surprised, just disgusted
    with the effect of the disastrous right wing propaganda, not
    just what it does to Obamas popularity, but to the image of
    our country in the rest of the world. Not that the right wing cares;
    for them the rest of the world is just for us to exploit or conquer.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  97. ed in ri

    Simple Jack; "The beginning of the end." Even though it's only his beginning. The good news for Obama is that the american public might never vote again in a presidential election; no thanks to Bushs' executive orders and Congressional Laws against humanity.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  98. Ronald Holst

    Jack this goes back to the feeling that people of this nation feel they are entitled to every thing now instead of having to wait or budget that is part of what this nation has become and what has brought this nation to the economic situation we are in now . When will we as a nation Learn ?
    Ron San Antonio. TX.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  99. Tony from Southport

    A racist question. Why not. I'll tell you why not..... this man is president of all Americans, not just African Americans or "blacks".... I mean if you ask a "white" question, then expect a "black" answer.

    Did you ask why George W. Bush's approval ratings dropped among blacks? I don't think so.

    Jack, his popularity or approval is dropping because he is not doing a good job. In fact, he's failing at everything he promised and if we had hired him in any other profession, he probably would have been fired by now.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  100. steve - Waterloo, Iowa

    A lot of people hurting and/or scared right now. The fear mongers keep up with their lies and unfortunately, some people are buying into it. If the economy becomes stable and unemployment improves, he'll get back to his 61% approval rating if not higher.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  101. Andrew, Amherst NY

    To me it means people (no matter what race) are starting to wake up. To the left however, it means those 20% of white are racists!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  102. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    White people are miffed about a black man running "their" country. When the black man does well, the white man can't stand it. It's a tradition that went on for 400 years. And sadly, those ways of doing things are still there today. You can't make everyone happy, you just have to know i your heart, i did the best I could and if people don't like it, screw them and keep it moving.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  103. Dan

    People retreat to their comfort zone in time of trial, so when people talk about a changing America, I see factors that force people to act different and not change. It's not a great surprise. Even if the economic changed as it is in progress though slow and his efforts have contributed to it, a second term would be a miracle to me than is first term. I saw that coming though people doubted it. So Jack lets see what 2012 brings, may I will be wrong or may be alive to say oh well. . . .

    November 30, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  104. david doherty

    It means he's a one term president Jack! When you promise too turn the country around and commit to change, and are unable to deliver on any of your campaign promises, which is why he got elected in the first place, then even the forgiving American people are fed-up and are saying enough's enough
    Dave from NH.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  105. frankie

    It proves that President Obama is making waves, as he slogs through the mess in Washington.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  106. SANDRA

    i really don't respect these polls there are 300 million people in america more or less so because you poll 1500 to 2000 that is suppose to speak for all of those people on any given question. no not buying it white, black ,young or old doesn't matter the only thing you can do is wait until 2012 when the next election come. this is a stupid question he was elected for 4 years he will finish the first on jan 20, of next year people will say anything so who cares about these polls right now he is working very hard and has been from the time he became president i am 57 years old hey i never heard these stupid questions when bush and cheney were running the country into the ground is there a double standard or is there racism going on here.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  107. Mark

    I seriously don't think as many African American voters will will showing up in 2012 either.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  108. Terry from Illinois

    Voters put him in office to "CHANGE" America's course. As of today, America is still in the wars, still watching jobs leave America as unemployment / foreclosures are increasing, so where is the "CHANGE"?
    The perception is, he has done nothing to help Americans even though he has challenged the CEO's ridiculous wages and bonuses for companies who are outsourcing working Americans jobs and getting bailout money , but the CEO's are still getting ridiculous wage/bonuses as of today.
    Perception is Obama is doing nothing but spending money and waiting for healthcare...
    CHANGE trade agreements to get jobs back in America.
    CHANGE and remove the tax breaks for companies who send jobs out of America.
    CHANGE taxation for imports from other countries so working Americans can compete with the $1 a day labor in China, India and others who send toxic drywall and lead painted toys into America.
    CHANGE the American soldiers and have them guard American borders instead of foreign soil.
    That would get Obama back to 50%

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  109. Rik

    What does a drop in approval rating of 20-percent among whites mean for President Obama?

    I think it means disappointment. Its not a matter of race, because many whites voted for him. The change they voted for, is not the change they are receiving.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  110. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    The American people have a short attention span. They want jobs but continue to buy products made in China to save a few dollars.They want victories in our two wars but wait till they get the bill. They want cheap gas but at what cost to our environment? Time they grow up.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  111. joe m

    it means the honeymoon is over. with the continuing drop in his approval numbers this president will not be able to get away with simply delivering great speeches. unless the president starts to deliver 'real change that people can believe in' then he can expect that those numbers will continue to drop and more groups will join the ranks of those not happy with him. we'll all know that things have really hit the fan when people like oberman and maddow start to take potshots at the president. remember the old saying talk is cheap? some people may be thinking that all this president's talk is not so cheap after all.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  112. tommy perkins

    look at the difference of the polls 11% hmmm. You tell me if either means anything. How can 50% and 39% of whites approve of him. I guess it all depends on who you ask. But CNN please stop it. Don't become a FOX news we need Obama to finish fixing this mess. Were almost there now.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  113. Max of Sarasota

    Popularity is in a constant state of change. I think Obama has been pretty consistent since he was voted in as president. What will give Obama a high approval rating is being true to the american people, like giving the people the public option form of healthcare. If 20% of white voters want to side against Obama for now they can choose to follow dim-wits like Palin and Limbaugh.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  114. MARK PRIBBLE Anna Illinois

    Not a whole lot. It took us many years to screw up this country, whites and blacks. It will take time to fix. I think we have the right man for the job & as a white man i don't care about the color of his skin, i care about this country and fixing our problems.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  115. Jay Hawkins

    The Presidents poll numbers are going to drop, as would any President dealing with the the unmanaged mess of the Bush Administration.
    Just because the American public shows no patients for long term goal setting, we should be thankfull that a President of this caliber is in charge.
    Iam a white male in Colorado and very proud of our President. We live in a society that has short term focus for ongoing long term problems. Our Republican Government has been trying to create there own realities for ever and tell the public what they want.

    The "uncovering" by the media with carefull and qualified "FACTS" will bear good fruits for both political parties.

    Denver, Colorado

    November 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  116. Rita, LA Independent

    I am neither Democrat or Republican. Neither am I a racist. There are a lot of black people I would love to see run for public office and I would vote for them. I am afraid Obama is ruining that chance for a lot of other blacks. He is one of the most inexperienced, incompetent,self centered and arrogent Presidents in all the Presidents, ( even more so than Nixon). than I can remember, beginning with Nixon. I sure wouldn't vote for him for a second term.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  117. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    What that means, is that results have been less than stellar, for President Obama, and people are not seeing positive results in the things that matter to them, like jobs, and income.

    At the same time, people are concerned about the stability of the country, given the massive debt the US has undertaken, to see such pathetic results.

    When it comes down to it, rhetoric isn't enough, and being a "celebrity" isn't enough. There needs to be concrete results.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  118. Jan Collins

    President Obama decided to keep the one campaign promise I'd hoped he'd break.....this insanity in Afghanistan. Unless the President starts making good on his promises and puts an end to the continuation of many of the unpopular Bush policies he's kept in place, he can move back to Chicago on 3 years. His administrations' decision to join China and Myanmar in not signing the treaty to ban landmines was the final straw for me.

    Etna Green, In

    November 30, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  119. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    I guess I would be one of those folks who's added to his approval drop, the fact that I'm white means nothing. We were promised a new type of leadership, a new transparent Washington from someone intelligent enough to see through the partisan lines and willing to get the job done. If he wants my support back, he needs to live up to the hype he himself promised. The fact that he has done nothing but fit into the exact big-spending liberal mold he was played out to be during his presidential campaign says more about him than the color of my skin.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  120. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    That he is rapidly losing his support among those independents and progressives that elected him!

    Obama has not shown any backbone with the GOP. After trying to woo them his first two weeks in office, the GOP gave him a kick in the pants and not one voted for his stimulus bill. He should have bit the bullet, put the idea of working with both parties aside, and pushed his agenda, via reconciliation, through the Senate. Now with true healthcare reform being held hostage by the GOP, Obama is looking impotent.

    If he can regain lost ground and pass his agenda, maybe he can reclaim these people, who are feeling once again left behind by a Democrat with no true strength to stand up for the people who elected him and against the GOP who are trying to destroy him.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  121. Paul

    what it means is that people are finally realizing that he is just another politician and one with very little real experience before he got elected. What amazes me is how many people I know that voted for him have said they though Bush was better

    November 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  122. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    It may mean that those who are questioning the President's leadership remember the promises to end the wars. Sending more troops is the Republican way so folks are a bit confused. The voters who approved President Obama were expecting him to come out swinging instead continuing wars that cannot be won, seeking bi-partisan support where none exists, stopping the Wall Street excesses instead of hiring the criminals, and getting Democrats to stop shooting themselves in the foot again. We voted for steel and got oatmeal.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  123. Max, Sarasota FL

    Popularity is in a constant state of change. I think Obama has been pretty consistent since he was voted in as president. What will give Obama a high approval rating is being true to the American people, like giving citizens the public option form of healthcare. If 20% of white voters want to side against Obama they can watch the philosophers of stupidity on Fox News and support dim-wits like Palin and Limbaugh.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  124. Mandy. Lorton, VA

    So the President's approval rating has dropped among whites. Every President suffers drops in approval ratings but let us not forget President Bush's approval rating among African Americans dropped to a stunning 2% in 2005. That's a newsworthy drop in support but that did not seem to facilitate any substantial policy changes. I'm hoping the drop in support is due to policy dissatisfaction and nothing else. I would hate to think that an African American President has to be more concerned with white America than a white President for any other reason.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  125. lou

    It means Americans don't understand how government works and has very unrealistic expectations of this president. The president can't turn an economy this big around on a dime. He can't pass an executive order granting everyone health care and banning any failing company from laying off American workers. In this instant gratification society we live in, trying to produce long term results on a grand scheme, don't poll well.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  126. Joan: Burlington, Vt

    Probably nothing. He hasn't been president long enough for a clear and fair assesment. We are a fickle people - tomorrow his rating may be up 40% among whites and everybody else.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  127. Dave, Frigid Buffalo

    Oh, don't be fooled, Jack.

    These are the same 20% of whites who didn't vote for him the first time.

    The same 20% of whites who think Sara Palin is qualified to be President.

    The same 20% of whites who don't think he is a US citizen.

    The same 20% of whites who belong to the teabaggers(loudmouth)

    The same 20% of whites who claim that they are the majority of
    Americans who don't want health care.

    They are the majority(legends) in their own mind.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  128. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Jack those are the good old Evangelical Republicans who think Palin should be President, of what I don't know,maybe her moose hunting club.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  129. Esther in Texas

    There are more white voters than any other, I don't see how a poll like this makes any difference when the population of voters is predominately white on the whole. Since everyone's vote counts, polls should include every race and stop slanting polls one direction or the other.

    If you were President which problems or issues would you focus on and which would you let slide until another day? I doubt that any other President has had as many problems to solve as President Obama. After getting a handle on the real messes awaiting him in the White House, I'm sure when he said it will take awhile to straighten them out, he meant it.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  130. dennis from penndel,pa

    simply put.... one term president.
    America is seeing why senators don't make good presidents.They lack the experience in governing. He is in over his head, and at the end we will see that he is/will be one of the worst presidents we have ever had.As a white american i wake up everyday sad and dissapointed because i know i am not going to be better that night then the night before.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  131. Ron Spees Jr

    People out here are really hurting, With job loss compared to a run away train with no brakes to stop it, There getting scared about losing everything they all have worked for! My wife is laid off sense june, thanks to (chase) bank! So with no jobs out there! As white american's , we are going to blame our leadership! The bail-out money should have bailed american's out from the bank's greed for inflating appraisals , credit card interest, and handing credit out like a leaflet for a free show! they created this mess! So why did they bail out the banks and other financial institutions . I don't care what color President Obama is! We need help to survive in the real world! Hell, If had green skin wouldn't bother me!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  132. tommy perkins

    and since when did 70% of whites approve of obama that's horseraddish

    November 30, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  133. Jim in Alabama

    I think many whites are somewhat disillusioned by the President and the pace that he's moved on key issues like Iraq, Afghanistan, and health care reform. Personally, I don't feel that he's been tough enough on these issues and certainly hasn't moved with a sense of urgency. The same could be said with banking reform and help for homeowners. I do understand that unemployment is a problem, but it's usually the last thing to turn around in a downturn such as the one we are having.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  134. phillip Marlowe

    He should have accomplished some win win issues for all sides to start off, education, school lunch improvement, etc, instead he went for the kill which is not popular. Focusing on ending the war should have been the big prize. Instead, his presidency will become another Shakespearean tragedy–or comedy, "Much Ado ABout Nothing."

    November 30, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  135. Adam Sawyer

    I think the question is worded wrong jack. You also have to rememeber the president's overall approval also fell from 60% to 49-50% as well. Things are not good for people now, and that includes white people too. And right now he holds the office of the president, so understandably, her is a central figure to be upset and angry with. Watch, his approval will be be back up if he can deliver meaningful reforms so people can get hired again, so people have access to healthcare, and after he wins by force or withdrawal in Afghanistan. If he can't deilver on his promises, he's not only going to be in trouble with "just whites," he'll be in trouble with blacks, latin-americans, asian-americans, etc.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  136. Annie, Atlanta

    We’re sick of funding Wall Street as well as wars and their profiteers, while our jobs ship overseas, fueled by greed. Corporate America calls the shots. The LGBT community is still “enjoying” second-class status. Catholic Bishops and the extreme right wing dictate policy. It's just Bush II revisited. Speaking of Bush, we’re sick of war criminals allowed to walk free in the name of looking forward. Forward to what; crime pays well? “Change you can believe in,” my butt, Mr. President, respectfully.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  137. gerry luimes

    A loss of rated "approval" could mean a loss of confidence in this president.A loss of confidence could be translated in a possble loss of the presidency in 2012. This loss could result in an eventual inauguration of yet a more incompetent presidential character.
    Ironically Obama has thus far proven to be the most astute leader the Devided States of America has had in many years.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  138. Ed from the Four Corners

    These folks need to get over themselves. President Obama is doing the best he can under the horrible circumstances under which he came into office. Let him do his job with out all the backbiting rhetoric of which we already have too much form both camps. If he fails, we can elect a new president in 2012. People are too spoiled and want instant gratification and a quick fix for everything. Too bad. Some things like a major economic catastrophe which we were facing a year ago take time.... a little longer than a microwave burrito.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  139. keith in ky

    It means there are 20% fewer people drinking the kool-aid the media was pushing that this man has any clue as to what he is doing, or else it's Bush's fault, that seems to be the standard answer from the left, or maybe it's the global warming scientist made up data, ha ha ha!!!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  140. Glen

    Meet the new boss... just like the old boss~

    I voted for Obama, but now...? ~ I'm not so sure.

    West Palm Beach

    November 30, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  141. Reid

    It means most Americans realize Obama is not equipped to be president.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  142. Curt Snitker

    In a word......... DISASTER ........

    November 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  143. Dan in Capitola CA

    Why? Because he hasn't solved the 250 crises left by Bush? We have become such an ADD instant gratification culture that NO president can keep his poll numbers high indefinitely.
    If you want pat, easy, answers to the nation's problems with no thought or follow-through, then vote GOP next time.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  144. Abid Amiri

    Jack, It means that Whites have lost faith on Obama. That is it!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  145. Shanna

    And, what makes you think President Obama had a great deal of actual support from White Americans anyway? It is amazing that Mr. Obama has not been cut ANY slack although he has not yet been in office for one year and he has had to clean up the mess of the previous joke for a President this country had.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  146. brent in japan

    It means there is more to being President
    NOT being George Bush.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  147. Jon (San Diego)

    It means he is just another politician

    November 30, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  148. Danny from Grundy, VA

    Simply put, it means that as long as the GOP doesn't nominate Sarah Palin in 2012, no re-election of President Obama.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  149. Gaymon Wright

    It says nothing about Obama. Obama has not radically changed. It is telling of Americans. Those 20% are sheep who obviously didn't understand the man in the first place. Scary these people are allowed to vote in the first place.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  150. Dave Shishim


    It means nothing.

    Who else are thoughtful, intelligent people regardless of their race going to vote for? Sarah Palin? I don't think so.


    November 30, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  151. Greg

    This country will always have racial issues no matter how "evolved" we think we are. I would imagine that the number of whites that have gone away from Obama are middle aged or elderly. The younger generations will always have Obama's back. Good Job Obama, Keeping fighting the good fight!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  152. Sue from Chicago

    We are an impatient lot. We want President Obama to wave his wand and make all the problems go away. This man has had more fires to put out, more problems to fix and more friendship to renew. I am not saying that I am not a bit peeved at some of the stuff he has done. I am, but I am also saying that I am still reserving judgement. It hasn't even been a year that he's been in office yet the problems he has inherited have taken years if not decades to bloom into where we are now.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  153. Alberto Z

    Thank goodness whites are "swiftly" becoming the minority. Isn't the definition of Republicans = old angry white dudes? Thus, disapproval of whites = disapproval of (most) republicans? Get a grip and let the President do his job!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  154. M Curtsinger

    Jack, your question plays into emotional politics. The rational question would be to compare percentage point drops for other newly branded presidents who inherited significant wars and other catastrophies over the same time frame.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  155. Brian Allen

    It means that President Obama is being slowly being exposed for the unqualified President that he is...

    November 30, 2009 at 7:14 pm |

    You know what Jack, you say it better be what the American people wants to here. Well, he is damned regardless of whatever he says or does. I hope he makes the best decision he can possibly make for the American people and put his mind to being a one-term president and pass this mess of a World to whoever wants to run it.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  157. Glen

    It means he is still the president

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  158. Troy Kendal

    Patience white people...change takes time.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  159. Reggie

    I guess it means that those "whites" are prejudice.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  160. marcel Serraillier

    It means he is not doing what we hope and he said he was going to do.
    How is it going to get the Nobel Peace Prize and send more troops to intensify the war in Afghanistan! What does he wants ? War or Peace? War to get the Peace?
    Inconsistency is the end for American presidents!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  161. Eddie

    I'm not surprised Obama had one foot in the door with most whites anyway..... this dosen't surprise me

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  162. Mariel Larke

    It means he will be a one term president! He is a likable but ineffective president.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  163. Ken in NC

    Some say he is losing his appeal to some whites. In reality it appears he is losing it with Whites, Blacks, Blues, Greens and every other color in the rainbow.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  164. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    IT'S ALL RUBBISH! How on earth does Politico come up with such drivel, (sounds like FOX to me., or the "National Enquirer"), & why does anyone take their bait? Have any polls ever been accurate? Isn't there anything imortant to discuss? (Like the MORE THAN 140 BILLS the President has sponsored during these first 10 months in office, not to mention almost 700 which he cosponsored, & about 300 amendments to other bills which he has cosponsored so far.) Wouldn't it be much more productive, & better for our Country, our happiness & mental health, if we ignore every bit of the negative, inconsequential rubbish, & dwell instead on the FACTS of what has been accomplished so far? Shouldn't we be congratulating ourselves 24/7 for OUR accomplishment? Shouldn't we be constantly patting ourselves on the back, for electing this singular, PHENOMENAL man? Points to ponder . . .

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  165. Louann from NY


    To me it means that people expect our problems to go away overnight, immediate gratification, that is what our society bases success on. President Obama cannot perform magic, these issues facing us are going to take time...little by little...there is no panacea. Our society has lost track of success in baby steps, we are an "we want it all now" society. It is not President Obama's fault, but laying blame is easier than waiting patiently for things to turn around.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  166. scottmotown

    It means that we expected comprehensive, far reaching, single payer healthcare plan on par with our standing as the only superpower (for now) on the planet. It means that he is demonstrating a willingness to cave on the things that he believes in and that speaks to character. It's less than a year and here I am, a supporter, that finds myself disappointed already.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  167. Larry

    Only the incredibly stupid could have believed that any President could have resolved the huge, long-term problems that the Obama administration inherited less than a year after taking office. Unfortunately, neither the white portion of the US electorate nor any other portion of it is terribly bright., and, because of that, their expectations are unreasonable.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  168. Steve

    This 20% drop among whites shows the skeptical white middle – lower working class has seen their economic position deteriorate and White House solutions that have very little meaning to them.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  169. Amarissa

    Maybe it's because whites are tired of being called "racists" everytime they say something negative about this President. It seems everytime you disagree with Obama you are called or labeled a racist. Enough with this already! He was put in the White House by all, white and black otherwise he would still be living in Chicago!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  170. diane from Canada

    Pres Obama wasn't the one who ran up credit cards, borrowed against the false equity in his house to continue the drunken orgy of spending going on in the US for the past 8 years. On the eve of his presidency, the whole thing collapsed like a house of cards and the medicine to cure this near fatal disease doesn't taste very good but don't blame the President–look in the mirror

    November 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  171. Joseph

    It's interesting that the media are reporting a big drop in Pres. Obama's approval rating among whites. How about his approval rating among blacks? Just curious.

    Joe in Delray Beach, FL

    November 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  172. Assane

    Well i think i ought to be worry and listen the the dropped or he will find himself in Illinois come 2012. I think he comes accross a bit arrogant ,20 point in a year? what would it be in a year or 2 or 3 well one will see at due time
    Assane,London UK

    November 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  173. Robert D Reid

    The drop in the President's popularity is frightening evidence once again of how easily swayed and gullible much of the American public is to corrupt Karl Rove type poltics. Apart from the do-nothing Republicans there are huge special interests spending hundreds of millions to undermine his efforts to bring the USA into the 21st century

    November 30, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  174. Ron

    Jack it means he better get forceful on Health Insurance Reform, Cap and Trade, Afghanistan etc.
    N.Y.C., N.Y.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  175. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    To Obama Jack, It won't mean a thing. When he finish his term as President, he's going to get his Pension regardless of what 20% of white america thinks of him.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  176. Randy Tennyson Indiana

    The 20% drop means he is heading in the wrong direction.

    The drop will continue if he pushes a war tax.

    I am white and voted for him, and I can correct my mistake
    next election.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  177. Kyle, Detroit

    If Obama is truly the new brand of politician he claims to be, the only repercussions of his approval ratings will be in the polls in 2010 and 2012. He needs to stay focused on doing what's best for the country instead of focusing on the Democrats holding power. Is the role of the president to listen to the citizens, to do what the white house sees best, or to get re-elected?

    November 30, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  178. Ken in NC

    In short what it all amounts to is that Republicans have managed to bogg down this administration to the point that it can't get anything done and now Republicans posing as undercover Democrats are helping.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  179. Linda

    from Estero, Florida
    A drop in the approval rating means squat.
    That man, our President, cannot do anything right, according to the press. We still need to give him a chance. C'mon people, support our President.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  180. Greg Sutherland

    First off: Fox News is an oxymoron, and nothing more than a sounding board for the Republican Party. Ask your self just how you would like to be making the decisions on Iraq and Afghanistan and go public with your descision. Ask Wolf and the rest of the crew and let's have the descisions on the show.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  181. Lisa, Glen Rose Texas

    It means this Jack, he's been President for a year. As I've said to my Conservative Republican brother, President Obama could solve the economic crisis, pass first rate health care, solve global warming, end world hunger, cure cancer, bring world peace, and they would say shame on him, he's acting too much like God. There is no lack of criticism for him, ever.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  182. Sage Maxwell

    If the shift in thinking is in fact from the same who voted earlier in the polls, I may show a lack of understanding. That is understanding of the great task before the president. Patience is still a virtue.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  183. carmen

    Let's face it, the President will never meet up to those who have been against him from day one. There are those out here who have faith in him and will support him throughout his presidency. Those who have been against him would rather see a certain woman in his position and which says it all.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  184. Don Krouse Morongo Valley, ca

    President Obama has lost our support because he delivered a very clear vision of the future and he has spent all his political capital trying to be a nice guy. The great Presidents in history said what they wanted a pursued it whether they had support of the opposite party or not. No one knows what this President stands for anymore and for those of us who put so much hope in what seemed a clear message we have received nothing but a big waffle.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  185. StevenQa

    Well, it means that fox news was successful in manipulating people's minds. Pres Obama has to apologize for what the US has been doing. The war in Iraq, Vietnam, Slavery, Slaughtering Native Americans, creating Al-Qaeda, etc. The reason his approval ratings are dropping, so has it been for every president in history, is because Americans are impatient. They think fixing the Economy takes a month or so.
    I think Obama's problem is that he is trying to appeal for republicans, which he shouldn't. They are as stubborn as a mule and will go to Hell if Obama wanted to go to Heaven.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  186. Jon Youngblood - Portland, OR

    Jack, I don't believe the American public in general is that fickle. What I can envision is that some very clever and determined individuals have found a way to skew the polls. Look, if hackers can get into the Pentagon, they can get into Gallop and CNN computers. This is why electronic voting is a bad idea. Done right, no one would ever, or could ever, know the truth.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  187. zim

    No second term.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  188. George Richard Wheeldon

    Jack, I'm sorry to say but this nation is still as prejudiced as it was in 1953 when I attended a local high school and three black students had to be bussed 50 miles to another city. We keep thinking and saying that things are less racial, but as we can all see, if we open our eyes, almost everything done and said against the President in a negative sense is from the "far right" (mostly white) or just hate mongers who should respect this President as well as it did the last President who drove this country into the ground!!!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  189. Chas

    This is ridiculous and where are these approval ratings coming from. The President is half caucasian anyway please get over this racial divide. The media is evil man!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  190. Anthony Ravenell

    Mr. Cafferty,

    A 20 point drop to the President's approval ratings from Whites mean that if the election was held today, a Republican like Palin would probably be President. I don't think that our nation wants real change or to face the truth about matters. The scrutiny that the President faces is due to the last 8 years of incompetent leadership that is now coming to haunt the country. Look at the state of our nation, look at our economy of trying to fight two wars when the real war was in Afghanistan. Look at all the lives and resources spent?

    November 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  191. Chris from Philly

    It means that this country, and for that matter the media, are too fixated on looking to poll results as a means of measuring job performance. The only polls that matter are the ones that are open on Election Day where the public gets to decide if we should keep our political leaders in office. Otherwise, these polls are the media equivalent of "tweets" – too much useless information to analyze that tells us very little.

    Why the opinions of white people – a group that I happen to be a member of – matter more than anyone else's opinions is beyond me.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  192. Luci - Pekin, IL.

    Uh, where did they get these poll numbers? Sounds like some numbers that Limbaugh and Fox news thought up. I am white and would for sure vote for him again.
    He is trying to get things fixed that the former Prez. left him. It would help if the Repubs would lend a hand instead of being against all of the American programs. They are unpatriotic according to Bush and Cheney, either for or against him, they said.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  193. Assane,London UK

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Well i think i ought to be worry and listen the the dropped or he will find himself in Illinois come 2012. I think he comes accross a bit arrogant ,20 point in a year? what would it be in a year or 2 or 3 well one will see at due time
    Assane,London UK

    November 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  194. Lynn

    I don't believe the drop in ratings should overly concern Pres. Obama. No one ever calls me for my opinion, but while I have your attention, I think he's doing just fine. Americans want instant gratification and don't seem to grasp the concept that certain issues take time. They should be more concerned about the Republicans who seem Hell-bent on defeating him on every turn, regardless of the issue. My only thought is that he should become tougher and demand that the Kids play nice!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  195. Lucius B

    White America does not understand struggle thru the eyes of most or all African americans. We inheritally understand change takes time. Not long ago we could barely go to the polls and vote. We know the importance and virtues of being patient

    November 30, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  196. Mary M in Nashville

    Dear Jack,
    I am curious why we should only be concerned about Obama's approval among White Americans. Do the opinions of non-Whites matter?

    a white woman who supports Obama

    November 30, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  197. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I donated to his campaign and voted for him, the most exciting candidate for President in a generation, but to-date I have found him to be underly exciting as the actual President. He is clearly exceptionally bright, but has been very naive when it comes to running an orginization . Turning the implementation of his "change" agenda over to Clinton insiders and Pelosi and Reid has been a disaster. My wish for President Obama is to regain immediate control of the country.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  198. Janvier

    Barack Obama came in to clean the mess left by some white men for the goodness of people of all races!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  199. Bob Purvis

    Jack,President Obama needs to tell the American people what they NEED TO HEAR not what they want to hear just to boost poll numbers.
    The people need to know the serious situation this country is in.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  200. pompori. oslo, norway.

    Jack, Obama is loseing it, he needs to show leadership as a president.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  201. Rob

    who cares!!! people are going to vote on this administration's performance in 2010 when many dems will be thrown out of office as the liberals destroy our country bush may have run up the deficit but nothing on the scale that the liberals want to take us tax and spend is back BIG TIME generations of families will be destroyed jobs will be destroyed thank god repubilicans are going to kick the liberal idiots out next year, get majority or filibuster proof senate and put a stop to it BTW i am so sick of you liberals talking about bush man up!!!! your guy won quit whining u voted him in its his job if he doesnt like it he can quit!!!!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  202. Antonio-elizabeth,NJ

    Mr. Obama is doing a great job, when compared to 90% of all previous Presidents. Those who can not see that, I do not think can add or subtract yet, and they should go back to elementary school.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  203. Austin from Delaware,OH


    The answer to your question is in the same poll you cite. Approval from Republicans has dropped twenty-four points compared to just six points from Democrats. Thus, the majority of white disapproval is coming from Republicans. No brows raised here.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  204. jimmy the white boy

    I would not vote for him even if he was white, its his policys not his black skin, i know he would never be were he is if he was white. Point blank.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  205. ralph crutcher

    is in office because bush fouled us up inthis 8 year war/police action

    i understood him to say he would extract us NOT continue what is now an occupation / police action

    the SECOND WORLD WAR ONLY TOOK HALF THIS TIME and we did put our form of gov.in place

    November 30, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  206. Angel, Florida

    As an Active Duty Service Member and an African American female I'm more concerned with his drop in approval ratings among blacks. Remember we came out in droves to get him elected and he is not keeping the promises that he made to us. Not just to Whites or Blacks, but to all of us.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  207. David E. Coatney

    Dear Mr. Cafferty,

    I have never commented on this blog before, but wanted to do so tonight. I am 51 years old, and consider myself an independent politically, although formerly I considered myself a republican. I am fiscally conservative. Being a small business person, I will never understand or believe that anyone can convince me that spending more than you make is a good idea. I understand that it may be a necessity under certain circumstances and in small amounts.

    I am also a veteran and believe that we should never place troops in harms way without the fortitude to support those troops in every way. I also believe that it is nearly impossible for a man with absolutely no military experience, to command our armed forces. I believe that he needs to make decisions based on what is best for our national security and our armed forces. He needs to do it clearly and deliberately. I do believe he is trying to lead thoughtfully, but the arrogance of the White House, especially his press secretary is striking.

    Many Americans like myself, feel that "Washinton DC" is broken. It is awash with 'government servants' which are truly in servitude to special interests of and by their own design. Although I believe there are many eithical servants mixed in with the masses, these are difficult to find, and most likely ineffective. If term limits were ever more necessary in our history, I can't imagine when that would be. He could lead to a solution to this obvious problem. Unfortunately, he is now a big part of this problem

    I was very willing to give this President a chance. I believe him to be highly intelligent and charismatic. However, it is quite evident that his campaign image was just that. He is not a uniter, not a real leader, and completely ineffective. I still pray for him and congress. Unfortunatley, their success appears to fall within the realm of miracles. I will hope for one.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:35 pm |

    It does not suprise me at all.I think what the President needs to do is move ahead on the assumtion that he will not get re elected ,and do the tough things that needs to be done to get the country moving.Right now I think its a case darned if he does and darned if he does not;so he just need to move on with his agender.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  209. Donald in CA

    A lot of white folks in American will never accept a black President. Look at the disrespect this President gets from older whites. Most younger whites are not stuck in the past. So get over it, slavery has been over for a long time. I'm hoping my son will be the next black President.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  210. Ted

    He is still blaming Bush for everything,which people are getting tired of hearing,and ACORN which set he agenda that white people are finally finding out.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  211. Antonio-elizabeth,NJ

    In my opinion if a person is not able to solve a function, as can our President, he or she should not be able to comment on whether the President is doing a good job or not, it is above their pay grade.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  212. Bob Purvis

    Jack, The american people need to hear what they NEED TO HEAR not what they want to hear just to boost poll numbers. Its time to understand the serious situation this country is in and get serious about it. Politicins not withstanding.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  213. Tom

    It means that the mess left behind by Bush and Cheney is so big that even with enormous motivation, intelligence, goodwill, and perseverance, it remains what it was: A humungous mess which will take years or even decades for America to clean up. If someone as intelligent, gifted, and charismatic as Obama can't do it, no one will. Certainly none of the republican people currently in discussion.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  214. Tony Berry

    I think people are just looking for a quick fix here. President Obama has to clean up a lot of mess that was left by the Bush/Cheney Administration. How can you get on a guy that has the guts to walk into the whitehouse with two wars and an economical situation that is worse than most of us care to know. I commend the President and I think he is doing a fine job!

    November 30, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  215. Gary for California

    He needs to decide if he wants to be liked or respected, both personally and for America. He may have got the rest of the world to like him and, to some extent America but the respect that the world had for America is lost.

    November 30, 2009 at 8:12 pm |