December 8th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

What's behind collapse of Obama's approval ratings?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama's approval ratings are on the move - but not in the direction he'd like.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/08/art.obama.rating.gi.jpg caption=""]
With double-digit unemployment, rising deficits and spending, an unclear fate for health care reform and his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan...

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows only 48 percent of Americans approve of how Mr. Obama is handling his job... 50 percent disapprove.

This is a pretty significant drop in approval from earlier in his term. Back in July - the president got a 56 percent approval rating; in February, it was at 67 percent.

And President Obama fares even worse in the Gallup Daily Tracking poll - which puts him at 47 percent; a new low in that poll, which includes a measly 14 percent approval rating among Republicans.

Gallup points out that while most Democrats still approve of the president - he's seen big drops in support among both Republicans and independents.

These new numbers are apparently getting under the White House's skin.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs mocked the reliability of the Gallup Daily Tracking poll - saying he was sure "a six-year-old with a crayon could do something not unlike that."

Gibbs says he doesn't pay any attention to the "meaninglessness of it." Wanna bet?

Here’s my question to you: What's behind the collapse of President Obama's approval ratings?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Chris from Philadelphia writes:
Obama was the savior. He was going to ride in from Illinois and save the country in record time. In the world of instant gratification, he hasn't worked fast enough. Therefore, he hasn't lived up to the crazy expectations. Around election time, as long as the economy isn't still falling and people are back to work, he'll be fine.

William writes:
It’s easy: the American people, in large, don’t agree with his agenda. He ran as a centrist and governs from the far left. This is America; we don’t like socialism. What’s so hard to figure out?

Frank writes:
President Obama's so called transparency in government is anything but; his blatant arrogance and pushing the miserable health care agenda are also getting him nowhere. Continuing like this will result in a one term president.

Joe from Corvallis, Oregon writes:
People expect too much. Rome wasn't built in a day, and this nation's problems took years to develop. Obama is taking these issues head-on, and people expect him to just make them disappear instantaneously. That's illogical, especially with the GOP doing all they can to tamper with his agenda. Just give the man some time, let the Dems do what they have to do, and his approval ratings will be back in the 60 or 70 percent range again.

Ed from New York writes:
Americans see the traditional America slipping away with our president trying to replace it with a culture of government dependency as he travels the world, bowing to world leaders and apologizing for America. He doesn't seem to understand how we became the strongest, most successful democracy in the world and he seems not only ready, but anxious to give it all up for a new and ominous direction.

Iris writes:
The reason behind the president's drop in the polls is due to the number of gullible people who fall for all the ridiculous lies spewed by whack jobs like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, and John Boehner.

Filed under: President Barack Obama
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Ed Tallahassee

    I think that anyone would have bad approval ratings right now, with the Economy, and Two wars I don't think anyone is happy. I heard that Santa's approval rates were down too.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  2. chaney, La.

    The public is taking out their negative feelings about Congress on the President, this group of people collectively have managed to make all but the worst partisans sick at their stomach..... also more troops for Afghanistan....

    December 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  3. Ron, in Ohio

    I think spending is one of Obama's problems and the speech he made regarding additional troop deployment was so very political. It was apparent he was trying to please the left who are against additional troops and yet he knows and has said this is a war of necessity, he was trying to please those who support the surge. Another big mistake was announcing a withdrawal date, it makes him look weak with regard to National Security.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  4. marino g. santos

    Americans expect too much from the errors of its past. Surely it doesnt mean much to blame the Bush administrations now that the elections are over. But gains can truly be hard to achieve with so much losses of the past to pay for.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  5. CurtJ

    It's called telling Americans one thing, than putting the same idiots and crooks into key positions to obfuscate the truth, lie, deceive and manipulate the intelligence, evidence and news. It's called Conflict of Interest and Collusion and it has enabled the Neo Con Parasites to yank the puppet strings of their bought off politicians and officials who made and are making decisions, laws and regulations to financially benefit their corporate benefactors and themselves as well as legally shielding themselves and their corporate benefactors. It's why we're mired down in Iraq, Mired down in Afghanistan after it was conquered and Bin Laden and al-Qaeda in our clutches, but now unwinnable. And it is why we need another Revolution. Too bad you're bought off too.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  6. Joe in VA

    Obama is a likable guy and is certainly working hard. However, He's trying to do too much too fast and simply put, we cannot afford all his initiatives. Despite massive national debt and unemployment he's still pushing health care overhaul, cap and trade, paying the Chinese for part of climate change initiatives, etc, etc – all costly. Remember, "It's the economy, stupid?" He has promised more than he can deliver and the "blame Bush" era has passed. He's in the biggest of leagues now and talk is cheap, results are what count.

    Chatham, VA

    December 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  7. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, It's the economy. If I remember correctly, President Reagan's approval rating plunged during the recession of 1981, too. Once the economy shows real life, with jobs growing as well, President Obama's rating will grow as well.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  8. Angie

    Easy –
    Misrepresentation of the numbers in polls
    I have never been polled
    So the numbers are lower because everyone I know have never been polled either

    But then his ratings were lower according to you when he was campaigning

    You kept saying his numbers were slipping

    Looks like you were wrong then too

    December 8, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  9. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    His support from the left collapsed because he escalated the war in Afghanistan, and because he was to timid in pursuing a progressive agenda. His support on the right has been absent from the beginning. The right has been conditioned to believe that Obama was promoting a socialist agenda. This dispite all evidence that his actions have been more conservative than any president we have had in the last sixty years. He LOWERED taxes on 95% of the public and will eliminate capital gains for small businesses. He gave stimulus money to bankers and lowered the deficit. He has further caved into every rightwing plan on healthcare, delivering 30 million more customers to private health insurance companies without regulating what they can charge. The right should be all for this guy. BUt facts are beside the point for the right and the media that fills their minds with garbage.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  10. Dan - Saratoga Springs UT

    Economy still floundering in gutter.

    Unconvincing Afghan policy.

    Blatantly false "jobs created or saved" figures he keeps spouting (up to 1.6 million today – despite ever-growing proofof fraudulant reporting).

    Healthcare reform rammed down our throats desipte THIS version being horribly flawed – get it right or back off!

    Repeatedly silly mistakes like the Airforce One photo-shoot over NYC, "I have no information but the police acted stupidly," the 'party-crashers,' spending 2-minutes making shout-outs before commenting on Ft. Hood...

    Unfulfilled promises of transparency like how many days a bill would be available to the public before being signed.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  11. David in Raleigh, NC

    Obama's approval ratings are collapsing after he shoved through the $787 stimulus plan with the promise that unemployment wouldn't go over 8.5%. Now the unemployment is at 10.2%, the country is $787 billion deeper in debt, and we have a failed stimulus package that didn't deliver on what Obama promised that it would.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  12. David in Raleigh, NC

    Obama is a great orator as long as his teleprompter is working who's great at campaigning and poor at governing.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  13. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    It's the natural progression of things in America. His ratings are are higher than Bush's were, when he got elected for another term! That's one example of the stupidity of some people. Another, is that as soon as a President moves into the White House, the attacks against him begin...unless he's Republican. President Obama is doing what he has to, for our safety, & to get our Country back on track. During his campaign, he told all of us that it would be an uphill struggle, THAT IT COULD TAKE YEARS to get back to where we were during the Clinton administration, & that every 1 of us would have to make sacrifices. The vast majority agreed with him, & voted for him. Now that he's making the tough decisions, some people don't like it! They've forgotten what they agreed with. Besides that, things aren't improving fast enough for some of them; some, (non-thinkers), are angry with HIM for the pace, instead of putting the blame with THE PARTY OF NO (no help, no ideas, no facts), for halting progress.(More stupidy.)

    December 8, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  14. David in Raleigh, NC

    The failed economy and unemployment over 10%. The economy became Obama's when he forced through the failed $787 Billion dollar stimulus plan.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  15. David in Raleigh, NC

    Obama refuses to take responsibility for his actions and blames everything on GW Bush. I wonder if the media will allow his successor the same privilege because his successor is going to have to deal with a bunch of Obama caused messes including a skyrocketing national debt.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm |

    Thats easy. As more and more time passes for the President the more he looking like just a run of the mill President who will get through his term as long as he is told what to do and don't make waves. In other words, he is wimping out.
    This country needs a hero who can fight the status quo of the ruling bodies.
    He is no longer a President with a trick up his sleeve as once perceived.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  17. tom

    afghanistan, health care, gitmo, the public option, chicago politics, etc.

    he has done nothing but give speeches – it seems that is what is he gifted to do, but we need someone to lead

    December 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  18. Leonard in Charlotte

    Easiest question I have seen in years Jack! The Republicans are the reason because they are only about getting their power back so they pull out the scare tactics and misinformation to try and tear down everything Obama is setting out to do. Seriously if they had real ideas on how to solve the issues then they wouldn't resort to such tactics!

    December 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  19. Frank/Canadian

    Hi Jack,
    The general public is awakening from a long eight year snooze. They are finally realizing their pockets have been picked by some of the finest shysters in any government that money can buy.They even got help from their friends on Wall Street.
    The sad part of it all most people have lost their trust in good governance.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  20. Alice NEWYORK

    Why? WHat is this a witch hunt? Give it a break! Come on. Jack try being nice ! Where they go is thew anaswer that they want. I.m in total disagreement with these questionable POLES! ugh ugh ugh !!!!

    December 8, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  21. Lisa, San Jose CA

    1) he's allowed the goal of 'health care reform' to change from protecting patients to forcing people to buy private insurance (in an environment in which collusion between insurance companies is legal and there's no non-profit alternative).
    2) gitmo is still open.
    3) we're still in Iraq.
    4) we're still in Afghanistan.
    5) the people responsible for the banking meltdown are still amassing obscene personal fortunes while ordinary working folk are losing their homes.
    In short, he's been completely co-opted by Washington's entrenched, moneyed interests.
    Paraphrasing a blogger, he's no longer 'Change we can believe in', he's 'Status Quo O'.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  22. Margi in Mayfield, Ky

    He a great smiler, nodder, hand shaker, but givening a straight answer to anything, not so much. Bad decision on the stimulus, broken campaign promises, dithering on the war, bowing to foreign leaders, and most of all apologizing for Americans. We may have our faults but I cringe when he opens his mouth overseas. I could go on but I think it's nows the time to change my voter's registration to Independent.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  23. steve in virginia

    Slowly but surely, we're finding out what we would have learned before the election if Obama had been vetted as rigorously and thoroughly as McCain and Palin.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  24. william fitzwater

    You only have to walk down any street in the USA today to see why.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  25. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    Jack;; I think jealous and greed is what is hurting Obama and the W.H..Corruption is going out of hand. The devil is now ahead. What's next

    December 8, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  26. Thomas Mangano

    The president is not listening to what the people really want. He only seems interested in what his ideology tells him is "right".

    December 8, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  27. George, Montrose,PA

    I sincerely believe that the Republican machine is comprised of sore losers a below the belt hitters. For the most part, I think they are the party of the rich who simply want to stay in control for mostly selfish reasons. Compassion seems to me to be their weak suit. Obama can't get a a chance even when he attempts to meet them half way.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  28. Wiley Coyote

    In the end it doesn't matter what is behind Obama's ratings fall .... if they don't pick up soon, those of us who do not like his policies or some of his statements will just be labeled as racists anyway.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  29. frankie

    All things considered he is doing fine, keeping his head up and his wits about him when all else are losing theirs. I support President Obama.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  30. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Personal spending money's is whats behind it even with the people with money most of there moneys go to paying bills and buying food but theres one thing for shure the president has seen the evil ways and is giving the money to the flower of the market place and now we shall multiply .

    December 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  31. Dick Reinbold

    his push for health care reform is a big ego trip. We all know that it will be so full of waste that our beloved country will be in the hole for years to come///// Hamilton, Mt

    December 8, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  32. Keith

    Let's start with his lack of effort on health care reform and not pushing the public option.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  33. David Smith

    Obamas' drop in the polls isn't much different than what other Presidents faced in hard times. Governing in a society with conflicting interests is not going to make whoever is in charge the winner of the popularity contests that you cable news types like to hold on an almost daily basis. The mess that the President inherited wasn't created overnight and unfortunately he can't make it all better by waving a magic wand. There are going to be policies and procedures that work and some that won't. We can take solace in knowing that we have a President that is actually trying to solve the challenges that we in America face. We have adult supervision in the White House. Can the same be said of the whining, just say no, do nothing -hope he fails-take my ball home Republicans that the President must deal with.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  34. Tom Rogers from Ingleside Texas

    President Obamba has lost approval rating because he sounds like he knows what to do. He doesn't and since everyone knew President Bush had no idea what he was doing all were relieved and their hopes lifted only to fall again. The reality is that we will for a long while be on a course of try this and try that and should be proud we have leadership which is at least trying.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  35. KarenB, central Florida

    well, perhaps the folks with blinders on a year ago are accepting what was obvious to many of us over a year ago. of course, "I told you so" is a sad epitaph to all this – was praying the rest of us were wrong.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  36. Ryan, CT

    It was a matter of time before George Bush’s 8 years of failed policies caught up to Obama’s administration.

    If Obama continues his current course, I guarantee his approval ratings will improve.

    He has a big mess on his hands, but I am still very confident he is the right person for the job!

    December 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  37. MNResident

    To borrow Democratic party phrase fromyears ago: It's the economy, Stupid......

    December 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  38. Eric, Atlanta GA

    Obama is far more centered than we would like to believe. The Right thinks he's too Liberal and the Left views him as too Conservative. Reagan and Clinton received the same cold treatment when they were handling their recessions and unemployment problems. We want it all and we want it now.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  39. Kris in Ohio

    Americans have finally learned what too much personal debt can do to you and are applying that lesson to the federal government. At least I hope that's what is happening.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  40. Sam Tighiouart

    He sold his rating when he sold out the American people Jack. Obama is a shining of example of not getting what we paid for absent a money back guarantee!

    December 8, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  41. pinokeeoh in Tennessee

    When you force policies on the American people that the majority of them do not favor, what do you expect. If the health care bill was really sensible and not a take over of the industry it would have passed already. I'm tired of being lied to.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  42. Ed

    His high approval rating after the election could not possibly be maintained and with all of the problems he inherited and constant right-wing criticism, his polls were sure to come down. Would we have been better off with McCain / Palin? I think not. She would have probably quit already.


    December 8, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  43. Karen from Naples

    Well, I guess people found out that Obama could not
    "walk on water". With all the garbage he was left by Bush,
    not even god could fix it and get good ratings!!!

    December 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  44. R. Mayfield, Lincoln, NE

    I think his numbers are dropping because he tries too hard to stay in the middle as he tries not to offend the republicans on many of the issues he promoted during the election. (Which were the reasons that I and many others voted for him!!!

    December 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  45. Mari Fernandez, Utah


    Considering that President Obama inherited the largest DEFICIT in our nation's history.

    That he inherited TWO WARS. And the biggest economic DISASTER since the Great Depression, I am not surprised.

    People are misinformed and too many are gullible. They do not understand the complexities of the economy, or government. Most Americans do not know that presidents govern, they do not legislate!

    Add that to President Obama's escalating the Afghan war, and you have some unhappy citizens. I am disappointed in Americans, Bush was given the "benefit of the doubt" but Obama is crucified! Bush nearly destroyed our Nation's future!

    Americans need to pay attention, educate themselves as to how the government works. And give President Obama a break, after all, Jack, he has done nothing but work to dig America out of the pit Bush left us in!

    December 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  46. Thomas - Baton Rouge, LA

    It's called unrealistic expectations. The GOP is actively trying to undermine the president.

    Oh, and unless the bias of the poll questions are known, polls are meaningless.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  47. Ronald Holst

    Jack This is an easy One The Answer is Time . no one in this world or country could keep up that kind or approval ratting and try to get things done in this or any nation in the world .

    December 8, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  48. Gail, Plano,Texas

    No drop in the President's approval here at Casa Craig! The whole family voted for him, and would do so again in a NY minute! I don't believe the polls. No one taking a poll has ever asked me what I think. So the polls do not present a true picture of what is going in. How about giving this young President a chance?
    He has been in office for less than a year. Seems the American people wanted him to part the waters? Be realistic, America. We could be looking at loser McCain and his little maverick. Count your blessings!

    December 8, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  49. ed in ri

    It's a two-fold answer: The first problem is that he is not delivering on his campaign promises that got people to vote for his "change venue."
    The second problem is the internet alternative news. Many people are waking up to the reality of what is actually happening in this country and around the world. The majority of "alledged" news in this country is socially engineered propaganda, delivered 24/7 by the monster media corporations that inform us based on their agendas.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  50. Gene Hendrix

    I belive that people are seeing that he is a politician first and president second. He is paying off all of his political debts by increasing our national debt.
    Atlanta, Ga

    December 8, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  51. Liz in Tacoma

    To me Jack it seems like our new President has too much on his plate and is spreading himself to thin. He's trying to please all people and all causes. If he concentrates on the economy 1st which was the number 1 reason he won over McCain who said the economy was sound I think he'll have a better rating. Then if the public see's some improvement in this area I think his ratings will go up.
    I don't know maybe he's becoming like a regular D.C politician kind of like what Nixon use to do smile and wave peace signs.
    Liz in Tacoma

    December 8, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  52. stacy st.augustine,fl

    Jobs, jobs, jobs. If JC was the president now his approval ratings would be just as low. See what happens a year from now. When work slowly picks up Obama will get the credit for it.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  53. Marion/Alabama

    People are realizing there is no change,All his promises were lies and deciet to get elected. Now by his Tax, Spend, and borrowing policy we are out of money.The population is tired of the lies,and lack of change.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  54. Bernie

    Trying to do too much too fast in the face of an opposition who can only say "no", along with a deep-seated belief that government is incompetent – something Obama inherited from the Bush Administration.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  55. Chris, NY

    The President has the dirtiest job in the world right now.......
    Currently he's wallowing neck deep in dung, trying to clean America up.......All the right wing has to say is "Hey you missed a spot".
    When positve results come as a result of his hard work, his poll numbers will rise.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  56. Kevin , Los Angeles CA

    All of the bailouts for big businesses too big to fail, for starters, and no real help for the ones that need it the most. He should of let those businesses fail and spent that money on the little guy and when the American people had to feel the fallout of Wall Street collapsing (we were all told it would be another Depression) then we would of realized the real change that this country needs. That change is to get corporate America out of and as far away from government and government policy as possible.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  57. cy

    We on the left are finding the change less believable. It looks kind of like big business as usual. cy arlington, va

    December 8, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  58. Cheryl

    The three main reasons: Geitner, Afghanistan and unemployment. Main Street voted him in but he's dancing only with Wall Street. Even Afghanistan is tied to the rich making more money, at the expense of the country's taxpayer's pocketbooks and our soldiers' lives. I had such high hopes for him, but he's beginning to look like a more dapper, smarter Bush.

    Houston, TX

    December 8, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  59. george

    OOOOHHHHHHH because he doesn't know what he is doing. No experience to draw on. Too many political, pure political, agendas, too many BROKEN (Campaign ) PROMISES. Too wishy washy in his decision process. Too soft on things he should be more firm on. Relies to much on "Photo Ops" and Rhetoric....which WILL NOT get the job done Mr. President. Time to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN....not the Bad Guy, Not the Apologetic Guy....We help many countries throughout the world ref Foreign Aid ( Billions !!) but get no respect. I don't think we really have to Bow Down to any country.....let's try something else..."Maybe THEY should try Thanking US for a Change!'
    George in Rochester

    December 8, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  60. Mike Orlando Fl

    Jack his numbers aren't falling just the temperature of country when it comes to patience. Americans need give to Pres. Obama a chance and why not ?

    December 8, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  61. Emmet

    People are realizing that he campaigned as if he would govern from the center and he had been governing from lelt field.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  62. hank, montreal

    President Obama's ratings are falling because he is continuing many of the Geo W Bush policies.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  63. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    He didn't fulfil his campaign promises. He certainly is taking care of himself,Wall St., and Corporate America while casting Main Street to the curb. He's forgetting about the common people who believed in him and voted him into office. 2012 is not too far off,so Mr. President-don't get too comfy.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  64. Bob Louisville

    What's behind ' "the collapse" of Obamas' approval ratings ?

    The answer is simple. The public and the media have given him less than two years to clean up the mess George Bush, aided and abetted by a Republican Congress, created over the course of eight years.

    Louisville, Ky

    December 8, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  65. Don (Ottawa)

    Obama campaigned on change and people believed him. But what we are seeing is more of the same; two wars with one escallating; health care reform without the reform; bailouts that keep CEO's rich; nothing real in terms of jobs created; Guantanimo still opened for business; and nothing yet on protecting the environment or global warming. His poll numbers may be dropping, but he will probably go down in history as the best "Republican" President we have ever had.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  66. ben stockton, calif

    inasmuch as i voted for him,isee problems looming with gettingpeople back to work..with the 30,000 troops going to afganistan while other countries are sending a lot less people across the land wonder if there is fairness in this endeavor. his collapse can be credited to wall street getting aboost while main street the boot,.. in these hard times most americans are getting frugal while banking people are getting huge bonuses along with other corporations. he needs to fix the housing market problem also.. bottom line put people back to work

    December 8, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  67. Chris in Philadelphia

    Obama was the savior. He was going to ride in from Illinois and save the country in record time. In the world of instant gratification he hasn't worked fast enough. Therefore, he hasn't lived up to the crazy predictions and expectations. Around election time as long as the economy isn't still falling and people are back to work he'll be fine.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  68. Homeless D

    I think a lot of people want Obama to "fix" everything for them. Alone, he can't fix anything.

    Sadly, a lot of Americans do not understand that the President does NOT make laws of pass bills.

    As a result, every day that passes without our problems fixed, more and more people (who have no clue) are losing their faith in Obama.

    Maybe people ought to look at CONGRESS and take out some of their hard feelings against those really responsible for the slowness of finding an approach to fixing the economy and getting us out of two wars.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  69. Guy from Hawaii

    Aloha Jack,
    The American people voted a good man into the impossible job of being President of the United States at an unprecedented time of seemingly insurmountable troubles of all kinds. The American people want fast food, fast fixes, pop a pill and away the problem goes. If everyone goes and looks in the mirror and asks honestly "what have I done to help the country or my community lately?" ...then their own approval ratings of themselves would be sh-t too!

    December 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  70. Terry in Hanover County

    Prior to the election, Mr. Obama promised Main Street hope, but hope quickly turned into hype after his inauguration. Wall Street won big. Big Banks won big. Big Pharma and Big Insurance Companies are winning big. Those with Hummer 2s were given $4500 to buy Hummer 3s, for example, in the Cash for Clunkers deal that cost of $24K per car deal out of taxpayer money. And now, as his approval ratings drop, finally, he's meeting with business leaders about the one thing Main Street has been asking for since the primaries: JOBS. More talk, more speeches, and more hollow promises for Main Street. I voted for Mr. Obama and am disappointed that all I got was another lousy politician, one who plans on making the same promises in 2011 as he did in 2008, only this time I won't be so gullible.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  71. NC Jeff

    Very easy Jack. Pelosi, Reid, spending money we don't have and the failure of this administration as well ast those past to bring the jobs in manufacturing back home by placing tarrif's where needed.

    We're screwed no matter what these Bozo's think. Sooner or laster China AND India are going to say "No More!"

    December 8, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  72. Harry Stump

    First, millions of people voted for "change", without having demanded any specifics of what that change would be (and during the campaign Obama was very intentional to not show his cards). Now that the specifics are becoming clear, those who love America, cherish capitalism, and who believe in American exceptionalism correctly see our President as their sworn enemy. This man does NOT love the America that 90% of us love and believed in. He deeply wants to change us into a nation most of us wouldn't recognize.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  73. David A Whitaker

    Hey Jack the reason President Obama approval rating is down, because none of these problems that he dealing is easy. People is out of jobs and there nothing you can tell a person that out of a job.


    December 8, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  74. dick from indiana

    Business as usual. Obama has the same guys running the economy that created this mess during the Clinton administration. He has the same guy running the wars as Bush did. His domestic agenda revolves around a health care that accomplishes nothing and his dog isn't even an American breed.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  75. Bruce - Delaware

    Perhaps turning over national sovereignty and the Constitution to the globalists climate-gate fascists and thereby destroying the economy? Perhaps pushing a health plan that offers noting to the citizens but everything to corporations? Perhaps pushing a vaccine program that causes severe neurological damage to recipients? Perhaps launching the biggest expansion of imperialistic military adventures in history? The list doesn't seem to end.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  76. Karl from SF, CA

    His problem is he didn’t fix everything Bush and Cheney screwed up over their eight years during his first 10 minutes in the Oval Office. Oh, and did I mention a total lack of cooperation from the Grand Obstructionist Party or the 24 hour a day news channels that keep telling us how bad things are day and night, over and over? We are an impatient lot, you know, and expect instant gratification for finally electing someone with a brain in his head, like President Obama, so, in that light he has been a real disappointment.

    December 8, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  77. Annie, Atlanta

    Media's corporatist right slant. Right wingers have free reign to spout off talking points that give their brand of crazy legitimacy without being called out. Those of differing views become scary names like socialist, Marxist, etc. Startling ignorance plus fear equals believers. News programs have an agenda, and that agenda is based on greed. Greed is destroying the truth and, in turn, us.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  78. Kris Craig in Olympia, WA

    Hey Jack,

    Unfathomable, unfathomable, unfathomable. So there.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  79. Robert in Vegas

    He speaks with a forked tongue. He can`t be trusted.He has not finished one thing he started ,except increase the national debt.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  80. adem

    It is temporary...it only takes one good speech!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  81. Reid

    Americans have finally realized he is totally unprepared to be president.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  82. jeane

    I guess it depends on who you poll. Nobody asked me and I bet none of the people on this site either.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  83. John

    FOX News and friends. Simple as that.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  84. David

    You ask, "What's behind the collapse of President Obama's approval ratings," that's easy, the Republican Party and Fox News.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  85. tom

    Because the man is an idiot...plan and simple...and always has been at it's finally showing

    December 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  86. steve, Texas

    Spending, spending, and more spending.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  87. Steven

    I'll tell you what's behind the collapse. Jesus himself couldn't escape criticism from the press and citizens of this country if he was President. It doesn't matter who is in the Office, Republican, Democrat, or Independent. This culture has been trained to scapegoat every leader and take little responsibility for itself. It is easier to be negative and not work together rather than wait a few things out and be a little patient.

    Steve, Los Angeles

    December 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  88. Silvia, Lancaster, CA

    Why the approvals are down? Because the US has no patience. In the fast food society, where everything MUST simply be instantenous, the public has ZERO patience. It took 8 years for the economy to get this bad, but the Republicans want Obama to fix everything within his first year in office. Figures.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  89. Eric in Lake City MI

    I can name that answer in one word, Jack. Jobs!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  90. Joe, Corvallis, OR

    People expect too much. Rome wasn't built in a day, and this nation's problems took years to develop. Obama is taking these issues head-on, and people expect him to just make them disappear instantaneously. That's illogical, especially with the GOP doing all they can to tamper with his agenda. Just give the man some time, let the Dems do what they have to do, and his approval ratings will be back in the 60 or 70 percent range again.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  91. Ed Fertik

    Americans see the traditional America slipping away with our president trying to replace it with a culture of government dependency as he travels the world, bowing to world leaders and apologizing for America. He doesn't seem to understand how we became the strongest, most successful democracy in the world and he seems not only ready, but anxious to give it all up for a new and ominous direction. That's why !


    New York

    December 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  92. Trevor

    Liberals don't like how little they think he's making changes and how much he has compromised, conservatives don't like how much he has changed, and how little they think he has compromised.

    everybody wants everything right now, and nobody is completely happy.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  93. Frances Kelly

    Short memories.... Obama has been president for less than a year– he has succeeded in moving the economy back into production, he is doing a terrific job (despite those Catholic bishops) on health care insurance, very careful about Afghanistan (tho this is his one area of real worry); Bush totally destroyed our economy, sent so many of our troops to unnecessary war in Iraq, dadada..... Obama can't do it all in the first year!

    Frances Kelly

    December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  94. MOKevP

    It's simple: The president has an agenda that is out of sync with the majority of the US population. The left side of the party pulled him from the middle, and he can not find his way back.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  95. Nancy in WV

    I have always been a Democrat. Now, I am having 2nd thoughts. I voted for Obama, confident that he would stop sending people off to die. I was wrong. He (just like Bush) has no intention of stopping these wars. So, next time – my friend – you do not get my vote. I've been around since Viet Nam, and still have a bad taste in my mouth.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  96. Frank

    President Obama's so called transparency in government is all but....his blatant arrogance and pushing the miserable health care agenda is also getting him nowhere. Continuing like this will result in a one term President.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  97. Ryan Speller

    Collapse? Come on Jack, that's a little sensationalist, don't you think? Nobody bothers to mention that there's a statistical error of +/- 3% and furthermore this was taken right after the Afghanistan troop increase decision, when both the left and the right were causing a lot of commotion and covered extensively by CNN.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  98. Stephanie

    Obama is being blamed for the ineptitude of congess. This is his fault as he has continually deferred to congress and required nothing of congress.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  99. Julius, Moose Jaw, SK, Canada

    The reason why Obama's approval rating sank is because people had too high of expectations, and the slow progress of the economy, the Health Care debate and the controveries over the littlest so-called "gaffes" (the bowing before the Japanese emporer , for example) are disappointing people. I believe that people need be a little more patient, things will turn around and his approval rating will go back up. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are no win situations for the President, and that would have been true no matter WHO won the election last November. People's expectations have to be more realistic– there is a big difference between what a candidate promises and what a candidate can actually do once they are elected. Bush saw to it that their first term in office was going to be difficult, if not impossible to please anyone, let alone everyone.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  100. Gigi Oregon

    It's my thinking it's the media and their slant on the White house. Cable news likes to make up the news not broadcast it. But what else can you do if the news is 24 hr...? You gotta fill the time some way.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm |

    When he started listening to the generals instead of the American people about pulling our kids out of the war, he lost the support of the majority of the people.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  102. Iris L. Dresbach

    The reason behind the President's drop in the polls is due to the number of gullible people who fall for all the ridiculous lies spewed by the whack jobs like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, and John Boehner.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  103. Nick, Longmont CO


    Well, President Obama made all these great campaign promises and speeches to go along with them. He has systematically broken nearly everyone. Also, he has, fro all intents and purposes, ignored the jobless situation in this country and focused on health care as the primary domestic issue. In regards to health care reform, he is now backing a weak plan tilted towards the special interests. But, the main thing that has hurt him was coming in under the banner of "change" and is operating no differently than any other politician in Washington.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  104. Steve

    How about "Change We Can Believe In", followed by the appointment of a dozen Bilderberg members, followed by a dozen broken promises. If there is and difference between Obama and Bush, it is news to me.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  105. Geoff

    8 years of George W Bush.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  106. Sam Zifferblatt

    As a left of center democrat, I contributed and supported our president feeling that he was different. I'm not so sure now. He is appearing to be just another politician. I love what he's doing with our standing in the world, but what about here in the US. If he'd only listen to those who elected him, and not the opposition, he'd be on the right course. Start leading our country as if you only have one term, and you'll be elected to two!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  107. raul from california

    the decline of obamas popularity is caused by the lack of jobs. americans need to get back to work asap. all the money being wasted in afghanistan should be used to create american jobs.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  108. Nancy

    President Obama is one of our greatest leaders and continues to do just that: Lead. Unfortunately our general population does not take time to become informed and base their approval ratings on their own limited perceptions and conclusions reached from the mass media propaganda. The Repubicans have one goal – Obama's downfall, and they have been ruthless in their not-so subtle efforts to discredit our very brave President. I am a white senior citizen, and independent voter who is extremely thankful for President obama. I'm still trying to figure out why you don't support him Mr. Cafferty.... you are usually so right on in your thinking.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  109. robert

    Easy, people have been slapped out of their Obama trance and are seeing him for what he really is; an indecisive, unqualified, inexperienced far left wing ideologue and megalomaniac trying to do what FDR failed at–re-creating the United States into a socialist country as a minor stop on the way to full Communism. Thank God people are waking up. I only hope it is not too late

    Reading Pennsylvania

    December 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  110. john, saskatchewan

    A fickle, uneducated public knee-jerking there way to instant gratification. Do any of these polls mean anything, Jack? Or is just a popularity contest built on the latest reaction to Obama dealing with impossible problems which were not of his making. People are so juvenile...they build things and icons up, so they can knock them down. It's pathetic.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  111. Lynda Harris

    Wouldn't you said it it his inexperience? The white house staffer as well.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  112. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Two reasons Jack, one, Instant gratification is a loss of self discipline, and it seems we Americans have a penchant for immediately gratifying ourselves. Look at McCain the maverick, he must have a groin pull as he hasn't reached across any isle in years.

    And second, the unsubstantiated rhetoric. lies, and greed of middle age white people who call themselves Republicans upon middle age white people who are more gullible than logical. Look at the gullibility that made Palin a household name.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  113. Steve D

    The Poll shift is due to the Obama we got is nothing like the Obama that asked for our vote. He wanted to bring everyone together to bring change. He's brought no one together and has changed nothing!!!!!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  114. Angie

    It does depend on who you poll.

    I never get poll. But then you don't care.
    Everyone I know from family and friends of mine Never get polled
    But then you don't care.

    Truth be told,
    You were wrong when you said Obama's numbers were slipping when he was campaigning.
    At the end, You really believed Obama did NOT have a chance.
    Well you were wrong then with your poll
    And you are wrong now with your Poll.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  115. Casey Nicholson

    It's because he's losing credibility with his base, Jack. His early approval rating was indebted to a sense of goodwill and the country trying to come together behind a new president–but goodwill is fleeting once folks remember that there are actual issues that they disagree with the President on. So he leveled out at 54%, which is about the same percentage that he won the election by. Now he's dropped below 50%–why? Because liberal Democrats who wanted to see health care reform done last summer are still waiting to see the Congress pass a bill. On top of that you have a sizable number of those same Democrats (e.g. Michael Moore) who evidently weren't paying attention when Obama said during the campaign that he wanted to end the war in Iraq but win the war in Afghanistan, and now they're throwing a hissy fit just because the President is keeping his campaign promises by sending more troops there. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the list goes on and on...say what you will about him losing points with the GOP and Independents, but the reality is that those folks were never behind him to begin with, and it's the Democrats who are deserting him now.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  116. Steve

    Why does his approval rating matter? Like Bush said himself, "he is not trying to win a popularity contest." Of course, now Bush and his good ol' boy buddies would do a complete 180 on that idea!

    Laguna Niguel, CA

    December 8, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  117. paul wesay

    Pres. Obama job rating is low and will continue to drop untill working americans who are looking for jobs find jobs because ,these were the people, and are the people who voted him into office.

    Paul Wesay from Winnipeg, Canada.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  118. Eric in Lake City MI (revised)

    I can answer that question with one word, Jack. Jobs!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  119. Ravenhair49

    Dick from Indiana – thank you – at least there are some smart people that realize that the messy economy was caused but the Clinton Administration – remember, economic policy can take years to manifest itself – it was first Carter and then Clinton that signed the legislation that forced lenders to lend to unqualified or poor risk applicants; thus, the creation of ARMs and other creative mortgage loans.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  120. Barbara in NY

    Well lets see... unemployment is up, interest on credit cards are up, good paying jobs continue to be outsourced overseas, property values are down, Obama approved more troops for Afghanistan, and health care reform has yet to pass. I think that sums it up.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  121. Bob In Florida

    Well, let's see Jack....as an independent I AM disappointed....FIRST Obama would not debate "Single Payer" then Obama struck a deal with big Pharma, then big Pharma raised their prices, then Obama stated the "Public Option" was negotiable, then there was NO clamp-down on insurance Monopoly laws, Obama allowed "fear-mongering" from Republicans, Obama is NOT pushing fraud and corruption clamp-downs, Medicare fraud, etc, etc....and that is JUST with health care reform.

    We need a decisive, take charge, fair, rational, STRONG President. I thought we got that, but I think I was wrong!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  122. Bruce Allen

    The reason his ratings are dropping are twofold. One, he hasn't lived up to the expectations of those who elected him to get the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Second, the country is in worse shape than people thought and no matter how smart Obama is or how much he wishes to change policy, he can't change the corrupt political process in Washington. Too many politicians corrupted by too much PAC money.


    December 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  123. Dr. Ram K. Iyengar

    Dear Mr Cafferty,

    You are a nice chap and I respect your views.

    Please tell your colleagues in CNN and other news channels, that WE the REAL AMERICAN PEOPLE have elected Mr. Barrack Obama for a term of four (4) years. We are reasonable Americans and will evaluate his performance at the end of this contract period. If he has not performed by then then, WE the REAL AMERICAN PEOPLE will find a replacement for him. Therefore tell your colleagues in the news media that they are not the BOARD of DIRECTORS in the USA. They are just ordinary puny Americans with a loud mouth who should focus on sensational news which brings $$$ to your corporation.


    Dr. Ram K. Iyengar
    Littleton MA

    December 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  124. Erik "Wordz" Maldonado

    Reality. So much emotion was built into "hope," and time has given even the most mainstream junky a chance to see our political system can not and will not be saved by one man, whether his intentions are right or not. Our economy is based on DEBT to a private bank, The Federal Reserve. Such a shame, our world should be based on resources but no, we're all about our "digital" money and demonic religious fanatics. Can anyone say, abortion? mamogram? preventive procedures?

    December 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  125. Jay in Montana

    What I wonder about is whether Republicans should be as gleeful as some seem to be about Obama's decreasing popularity. He's not as popular with me as he was a year ago, but would that make me want to vote Republican? Fat chance. I get some of what I want from Obama. I would get nothing but grief from anybody willing to run as a Republican.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  126. Ken in NC

    It is becoming more and more evident that President Obama does not have the backbone to go before the Congress and "BE PRESIDENT". He and Democrats are to willing to negotiate away everything to get a little something and the American people do not like this. The American people do not think it is right to give away all the glass windows in a car just to have air conditioning installed.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  127. Don Sherman

    President Obama needs to develop a "hands on" approach and 'call out" the Dems who let the Insurance industry write Health Care reform.
    Much like F.D.R., he should address the American people directly and name the obstructionists by name and not ignore the naysayers who offer nothing positve in opposition.
    People should not be allowed to "forget" who put our economy in this situation and who started the two Wars, increased the National Debt by over 4 trillion dollars! Hint, it wasn't Obama!!!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  128. mewizemuzak

    I think the real winner of the 2008 pres. election was Mccain! Because the mess that Bush and the republicans left was insurmountable,historically, its always easier to destroy than to build, or rebuild in this case! And to think Pres. Obama is to blame for this is just ignorance and stupidity at its finest!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  129. mary

    Obama's fall from grace is a direct result of failing to realize the economy is the #1 issue in this nation,not healthcare, it is jobs, jobs, jobs. Americans are sick of watching this administration drive this nation further into debt with huge spending and looking to tax everything including the air we breath to pay for the excesses of DC. It rather feels like Rome is burning while Nero fiddles..Americans no longer feel they have a representative government at the executive or the legisilative level and all decisions being made are on behalf of political ideology rather than by the people and for the people.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  130. kathy from Phoenix

    People want everything fixed now and it takes time to clean up the mess that was left from the Bush-Cheney era. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day but people also have a short memory and somehow think this is President Obama's fault, thanks to constant blame from the Republicans. As far as the republicans are concerned they would disagree with Obama if he said he was going to give them a raise, whoops I take that back. That they would agree with those selfish bastards. Maybe they need to lose a job.a home, healthcare before they would really care about the American people

    December 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  131. John

    The force behind the collapse of Obama's approval ratings is the orchestrated resistance to Obama's actions of doing exactly what he promised to do during his campaign. He inherited a mess and cleaning it up is not pretty. The media will continue to exploit the problems of our society and drum up controversy for ratings. Health care, war, the economy, global warming...Obama did not invent these issues that have been ignored for the past eight years.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  132. Chris in Cleveland

    It's the slow turnaround of the economy, Jack. Americans are both forgetful and impatient. They forget that it took 12 years of Republican control of both the Senate and the House, plus another 8 years of Bush to destroy our economy.

    You can't turn a battleship on a dime, but all signs indicate that our economy is headed in the right direction. People need to be patient and let Obama be Obama, even though being patient is hard to do when you are unemployed and have bills to pay.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  133. Steven Altman

    I think Obama's rating have fallen because the expectations were extremely high when he took office and during the past 10 months of his presidency the economic situation has progressively worsened.
    I also believe that his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan is a grave mistake and his continuing the war when our homeland is in such dire need has disheartened many people.
    Added to this dilemma is the inability of our Congress to act as a government "for the people" . Their only apparent interest is in their own
    continuity in office.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  134. john

    Why is his popularity waning?? Moved too fast on health care and sent more military to Afghanistan. Wish he listened to Gorbachev.........

    December 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  135. Dog

    Nate Silver, probably the countries most respected poll analyst dug into the numbers underlying the results (as reported by main stream media) and found quite the opposite. The largest drop in BHO's popularity was among self identified Democrats who are VERY dissappoined about everything from Gitmo isn't closed to more troops in Afghanistan ..... so the poll means nothing in terms of re-election. That left wing of the party ain't voting for ANYONE who isn't a Democrat and they WILL vote for Obama, even if painfully to make sure no Republican gets elected.

    Panama (Republic of)

    December 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  136. kerry Jackson

    Obama has been in office almost a year and still there's high unemployment, health care hasn't been reformed, and we're still in Iraq and Afghanistan. We thought we were electing God and we got a man. No wonder his approval rating has gone down!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  137. Chad Pruitt

    Simple, "more of the same..." broken promises and a definitive attitude to take this country in the wrong direction. He should have reframed from running on "Healthcare Reform" and focused on "Government Reform." 2012 Presidential candidates are you listening?

    December 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  138. g. v. chris

    Obama is losing ground brcause he's running the third term of the Bush Administration-the wars go on, illegal Gov't spending goes on,
    the domestic spying continues, the CIA black sites are being manned and the torture continues and on and on....

    December 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  139. Gilbert West

    Hey Jack:

    Those polls don't mean a damn thing. For one, I've never been polled, and don't know anyone who has been polled. Given that, you tell me what meaning is behind the polls. They are the wishful thinking of some selfish, arrogant, incompetent republicans who still can't accept the fact that they lost the election. They lost because they are totally useless for anything outside of prostituting themselves to big-money interests. Inspite of the ruinous collapse last year, the economy is 100% better than it was when President Obama was sworn in on January 20th. Anyone who sees a problem with that is a traitor. All the whining, moaning, crying, and sissy fit tantrums thrown by the republicans doesn't change the fact that President Obama is deftly managing the recovery, something those jack-asses couldn't do in 8 years. Only a mean-spirited, brain-dead idiot would want republicans back in office. TARP is working. The stimulus is working. If Americans aren't grateful for that, they deserve nothing.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  140. Kim McGarr

    Having an approval rating in the 40s isn't a novel thing. This is just what happens when a President is in the midst of enacting an agenda. Clinton and Reagan got into the 40s at similiar points in their presidencies and George W. Bush, who was already in the 40s just prior to September 11, would've been as well; Reagan under similiar economic conditions was at 41% at this stage. So it really isn't as big a deal as you're making it Jack. I assume when Obama's approval jogs back up you'll do a similar question of what's behind the up-tick? Somehow I never seem to see those stories.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  141. Clint Richards

    It is simple, President Obama's approval ratings are down because he is actually having to make decisions and not very good ones I might add, unlike in his previous position where he abstained from voting one way or the other most of the time.

    I suspect there is also a certain element of the Christmas toy syndrome contributing to his low numbers. The excitement has worn off and now people are seeing him for who he really is.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  142. Paul from Chicago

    Jack...President Obama, like every other CEO today, is being beaten up because of the economy. The stakeholders in this country are frustrated by a lack of results. If Mr. Obama were to listen to my thoughts, I'd suggest that he redirect ninety percent of his efforts (in the short-term) toward effective bolstering of our economy through encouraging people to create jobs and hire people. That will earn him a second term as well as a favorable place in the history books. He's got a tough job; I actually believe he will get it done.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  143. Pat | Pittsburgh

    White House arrogance, obsession with what is important to them, waffling on decisions, ignoring or mocking obvious public opinion if it doesn't suit them. CNN's liberal commentators (especially Brazile and Begala) also get over their Koolaid hangover. Independents, middle-of-the-road Democrats and Republicans count for more than liberal Democrats. In my house 100% of the voting adults are NOT liberal Democrats; one of us is still a Democrat (however disilllusioned) and the other a staunch Independent.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, folks. The situation isn't going to get better.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  144. thomas

    What is the blame for President Obama,s low approval ratings ? Republican Bush, behner, Steel, and all the other self rightious Republicans!!!!!!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  145. Jean Jones

    Our president didn't create this bottomless pit we are in. Americans expect instant solutions. They need to grow up. It took 10 years to work our way out of the Great Depression. The media is circling like vultures. Too back we can't put them in jail like President Lincoln did.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  146. Steven G. Erickson

    I see even more attacks and hurdles for small business and for intact families in the US. I have so much confidence I have sold all of my possessions and looking to be "free" and "American" at the same time outside of the country. I plan on being a Patriotic American Ex-Patriot not renouncing my citizenship, but looking to have a better lifestyle and a currency that isn't tanking.

    There is no real investigation of official fraud, racketeering, profiteering and citizen abuse. We the People have crapulent courts and law enforcement. The Government has a premier armed revenue collection system.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  147. Esther Massillon Ohio

    I am the only opinion which matters to me. I have not changed my view of him since I helped in his campaigne and voted for him. I see the road blocks he is facing I was around when Clinton was President also when Johnson was President when the media was just at noon and 5 reporting the news and not this 24 hour cable stuff you all call news. All you do is talk talk talk and talk some more. You all have an opinion on what you would like to see happen in his presidency. If you voted for him you have to have eyes and ears to see what road block he has in front of him. Obama is only doing what he can. Change is not going to come easy for us when we have those who cling to their religion and call him the anti-christ or those who cling to the 2nd amendment and carry guns at functions he has to go to. We not all Liberal in this country. There are those who wish to make us conform to their thinking and if we do not think that way they call us Socialist. Their are mountains in his way and he is not the Messiah. He is a man not a machine which can compute or manufacture a solution to our 40 year or older problems. I still have Hope and am FIRED UP AND READY TO GO. I still believe in YES WE CAN. 11 Months in office and he is still who I would vote for. Keep your hate to yourself. I choice USA and hope for our recovery.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  148. L. Jordan

    As one who voted for Pres. Obama, I'm frustrated by the choices he's making. I stand with Progressives on most issues and expected there to be a big push for the "single-payer" health plan, but settled for the "public option". Now, even that has been so watered down, with Senators quibbling and threatening over everything. They've created more dissent where there was none in the first place, even considering taxing my health insurance! The Afghan "surge" is the opposite of what I voted for. There have been no regulations put in place for Wall St. or the banking system. Oil prices continue to be based on speculation, and are three times higher than they should be. It seems his idea of job growth is to "weatherize" America; and I thought I voted for a President willing to "think outside the box." Obviously, he's stuck himself inside the box of the former Administration when he continued to employ Bernanke and Geithner, the "foxes in charge of the henhouse". I'm disappointed.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  149. Al

    Maybe comments like the one made by Mr. Gibbs!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  150. Anthony

    The reason for President Obama fall in the poles, is you have fools like Rush , Sarah , Cheney and his daughter telling the public a lot of lies, I voted republican for the last three President, but will never again in my life, so is my family which is about fifty people in just one family that will not vote Republican again. These people I mention is very prejudice and just making a lot of people hate each other. How crazy is Rush oh my God.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  151. Jean Jones

    President Obama hasn't lost any points with me. I think he is great.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  152. Luca Bercovici

    Jack, The media, specious partisan attacks by the RNC, reported and repeated on 24 hour news cycles, and America's sadly short attention span and even shorter memory. We have already forgotten that we spent eight years with a president that we ended up being completely ashamed of.
    Luca in Budapest, Hungary

    December 8, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  153. Alfred

    USA had made a huge mistake after the end of the cold war to not end militarism and start a new global cooperation... and Obama sadly is following the exact stupid super power policy that Bush and all the other Presidents before him had done... Mr Obama wake up, end US militarism, cut down this stupid defence budget which is more than defence budget of Russia, UK,Germany,France, China and India together...
    focus on the resources of your own country to help fix people's real problems instead of continuing playing this stupid superpower game...remember the clock is ticking and US deficit is growing to an dangerous point..act before the entire economy collapses–have the guts to say 'NO' to all the military lobbists.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  154. dawn

    MMMM....let's see. Maybe because the economy is still reeling from the events of last fall and these jobs losses result from that, maybe corporations should stop trying to suck the life out of remaining employees and start hiring even if it does cut into profits. Two wars with no simple solutions handed down. Nothing done in 8 years about climate change. nothing done about getting us off the oil habit. (wonder why ? don,t you? Nothing helpful done about education and the lists goes on. God i wish all of us would have been even a bit critical back then, but we didn't want to appear un-patriotic! We were told to go shopping and boy did we! Then there is the party of no, they would rather see this country fail than renew itself. they disgust me. dawn/mass.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  155. Doug from R.I.

    Jack ! To much of the Same ol Same ol not enough Change o Change o.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  156. Cheryl

    Mr. Cafferty,
    Polls about the President's popularity may be on the top of you and your ilks' agenda, but I really don't think it is a priority at the White House. Really. I mean really!
    I believe there are way more important things on the President's mind, don't you think? After all, like it or not, he is the President for the next four years!!


    December 8, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  157. Bon

    As an ardent Obama supporter it amazes me the ridiculously academic way he approaches economic initiatives. If I hear him talk about "aggressive weatherization" again as he has done for months and in the last jobs summit I am probably going to pop. It makes his critics look right when they say this administration is clueless and chipping away his approval rating. He should try to do less speeches & break ranks with the one sided policy initiatives of this democratic congress and listen more to other ideas.That is change we can believe in and we voted for.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  158. Bob

    When it comes to the economy...the American Dream has been replaced by the American Nighmare. He's the President...if he manages to help the economy recover his numbers will rise...if not...there's no telling how far those numbers will drop.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  159. George in Minnetonka, MN

    President Obama's approval rating dropped when the American people discovered that he is less than perfect, something that seems to happen with every president. It doesn't help that Obama has made promises that he can't keep and claims that are less than true, also something that happens with just about every president. Should we be suprised that it isn't the best of all possible worlds?

    December 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  160. Kevin Davis

    Collapse! Perhaps the pollsters just need to ask the right questions. If they asked, "How would they compare the job Obama is doing verses the 8 years of "W"?", his approval rating would be 80%. Or just ask, "Do you think we would be better off today under a Republican Administration?" I'm sure most of us would like to know that kind of information. I can keep going with these questions, but one I would really like to see would be, "How you would compare how McCain/Palin would have performed under the same conditions as Obama has faced?"

    December 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  161. Silas Kain - Boston

    We're an impatient people. Unless we have instant results we lose our focus. Americans collectively suffer from A.D.D. = American Disinterest Disorder. Perhaps we should give the White House its' own Reality Show on FOX. So we can tune in, day in and day out. Imagine it now, we can watch the President clean up after BO on the White House lawn. Now, there's compelling television!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  162. Charles


    Americans are so self-centered that NO one will ever change their opinions. Even if GOD was president they still would have something to bitch about, same goes for Mr. complainer, Mr.Boeher.

    Took years to get out of the 1st depression, it is going to take half that time today to get out of the nightmarish depression the Republican party/President got us in.

    American just wake up and stop expecting "instant gratification" from our President. You have to blame yourself and no one else, don't forget, Patience is a virtue! I too had to wait for my name to be called back to work in the 60s, 70s and 80s.


    December 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  163. Ken-Ingles79

    Even as a big fan of our President and his agenda, I think that there are many reasons for the steep decline in his approval such as the great debate on health care, war, and economic policy. I thing the real problem is that the "change" hangover has passed. People expect results now. People are not ready for change. I think americans do want more of the same. Patients is not the american way and people want things and they want them now. People forgot what "change" is.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  164. jessica

    It isdisheartening to see the Obama approval ratings drop. We cannot expect this mess that has been created over years to be cleaned up in a short period of time. The President has so many difficult issues before him and I applaud him for continuing to move in a thoughtful forward direction on all of the tough jobs that were left on his desk. Our president needs our continued support and time to make the change we believe in.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  165. Ross


    President Obama`s speech today about the economy very nicely summarized the chaos he inherited from Mr. Bush. His actions have clearly saved the US from a depression. Thank God for him in the White House. He is clear minded, not quick to commit soldiers to risk and wants to use any extra money not just to create jobs, but jobs that make sense for the country in the long run. Great leaders often don`t have day-to-day support from their populous...ask George Bush if that is not correct!!

    Toronto, Canada

    December 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  166. Beth Stannard - Seattle, WA

    Obama inherited a mess! he can't clean it up in one year. Give him some time! His ratings are a result of Stats! Stats lie all the time, influence public perception and it becomes a tail wags the dog scenario resulting in a self fullfilling prophecy and then all the sudden the stats become true. Stats are a dangerous tool if not developed and measured correctly!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  167. Steven Altman

    Obama's ratings have fallen because the expectations when he was elected were so high. There has been no progress with any meaningful legislation during the ten months he has been in office and the bickering among the morons we have in Congress has become worse the I can remember during my 48 years as a voting American.
    The governance of the nation from the Congressional halls of Washington is an abomination and an insult to the citizens of this nation.
    How can we give anyone in the Capital a positive rating ?

    Steven Altman
    Bluffton, SC

    December 8, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  168. docb-denver


    These polls are just like the Bush polls. When the sample is 500 to 1000 people, and they can not use the cell numbers, they have to get people to take the poll IF they answer the phone, then what are we to believe!

    Having written polls for local politics, it is clear that the samples we get now are more likely to be older or stay at home on landlines. Additionally, we can 'target' a zip or area code to get a more or less broad representative sample-depending on who is paying us!

    I like it better that Obama's ratings are coming down to earth. He is already a magnet for criticism considering how he sailed into office and the partisanship of the parties. This will be better for all concerned–less resentment by republicans and maybe even his own party members will not be fighting him so hard. Perhaps , they will all get to work on the jobs they were elected to do!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  169. Ray in Alabama (go Tide!)

    President Obama's ratings are dropping because more people are looking through their bi-focals and they don't like what they see.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  170. Geoff in Pa


    The presidents ratings are going down because the average working American is in the midst of deep difficulties. The historical glory of the election is nothing but a faded memory now and this administration is being viewed as just another political Chicago dog and pony show shoving all manner of expensive extremest policy down the throats of many struggling families. But, after all, he is just a slick talking lawyer.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  171. Richard

    He campaigned on peace and he gives us war. He promised bold and decisive action on health-care and he morphs into an Uncle Tom. He claims to be a man of principal yet at every turn all he serves up is appeasement of the far right......that's why!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  172. Pat Hudgins

    He has not delivered what was promised, transparency, bi-partisonship, and has shown, along with the Dem lawmakers, that none of these guys has a clue as to the pain the average person is dealing with. As the economic enviroment continued to erode, these partison lawmakers got it totally wrong, spending most of their time on a healthcare bill that solves nothing and cap and trade that will only cost every citizen more money that they do not have.
    We had hoped for change, only to find the only change was the Party in power. These lawmakers, on both sides, put the Party first, special interest next, and in the caboose is the average person.
    I thought the idea was that they represented us! What a waste!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  173. Julian Rodriguez

    It means that he's trying to do some things that are really hard. In spite of this country's dysfunctional system of government, President Obama is doing his best to fulfill his campaign promises. Do political realities allow him to do things the way he intended? no Does an opposition party void of ideas and full of obstruction help in any way? Of course not. Is a fickle media that needs to go to Pat Sajak so they can buy a clue as to what to cover i.e Tiger Woods, party crashers, ballon boy as opposed to dedicating more time on the nuance and calling people out who lie about the issues help? no So hang in there President Obama!! Once things get accomplished you will see the fruits of your labor come to full fruition. As to the media, here's a hint. Go back and examine tapes of what all these politicians have said in the past, compare it to what they say now, and darnit have some backbone to call them on it.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  174. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Robert Gibbs needs to smell the coffee. I am an Obama supporter, voted for him, but have seen nothing impressive from the President or the Democrats in Congress since his election victory. His abdication to the nimrod leaders of the House and Senate for the essential part of his agenda has been a disaster. With the hand they were dealt, all Democrats, including the President, should already have the needed reform on the books. But unfortunately, we are stuck with the chains of past politics instead of the real change we need for our country.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  175. Birddog in Mississippi

    Reagans rating were about where Obama's are now (he won) , Bush Senior's were at about 56% (he lost). The polls at this point in a President's term are usually more about circumstances beyond the President's control. This President is having to steer the ship of state between iceburgs on one side and tidal waves on the other. So far, he's doing a great job - I can't think of anyone else who would not have crashed the ship already. Can you imagine if McCain/ Palin were in charge? Or if we still had Bush? Cheney?

    December 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  176. Sandra- San Antonio

    What's behind the collapse is the previous admin. who left the present Pres. a HUGE MESS to deal with (w/the attitude of GW Bush saying, "I'll let the next Pres. take care of it!").
    When Pres. Obama came into office, he reminded the country that things will get worse before they get better, we shouldn't forget that! Also, Pres. Obama hasn't exactly been sitting on his hands – he has worked diligently trying to fix our countries' problems, unlike his predecessor who ignored our countries' needs in favor of the Iraqis'!
    All the while President Obama having to deal w/the Republicans – which all they do is try to sabotage any good the President tries to introduce! The Party of "No" when it comes to OUR country!

    December 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  177. Larry in Washington--West Virginia that is

    All of the conservative blabber mouths on AM radio are the ones driving down the approval ratings. No, make that the so-called "fair and balanced" network's slanderous approach to journalism.

    No wait, it's the Republicans–they are so effective–we can all remember GW's approval ratings for years.

    At least these three groups would like to receive that glory–but it's not true. Obama is the president and he is always under scrutiny and we are a fickle bunch, aren't we?

    Turn promises into paychecks–and the ratings will climb.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  178. Chuck Young

    Why are Obama's approval ratings dropping? Let see, might it be related to his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, or the failure of his administration to take a firm stand on health care reform while 45,000 people die yearly because they can't afford health insurance, or that he hasn't really turned around the Bush policies that shredded our constitution and Bill of Rights, or that he's seemingly owned by the bankers, the military industrial complex and the health insurance industry, or that he's done nothing to enact serious environmental reform, or regulate Wall Street, or end our relationship with private mercenary contractors? He campaigned on change, but it looks like it's just more of the same, just from a different party led by just another president controlled by corporations and the military.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  179. Chase, Asheville NC

    The President is taking on a lot of "Hot Button" issue's that cause people to become anxious. As stress ascends, standards ascend. People's expectations become greater when in distress and I'm sure this had some influence on how American's voted in the approval pole.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  180. James Haugland


    We are withdrawing from Iraq in the manner the President promised; we have backed away from the edge of economic ruin and recovered faster than almost any economist predicted; we have stopped torturing and reinvented our image in the world; we are tackling health care and energy independence in meaningful and historic ways; So what's behind the President's fall in popularity? As a resident of rural Arkansas (who is surrounded by many poor, white Americans without college educations), the answer is blazingly clear – my neighbors.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  181. Loretta

    The metamorphosis has begun. Our President is beginning to resemble George W. Bush more and more on a daily basis. He has literally buckled to Republican pressure. He got my vote for one reason and one reason alone...........because I thought he was against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was wrong. It doesn't take a Princeton, Yale or Harvard graduate to know that we are in the Middle East for three reasons Oil, Money and Power. We don't belong there, we are the intelopers, invaders, not the liberators. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  182. mike saunders

    The problem is that when you start at the top. you have no place to go except down. Even in business there is a saying" Be good to the people you meet on your way up because you most certainly will meet them again on your way down". I noticed in our own government the prime mininisters who were extremely popular experienced the same problem. Indeed Sir Winston Churchill was not re elected after the allies won world war two. What that tells me is that people forget very quickly. I think the president is doing a great job especially when one considers the cards he was dealt. People need to give him a break and get behind him instead of getting in his face and impeding him. To conclude, it reminds me of another business saying that says if your boss isn't upset with you from time to time, it's probably cause you aren't doing anything. The president's boss is the people who elected him. If he accomplishes a fraction of what he has undertaken, he may be the most effective American President in history but don't expect perfection because that does not reside in anyone: Good luck Mr. President, it is indeed lonely at the top

    December 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  183. Jim Gray

    As soon as many of the ignorant realized he couldn't walk on water they realized he wouldn't be able to perform Miracles.

    I had a visitor, from Texas, tell me in February that Americans are very impatient and this will hurt Obama, in the long run. He is an Obama supporter but he knows the mentality of his fellow Americans. Unfortunately I am starting to realize how correct he is, as in all my years I have never seen a President work so hard and get so little credit.

    Impatience, is the best way to describe the citizens of the great U.S.A.

    Jim, Vancouver...site of the 2010 Olympics

    December 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  184. Mark Kennedy

    Jack – it's all about reality! A concept that 99% of all Americans can't come to grips with. So let's do away with health care – demand the return of all money from TARP and any other stimulus plan – and let this country fall apart. Then let us come back to this question and ask the American people why Obama's numbers are so low. It'll be because he hasn't done anything! Americans are not satisfied unless they have something to complain about – just look at the Republican Party – the epitome of "Stupid!"

    December 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  185. mike

    Jack why dont we just let presedent obama work. seems to me that he has alot to juggle on his place american people should be patient with him everything cant happen in one night. I think obama is the man for the job right now. all of these republicans and some dems have formed up against him? But ask yourself what do they have to offer? Maybe they should run in 2012. And input there own policies. PLEASE LET PRESEDENT OBAMA WORK it seems like alot of people want to see him fail, Sad, Sad, Sad.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:45 pm |
  186. lynne from nc

    The reason behind his low approval ratings are that people want a quick fix. They wanted him to come in an wave a magic wand and make our problems go away. Not possible. Congress holds the power. The President can only ask. If Congress doesn't act, then what the President wants is moot, which is the way the balance of power should work. Our problems took time to get into and it will take time to get out. We have to continue to help him by pressuring Congress. If we don't, we deserve the type of government we have now, weak, ineffective and bought out by special interests.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  187. cathy scotland

    Hi Jack,

    He's sooooo boring. Let's have a scandel to pep him up a bit!!!!!

    We in Scotland are longing for another Bush. At least that way, we used to notice and have a laugh.


    December 8, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  188. Ryan Urbaniak

    Impatience! Obama inherited a load of problems and people want, and are used to, quick fixes. No one is willing to take the measures necessary for a true recovery, and a true recovery takes time. Give the man a minute!

    Ryan, Munich, Germany

    December 8, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  189. Robert Ndlovu

    Obama is making a BIG mistake of trying to please every body.And in the long run both sides are mad at him.He must stick by his campagn promise.

    I wonder what kind of people sorround and advise him.

    Obama is definitely NOT going back to the White House.

    And what the heck is he doing in Iraq ? Afgan ?

    December 8, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  190. Dean Gorby

    Simply put, the Prez is a politician. I believe Americans, on the whole, look unfavorably upon any and all "politicians".

    December 8, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  191. Dave in Arizona

    It's a sad thing, really. He came in wanting to tackle this countries issues, versus oh... ignoring them in favor of a senseless war in Iraq, and he had the energy to make it happen.

    But his energy hit a wall like waves upon a mountainside when the Republican party mobilized and began to mislead the public against medical care reform early on. His ability to actually improve things has slowly diminished since then.

    A general can lead a charge, but not when those he relies on to help only get in his way.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:51 pm |