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. wait a minute

    I believe the transition will be very smooth, because both men are patriots and they both want our country to move forward quickly.

    November 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Chris from Boston

    That's what happens when you do a lousy job. A really, really lousy job.

    November 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. SpeedyDemon

    A 76% disapproval rating for President Bush is not a surprise.

    The people of the United States have been lied to, deceived, tricked, fooled, conned and improperly influenced by our government the entire time he's held office.

    In a very short time he found excuse to take away so many freedoms that we worked so hard to obtain. His belief apparently is that the government exists to control the people rather than the people existing to control the government and he's done all he can do to take power away from the people through the misuse of executive power.

    Our country is in a sad state when we have to reclaim our rights and our democratic freedoms because our leader found a personal agenda and ideology to be more important than the foundations that our country is built upon.

    Hopefully we can overcome the damage done in short order but I perceive that the damage is extensive and we'll have a major task in retraining specifics groups withing our local, state and national governments, in regards to citizens rights.

    Obviously, the majority of people in this country prefer a democracy to a dictatorship and have finally stepped up to face one of the real threats to this country's existence.

    November 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Andre

    Congress approval rating is low because it's democratically led and any republican supporter would vote against it (though it is not a great congress regardless) makuing it difficult for anything to get done.

    EVERYBODY (almost) cant stand Bush. Nuff said.....?

    November 10, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Matt November 10th, 2008 12:13 pm ET

    two words for the liberals….Jimmy Carter!
    There's one important difference between Carter and Bush.

    Carter sucked 30 years ago.
    Bush sucks NOW!

    November 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Brad

    For all of the haters out there, I say Grow Up. You all liked him when things were going your way in Good times. When Congress set todays Catastrophes in motion, you started to blame Bush. Maybe you all should look at yourselves, and ask this question; What have I done for myself lately. Did I put a fool into congress to lead me and our country into the abyss we are now in. If you are a Democrat I bet you did.

    November 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. chris s.

    Republicans suck so bad. They only care about the rich. We need a third party or democrats will rule forever.

    November 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. LC/Oregon

    Maybe people wont hide behind the bible, and look at the facts, and not beliefs the next time they make a descision that affects the entire country. Educate yourself people. There are libraries all over this country... there is no excuse for it. I never voted BUSH into office, and I sure as heck cant wait for his EXIT out!

    November 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Peter

    Thanks to George Bush for helping elect Barack Obama. I don't think Obama would have won if he had not been running against the Bush legacy. 2000 and 2004 made 2008 possible. I thought I wanted him impeached, but, had he been impeached, Obama might not have been elected. Too late to impeach now as he is "sprinting to the finish line." I'll bet he is.

    November 10, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Matt

    No matter how low Bush's approval rating goes it is still way higher than that of Congress. How pathetic is that. The mission over the next few elections is simple. If you are in power now then vote them out come their next re election. We need a governement that works for us, not their party or political backers. No more Reid, Pelosi, Dodd or Frank.

    November 10, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Jeff from Atlanta

    For those of you that bash Bush let's see how history judges him. I don't think he will go down as a great president by any means, but his presidency is far from the worse and he will end up somewhere in the middle. Clinton's sure didn't help with letting Bin Laden off the hook and screwing up the banking industry.

    I think Clinton' legacy will sink considerably once history judges his policies and how they led to the banking downfall we are experiencing.

    And Carter, still in the toilet after all these years.

    Obama, before you all anoit him savior of the world, he hasn't done anything yet... actually done anything ever, so be careful in bashing Bush when your guy has only been talk and promises so far.

    November 10, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Kevin

    I'm proudly one of the 24%........ Thank You, President Bush, for keeping us safe. Its amazing how many people who disagree with you are so full of hate. Just read these comments....disgusting! I hope the same doesn't befall Obama.

    November 10, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. D.J.

    It's so funny when the neocons try to blame the " liberal media" for them looking bad. Like the economy, Iraq, and all the criminal things that the Bush Adminstration has done are mirages. Silly Neocons....denial isn't just in Egypt.

    November 10, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Coultergeist

    Obama was right when he said that there isn't a "red" America and a "blue" America. It's actually a stupid America (those who think Bush is a great President) and a non-stupid America (those who know better).

    November 10, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Gary, Detroit

    Michael, Houston Texas
    The answer to your question is the owners, employees, stockholders and family members of FOX News. Any day now they will be declaring McCain and Palin the winners.

    November 10, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Patty in the CA mountains

    How proud his mama must be....and who are the 24% that approve? Is his family that large, or did they simply poll all the Evangelicals....well at least he is best at something 🙂

    November 10, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. SRI

    Who comes up with these ratings ? Many people like me are not well represented in these polls.
    Bush made a few mistakes; the Iraq war and aftermath, increased spending and increased government. But, to generalize and blame him for the Economy and every other American problem is not fair. History will be kind to him, for keeping us safe and for his courage. It will also show that he brought democracy to the Middle East.
    An Indian American.

    November 10, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Lu

    If the liberal media would report ALL the news, the truth, the facts, without spin, and if people would admit their own sins, President Bush's approval rating would be high. If one were to write down all the good that Bush has accomplished instead of blaming him for all the failures of this country one would clearly see that Bush is one of the best presidents this country will ever have. Obama won the election with the help of the msm and anyone who doesn't realize that is just simply duped. The msm has tremendous influence because of the ignorance of the American people. So they can include themselves in the cause for the downfall of this country. All you folks who think it's all about the economy should expect nothing good if you are a "Christian" because God will not bless this nation while it continues to promote the killing of the unborn, the homosexual lifestyle, fornication, adultery, pornography, greed, etc. Everyone who has rejected the Biblical principles this country was founded on should not expect any blessing from God. This country needs a revival IN the church and throughout the country. Your own choices are what has brought on the destruction of this country. Your choice to abort, your choice to fornicate, your choice to exploit women, your choice to choose to live sexually perverse, your choice to be greedy, etc. It's not President Bush's fault any more than it is your own fault. So who's fault is it? President Bush is FAR more upright than anyone who accuses him.

    Now let's see if CNN posts this one. .

    November 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. CT Indy

    To Ski and many others,

    The president cannot just act willy nilly on his own. He is only one branch or the government. Thankfully, we have a check and balances in place. He could not have gone to war without Congress. Just ask Senator Biden who voted for the Iraq War.

    I did not vote for him in 2000 or in 2004. I vote for Gore and Kerry. But I can understand that he is privy to information I am not nor should be. And I do think that as the elected leader of our country he should bear the brunt of the responsbility for the mess we are in because his job is to protect us. And he failed to protect us within our borders from a financial meltdown. However, congress was also asleep at the wheel (with the exception of a few voices) and is culpable as well and should be held accountable.

    November 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. ron

    It is stunning to read that there are some idiots that think bush has kept America safe, and worse they think that putting a Harvard grad into into office will make the country less safe. You have to love the thinking of the 24%. No wonder the states is going down hill. What a clown show.

    November 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Truth Hurts November 10th, 2008 12:24 pm ET

    Obama will not suffer such low approval ratings as Bush, because he will be a one term president.

    He will get tossed out of office for broken promises, including huge tax hikes and program cuts, which are his idea of "Change"
    We shall see. I bet you were one of the guys that thought that McCain would beat Obama. Remember, even after Bill Clinton was impeached, his approval rating was in the 60's.
    Bush's is lower than Nixon.

    Now, if that doesn't suck, then I don't know what does.

    November 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Conservative James, Phoenix, AZ

    I love the comments from the conservative Repubs who use a story like this to make attacks against our president-elect.

    Get over it, you lost. The country wants and needs a new direction and that does not include the Republican Pary.


    November 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    He is the worst ever! Good ridden!!!!

    November 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Scott

    Maybe so but Bush approval ratings have always been much higher than your do-nothing congress.

    When Obama's promised CHANGE does not materialize for his dolting followers, you can expect his approval ratings to plummet.

    November 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. walk away from your upside down mortgages!

    as that's financially the most sensible thing for you to do right now.

    wall street thieves will never advise you to do so.

    and that should give you a clue.

    November 10, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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