November 10th, 2008
01:06 PM ET
10 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. Pamela

    The other 34 percent must be his relatives!

    November 10, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. Steve, Jacksonville, Fl

    Makes you wonder about the 24% who approve. Are they in a coma?

    November 10, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Ann, Remsen, IA

    I think it is awful how the people for get that things wern't so bad 2 years ago before they elected the democratic congress. It is not the president you should be blamming It is people like Nacy Pelosie and the rest of the democratic idiots in washington. I know everybody was ready for CHANGE but you didn't change a thing in D.C. You kept all the same idiots that have been there for years.
    Personally I think George W has done a good job and did a good job until the idiots took over in D.C. And the media should be ashammed of themselves for what they have done.

    November 10, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. C Jerome

    Looking back at all the "mistakes" made by Bush, one may think his "mistakes" were on purpose. How else can you explain the decision to disband the Iraq Army. Did he think these unemployed men would just go home to a hungry family? They needed a job and Bin Landen is always hiring. How else can you explain Katrina? Did he not know the citizens would need help? How else can you explain the current financial crisis?

    He ran a perfectly good country in the ground. I am so happy he is in good health with many years ahead. When I was a child, teachers said U.S. Grant was our worse president. Now the school children can answer in unison to who is the worse president. GEORGE W. BUSH!

    I guess the other 24% are undecided.

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. CT Indy

    The real problem with Congress is that term limits do not exist. We elect representatives that are too busy running for their next election and continue this trend as long as they can get re-elected. Term limits are the only way to go if you want members of congress to focus on the task at hand and not their campaigns or what the heads of their parties are telling them to do.

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Tim

    Wow Keith, what a profound and thought provoking post. Most people, when asked about their Congressional Reps approve of their individual Senators and State Reps. Only when asked about congress as a whole due the polls reflect lower numbers.

    The fact is Bush will be remembered as the worst Pres in history, and no amount of revisionist history will be able to change that.

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. My Pet Goat

    I hope this carpetbagger doent come back to Texas.He was born in Connecticut and should stay there. Many of us real Texans are ashamed of him.Let him finish reading his Goat book.

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. bob

    What this popularity poll boils down to is what will the media tell the people about how well the president is doing. Because of this Obama should enjoy historic numbers. All we will hear from the media is how well he is doing and how they are all gettting chills up their legs. The other thing is that OF COURSE Obama will be popular. He checks the polls before he decides what tie to wear. Can't we just get along and support our president? Dems ask if people will support Obama even if they didn't vote for him. I will. Can they do the same?

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Willy

    I like Ike.

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. M. WINNERS

    The far right-wing, neocon evangelicals of the repug party held fast to the idealogy that government can't do anything right.

    It took electing one of their own to prove those demagogues right...

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Paul

    Will everyone stop feeling sorry for yourselves! The election is over, the guy is leaving... we will never get out of this financial mess if we keep up this attitude. We need to buck up, move foward, and get to the current business that we can do something about vs. wasting our time living in the past, which we cannot change. We can kick this thing around for months or years, but at what cost? If we put half the effort in writing ALL of our representatives that we put in bloggs (that make no difference at all) we can have things our way. The sooner all our representatives, state and federal, know "We the people" are in charge, the sooner this country will be fixed. Regardless if Dems or Reps are in charge or is your representative, if most of America will write them about EVERYTHING we feel, and their email has millions of letters DAILY, they will have no choice but to act in our favor, but when the citizens remain silent, our leaders will act in their best financial intrest and do what Lobbyists want regardless if the representative is red or blue.

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. kevin

    off with his head !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! let them eat cake. na na na na naaaaaa naaaaa hey hey hey good bye. good bye. say la vie

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Steve, New York, New York

    Among the obvious stupid things that Bush # 43 has done, people do not mention Russia very much . .
    . .but I think that Bush did ENORMOUS damage, in doing his best to try to re-start the Cold War: not just a missile shield, but then the guy goes around, inviting a bunch of former Warsaw-pact nations to join NATO . . and then he acts shocked that Russia has become so belligerent?
    Why does Dubya insist on "picking fights" all the time???

    November 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Mike

    Well when your economy is in the tank. And your bogged down in a war that did not need to be fought. There you be. This Republican voted for Obama and will again if the GOP does not bring the right candidate in 2012. Personally I like Bobby Jindal. I know that Palin cannot win. She is tainted by the negative campaign she waged and the disasterous loss. And Romney is a Corporate Billionaire who is percieved to be part of the problem. Not the solution.

    November 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. S.Kennedy

    Kirk, how can you defame our Congress when everytime they tried to offer change GW vetoed it?

    November 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Sweetie November 10th, 2008 12:20 pm ET

    We haven't seen the lowest approval ratings yet.

    In less then four years from now a President that only 14% of this nation agree with (Liberal left)

    Will be in deep deep deep do do
    He won by a landslide. He won states that no other Democrat would even dare to campaign in.
    You make absolutely no sense.

    November 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Boise, ID

    Can we vote the other 24% of Americans out of the country?

    November 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. HA

    two words; GET OUT!!!!!

    November 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Red, Red WHINE!!

    I can not believe those who actually are grateful for how Bush protected us against terrorism.

    Just a little reminder, he's the only one who ever let us get attacked on our home soil by terrorists. You people have a distorted definition of how he kept us safe when no other president has allowed an attack on our soil since Pearl Harbor.

    But go ahead and be as dillusional as you like. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. And your false sense of security as you watch two buildings get attacked, fly up in flames and then crash to the ground as people jump out of the windows, is certainly a prime example of it!

    November 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Greg M

    Bush please leave and never ever return. Take the republicans with you that are not able to work with President Obama. We need positive people working with the positive President Obama, so if you're not willing to work and make the changes President Obama says, well you can just leave and he will get someone in your place that has the vision he has as President of the United States of America for POSITIVE CHANGE ! P.S. Bush take that mad animal (the dog that is) with you, let he him know he can't just go around biting on people, the reporter did'nt make him a republican dog, so don't take it out on the reporters.

    Obama 08'..........................................................................

    November 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Jeff from Atlanta

    I actually understand the low ratings because people think since he was president he's to blame, and for some of this he is, most notably Iraq.

    But for the banking debacle, look to Bill Clinton if you want to know who to blame.
    For the bailout, look at Nancy Pelosi and her democratic partisan party, and she's looking to bail out the auto industry now. That's you democratic leadership at work. How can you possibly expect a tax break when they're running up the bill.

    You would think these supposedly smart people could learn from history that when Congress meddles in the free enterprise system they really f@*k things up. I pulled a Life magazine from 1956 and only recognized about 1 out of every 5 companies advertising in the issue. Don't these congressmen realize that it is natural for companies to succeed and fail, you don't have to bail out everyone for poor management. Now the banking industry I almost understand since Congress regulated them into disaster, (forcing them to make questionable loans under the pretense of providing home ownership to the less fortunate, Ha!), but the auto industry they did not.

    November 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. keesa

    wow i guess we supose to be suprise throw the bum out, but i aint gonna lie he was a funny prez

    November 10, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    j. williams November 10th, 2008 12:22 pm ET

    it is impossible to be a worse president or even worse ex-president than Jimmy 'i hate America' Carter
    Then explain why W's approval rating is 15 points lower than Carter's. At least Carter was honest.

    November 10, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. boered1


    Unfortunatly he is NOT irrelevant, his is busy signing executive orders today that will further destroy this country. he still has two months to make more poor decisions that canhurt this country. The congtress is talking about coming back into session to work out another stimulyus package the the current resident will have a say on. So while he is till resident and I respoect the office, I cannot respect him nor will I be satisfied until he leaves office in shame and humiliation, the same shame and humiliation his radical rightwing theories and beliefs have brought down on this nation!

    For those of you who want to blame congress for thisresidents failures think about this his first 6 years he ahd a rubber stamp congress he asked they delivered, they even threatened to change the rules in the Senate if they did not get their way, for two years he has had a Congress that while they had enough votes to prevent him from forcing the agenda they did not ahve enough votes to override him and force their own agenda and so the aqgenda for the last two years was simpjy status quoi.. which was a continuation of the the first six years so yep it IS his fault and not Congresses fault.

    As for those who think h4e has kept us safe tell that to the families that have lost children in Iraq FOR NO REASON we went in because Bush lied and said they KNEW where the WMD were located, they did not even HAVE any WMD, since then the bushies have lied and changed the story and the fools on the right have bought his lies even now you hear people talk about fighting them there instead of here 9even though Iraq was NOT a haven for terrorist under Hussain) and we went in to "free the Iraqis" even though there are other countries under worse tyranny, and the Iraqi people DID NOT INVITE US as other countries have. Nope those are all lies told by the bushies for the illegal invasion of an inde[pendant country.. that happens to sit on oil we would not need if we ahd followed through on Carter's palns that were dismantled by the idiot reagan.

    November 10, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Vegas

    History will decide...

    "Although he was forced out of his re-election campaign in 1952 because of the quagmire in Korea and extremely low approval ratings, scholars today rank him among the top ten Presidents. His honesty and integrity, his political courage, and his firm stand for Western democracy after World War II have earned him high praise from all political corners,"

    November 10, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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