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. Red State Republican who voted for CHANGE!


    November 10, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Steven, Edmonton,Canada

    One other thing to add,

    Having grown up during the Reagen Years and reading about the histories of your country in school...yes they teach us about other countries in our schools in canada.

    The Republican party of old, was a party that offered hope, unity, the perception of good, even if it wasn't always so. todays Republican party to me looks like abunch of power hungry, fear mongering, win at all costs people.

    Any seriously!!!!! Please show ONE example of your countries history where a President took a stable and well off economy, and literally destroyed it in 8 years along with bringing about the start of TWO wars, not to mention the near meltdown of the entire financial sector...just ONE example would be good.

    November 10, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. GreatGoogilyMoogily

    A quote from Al Gore:

    "It is too easy — and too partisan — to simply place the blame on the policies of President George W. Bush. "

    November 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. kevin

    Rache from Bowie exactly how did bush handle the economy oh wise great on? how did he do it? tell us ?? entertain us rache. let us know. I m so curious to hear your wisdom . please let us in on how bush handled the economy ??????????

    November 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. NJames

    It's remarkable that the GOP isn't howling that Obama agreed to meet Bush without preconditions!

    November 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Al in VA

    The first MBA president probably wouldn't have kept his job if he had to face a board of directors.

    November 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. FJ from Atlanta

    Still too high!

    November 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Double Standard

    I read in the comments by "sick n tired" to another article:

    "Shut up republicans and take your proper place in the political food chain! The people have made their choice and you lost GET OVER IT!!"

    It got me wondering, why do we have to "shut up" and "get over it" when the ultra-left liberals can make headlines for protesting the choice people made in California on Prop 8?

    No...the Bush presidency may have had its faults, but the upcoming Obama messiahship will be a nightmare. Reading the news of what he has planned...RULING, not governing...implementing his ultra-left ideas via presidential fiat...going back on promises to make change lead from the middle by chosing party hacks as his closest my friends, it is not a time to shut up and get over is a time to hold the new messiah to the same standards of openness, fairness, and accountability to the will of the people that all other presidents, white or black, have been held to.

    November 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. S.Kennedy

    Chico in VA. Why should he be left with something that hes taken away from millions of hard working Americas. How much dignity do you think he left them as their standing in the welfare line.?

    November 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Kimimaro

    Stop fighting! We need to focus on America; not Canada or Mexico! This whole world dines at our table and have developed very bad manners. We provide these countries with jobs and a consumer base they can only imagine. This policy of placing who we consider to be disadvantaged before us has got to stop. I am in positon to see the forest for the trees; As Americans we are so busy working to see exactly where are jobs are going and whom we are providing for. And for those of you bitter because you have to contribute troops; it is idealistic for you to think our jobs and money come for free.

    November 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Lisa in Illinois

    I'm still surprised he got re-elected but the bigger suprise – 24% still approve? Amazing.

    71 DAYS TO GO!!

    November 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. GreatGoogilyMoogily

    @Ed from Santa Fe

    Don't forget that Clinton tried to reinvent the word "is". Clinton is a liar. They are all liars.

    November 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Lady in GA

    Why won't mr. bush resign? He's not doing anything to help us. God Speed Mr. Bush to a long life on the TX ranch.

    November 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. AL

    Come on, does this really surprise anyone????????

    November 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. O & Joe '08!!!

    So let me get this straight...

    Bush's approval rating is lower than a former president embroiled in one of our history's most notorious scandals, while Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, convicted of making false statements and violating ethics laws, is re-elected. Three things come to mind:

    1) I want to meet the 24% of the population who think Bush is doing a good job

    2) Clearly, Gov. Palin would not respond when asked by the media who she voted for in the Alaska Senate race because she voted for Stevens, knowing worst case that SHE would select his replacement – a Republican – if he won (as he would most likely not serve)

    3) Alaska seceding from the union sounds better to me every day!

    O & Joe!!!!!

    November 10, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Former Iraqi resident

    Thank you to all of the troops that helped FREE Iraq. Yes, there is still fighting and people dying, but some day it will be considered a great accomplishment.

    The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). This is how long it took our great country to free itself. Were these wasted lives? Liberals that live under the very freedom that they died for, might say so.

    I find it somewhat hypocritical of liberals, they say we shouldn't be there, but they say we should help everyone else in the world. Huh?

    November 10, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    PDX Gal November 10th, 2008 12:17 pm ET

    9/11 happened on W's watch. This rating is well deserved.
    It's even worse than that. 9/11 happened because when Bill Clinton and Richard Clark warned Bush about Osama Bin Laden, he ignored both of them for eight months.

    In other words, W contributed to it by inaction.

    November 10, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. ran

    He should have been impeached. I hope he does not get away with what he has done to this great country. An investigation into his actions needs to be conducted when he leaves office.

    November 10, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. REG in AZ

    Even though he has been arrogant, aggressive, bullheaded and without a conscience, the sociopathic Bush shouldn't get all of the fault. There is Cheney who pulled a lot of the strings and was the liaison between those behind the scene and the President. Bush was really just a puppet, a willing and determined puppet, but none the less it always seemed obvious others where doing the real thinking.

    November 10, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Chris

    hey rex....WE...the majority didn't elect him twice. The majority elected him once. He had less than 50% of the popular vote in 2000 and won the EC on a Supreme Court ruling ordering the halting of counting votes in Democratic counties. Now I'll give you that that America made one stupid decision but not two.

    9/11 happened on dubya's watch – so everybody claiming he kept us safe you are clearly as dumb as he is. And invading two countries has made us safer??????????? riiiiiiggggghhhhhtttttttttt.

    To the people bashing Carter – Carter didn't make the best decisions every time but he got some bad luck too – oil embargo, hostage crisis...but the man is not an idiot. He's got some high marks – Camp David anyone? But to compare him to W is an insult. Dubya is on par with Warren G. Harding and James Buchannon.

    November 10, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    I have a feeliing Obama will be able to beat this record!

    November 10, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. D.J.

    No Suprise at all. This man will indeed go down as the worst President in our Nations history. Go ahead and try to spin it all you want, neocons, you and the rest of the world KNOW this, as evidenced of his administration totally running this country into the ground on so many levels, with Iraq and the economy being at the top of the list. This administration's responses in our nation's most critical moments put greed and corruption of GOP cronies and constituants before what was best for the country, and we are seeing the poisonous fruits of it now. Bush , Cheney, and their neocon cronies are laughing all the way to the bank, because they have raped and pillaged our country under the disguise of Patriotism, and no matter what happens after they leave Washington, they all know that they and their future generations are set, while the rest of the country is left in shambles. Obama will at the very least begin to repair this damage, and put us back on the right track. Go ahead and deny all of this, neocons. Bush has DESTROYED your party, and it will be a LONG time before most Americans forget how YOUR party ruined this country. Nixon and W., two of the WORST EVER.

    November 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Tom in Texas

    To Jon in Talent: You are among the clueless who keep saying the that this admistration has prevented further attacks on U.S. soil... On who'se watch did they occur? Duh.. They struck because just the facesof this moron and his henchmen instilled anger and hatred. He was (and is) a symbol of all that is wrong, in their eyes, with America. His election in 2000 ignited the flame of hate.While it may be true that the draconian efforts of profiling still exist, I can say, as one who worked in the Middle East in the 80's and 'early '90's, that Bush was and is considered a real threat and evil, in their eyes. He is a war monger, plain and simple. He got to play out his infantile dream of being a "wartime" President (his words) He was and is desperate for a legacy. Well, by gum, he has one....Worst President. EVER... already things are better now that a man named Obama is going to take over this renagade chuck wagon of a government.
    A lot was said when a Bush and McCain supporter crowed that he could never vote for a president with the name "Hussein" in any order of name. Funny, my friends in the MiddleEast say the same thing applies to the name "Bush" It conjurs up nothing good, that's for sure.
    Just the name Bush still gives me the shivers. He isn't what is good about our great country, he is the worst. of it So long, Cowboy, ride off the range. I guess his Presidential Library will be the first drive-thru one in history. What is there to see or hear? Accomplishments? Nope. Good management of government? Nope. Keen inttelligence and diplomacy? Nope...see, the list isn't there...just like the WMD's.
    So very sad (for our country) His pathological demeanor is as transparent as it ever was.

    November 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Lorna, NY

    I keep hearing the Republicans blame the loss of the election on the bad economy. When will they figure out, it had more to do with their right wing, evangelicals message. The country has changed and the Republican party has not. They are hate mongering and divisive. This is why they were elected out. America has asked for change......

    November 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. Bach

    Hey James, wanna bet that's the title of the article? hurr durr.

    November 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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