November 10th, 2008
01:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Bush disapproval ratings reach new record

Bush meets with Obama at the White House Monday as his disapproval ratings reach a new high.
Bush meets with Obama at the White House Monday as his disapproval ratings reach a new high.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As President-elect Obama visits the White House, a new national poll suggests that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the most unpopular president in the six decades since presidential approval ratings were first measured.

Seventy-six percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday disapprove of how George W. Bush is handling his job as President. That's an all-time high in CNN polling, or in Gallup polling dating back to World War II.

"No other president's disapproval rating has gone higher than 70 percent. Bush has managed to do that three times so far this year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That means that Bush is now more unpopular than Richard Nixon was when he resigned from office during Watergate with a 66 percent disapproval rating."

Prior to President Bush, the record holder for presidential disapproval was Harry Truman, with a 67 percent disapproval rating in January of 1952, his last full year in office.

As Obama visits the White House, 57 percent of those questioned think the transfer of presidential power will be relatively easy and free from tension, with 39 percent saying the transition will be difficult.

"A majority say that the transition from Bush to Obama will go smoothly, although nearly one in four predict a lot of tension between Bush aides and Obama aides in the next few weeks. That sentiment is highest among Democrats, but even among them, a majority believes that the transition will be relatively easy," Holland said.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday with 1,246 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

soundoff (356 Responses)
  1. Spencer/VA

    What do you expect from the worst president of all time. That's just sad. Maybe he'll jump back on the wagon(Jack Daniels) when he get's back to Crawford.

    November 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Keith

    The President's approval rating should not be mentioned without also stating the approval rating of congress.

    While The President's is low....Congress is and has been lower for many months.

    November 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Spencer/VA

    8 years really makes a difference. When Bush came into office, his hair was brown. Now it's completely gray. I guess being the worst president in U.S. history takes a toll on a guy huh?

    November 10, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. N. S. Huntsville, Al

    I really just want Bush to get out of there. I Don't wish any harm to him or his wife just think Bush was a terrible President and even though I didn't care much of his father, I must say his father was way more diplomatic then his crazy son. His son love money, oil and power more than he loved the American people. Instead of people lieing about Obama the Republican party should be angry at Bush.

    November 10, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    How could that be? Do you mean to tell me that 23% of Americans approve of Bush?

    What planet are they from? Even the cavemen from the Geico commercials disapprove of Bush! But on the other hand, they were smart enough to invent the wheel, so maybe that explains it.

    November 10, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Scott

    Still not as bad as the disapproval rating for Congress. Yet we sent most of them back...??

    November 10, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Wow,...con men, tax auditors, third world dictators, lawyers, dentists, used car salesmen, and repo men all have higher ratings than President Bush now. I guess he still beats out the Grim Reaper though.

    November 10, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. TRUTH

    The power of the Democrats should thank Bush who is the destruction of the republican party! GOOD

    November 10, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Super D

    Stupid Americans and American voters. Blame Bush for everything.
    Katrina, price of gas, terrorism, earthquakes, stopped up toilet, car broke down, runny nose....etc

    You're gonna miss W when your scared to go to the shopping mall because you might get blown up.

    Yes sir! Change is a comming! Obama will get those bad guys! If he can recognize them!

    November 10, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. dwayne

    Well I guess he is going out with a bang! He had the highest approval rating in history between 9/11 and the led up to the Iraq War and now the worst rating of all times!

    November 10, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. cLk

    100 years from now, he'll be known as an inept leader of the most corrupt Administration of all time.

    November 10, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. tehevo

    Worst. President. Ever. Thanks for screwing our country off GW, your world domination plan lacked everything it needed to happen. A true American idiot.

    November 10, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Evie the evile Evelyn

    We the people have great hope (come on people now – expect IT! :-) our future is very bright.

    We can create change ... we just proved it big time ... now those nay (neigh?) sayers – HUSH UP and give possibilities a chance.

    To keep saying NO YOU CAN'T ... yer a dum-arse and are on your way out. The dawn of a dream is upon us. It was the worst of times, it is the best of times ... choose ... solutioneer or problemeer.

    November 10, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. katiec

    Well, this is no surprise considering what his policies, advisors and the republican party have done to our country. What I cannot believe is the 24% that still support him.
    They all have created so many crisises for our country, we will
    be forever trying to dig out of these many holes.
    Since we are in the diasterous shape we are in, all we can do
    now is ttry to survive and resolve and build our country back up.
    This cannot be done without cooperation by both parties.
    We must unite, it is our survival.

    November 10, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Texas Teacher

    .... and your point is?

    The economy is on the brink of distruction. Medical expenses are outrageous. We are in a senseless war that is literally draining our economy not to mention the lives and health of our young people. Bin Laden is still one the loose. Our standing in the rest of the world is on the floor. And the rich just keep getting richer in an obscene fashion that the Republicans want to make permanent!

    In other words, Bush and his cronies WITH the support of McCain and company have dug such a hole for the country and the world that it will be years before we are out of it! If then!

    I'm surprised the man has any approval rating at all! As a matter of fact, I'm surprised that Bush has not been impeached! I'm sure that the Republican majority in the congress is all that has kept him from being impeached along with Cheney! This administration is rotten to the core! It's like a cancer on the face of America!

    November 10, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. Jon in Talent

    Not surprising coming from CNN. How about reporting the "ALL TIME LOWS" of the 110th Congrees????? I guess you woundn't want to show what good Pres. Bush has done eh. Remember , the last 2 years???????? Cnn, you are losing our support more and more every day and we will be watching when Hussein throws you under the bus as well. Don't even think about whining to us.

    November 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Tim in LA, CA

    Definitely putting the lame in lame duck

    November 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. cool onlooker

    No surprise.

    The only mentality American people should bear embrace is that CHANGE does not happen overnight. We should give the new administration time and patience to overturn the situation. Lower the expectations, and be most supportive. Obama is a very intelligent man. If not too much ideological distraction, I strongly believe him and the change he will bring about. Just a matter of support and patience.

    November 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Barret Graf

    poor guy. just kidding.

    November 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Jeff Brown

    Good riddance to bad garbage!

    November 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Robert

    What's wrong with 24% of this Country?

    November 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Mark Dover, Delaware

    It's amazing that his approval rating is so low...everything bad that has happened is Clinton's fault. It's Clinton's fault that he left GW with a surplus. This man has bankrupted everything he has ever touched!

    November 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Jon in Talent

    What also will be funny is when these lib lovers see just how safe the US has been under Bush. We are waiting for the first wave.

    November 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. MD, TX

    History will be the judge and not current opinion polls. If Obama's first term ends in high inflation, stagnation, and record deficits then perhaps he will have the same approval levels as GW now enjoys.

    November 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Chuck

    Not even worth a comment. History will tell the truth about the Bush / Cheney kingdom.

    November 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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