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Obama's approval rating remains high - CBS/NYT poll

Final election push

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto

With less than three months left in office and just ahead of the 2016 election, 54 percent of Americans now approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. 

This is similar to last month and the fourth straight poll where his approval rating has been above the 50 percent mark. His current approval rating is slightly higher than it was before he won reelection in 2012 (50 percent).

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When compared to recent two-term presidents, President Obama’s approval rating is far higher than that of George W. Bush (20 percent) at a similar point in time, but somewhat lower than those of Presidents Bill Clinton (61 percent) and Ronald Reagan (60 percent).

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On the other hand, Congress continues to get dismal ratings from the American public. Seventy-six percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing and only 15 percent approve.

Most Americans (61 percent) continue to say the country is off on the wrong track, while 35 percent say it is going in the right direction – similar to early October.

More Americans say the condition of the national economy is good (53 percent) than think it is bad (46 percent), but positive assessments have dipped a bit from last month. 

One figure in Washington who remains popular is First Lady Michelle Obama, who has been hitting the campaign trail in support of Hillary Clinton. Fifty-two percent of Americans have a favorable view of Mrs. Obama, although Republicans have a net negative view of her -- 21 percent have a favorable view of her, compared to 47 percent who do not view her favorably. 


This poll was conducted by telephone October 28-November 1, 2016 among a random sample of 1,561 adults nationwide, including 1,333 registered voters.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News and The New York Times by SSRS of Media, PA.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample and the sample of registered voters could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. 


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