November 10th, 2008
01:06 PM ET
6 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. Brad

    Bush made mistakes. A lot of mistakes. I don't think we can deny that. His approval ratings and history will likely reflect that.

    I am in awe that so many people are judging Obama before he even takes office. Give the man a chance first. If you've already decided his presidency will be bad, you will never see anything but what you want to see.

    I didn't elect Bush in 2000, but he was my president. l judged him based on the decisions he made in office. I think any president deserves an opportunity to prove himself first.

    November 10, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. kcbob

    Of corse Congress rating is low, Republicans just re-elected a felon to the senate. (Stevens from Alaska)

    You want shae? There you go, idiot republicans.

    November 10, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Jimmy Carter

    Carter goes down as worthless and he continues to be. Oh yeah liberal media controls everything. Why don't we ever hear about Congress....oh yeah it's Democrats that have the lowest approval ratings.......Liberal media at it again.

    November 10, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Jeff

    I love to see all these people with personal problems put all their blame on a president who does not have any real power.

    Fact = This government has checks and balances so NO ONE MAN can screw up this country. At least President Bush does not go with the "popular crowd" and does what he thinks is best.

    I fear for this country with Barack as president.

    November 10, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Bushwacked

    sally, san diego ca November 10th, 2008 12:25 pm ET

    Lets hear if from the idiots that re-elected him in 2004. That was one of the worst days for this country, everybody that voted for Kerry knew that the country was totally screwed.

    Sally, meet Noah

    November 10, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Purple Nurple

    I wonder what this guy is going to screw up next???? I am just happy he can't screw up my country anymore than he already has...oh wait he has like 73 days. I could be wrong...lol.
    Peace everyone!!!

    November 10, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Lu

    If you were the focus of the media and every step and decision you made were broadcast, I wonder what your approval rating would be.

    November 10, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Abby

    Wish your country well please. Wish our President-elect well so he may govern with wisdom and fairness...don’t wish him ill just so you can say ' I told you so' . God Bless President-elect Obama!!!

    November 10, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. Salt

    To be honest, I'm surprised that anyone at all would approve of the job he's done. He is a complete disaster.

    November 10, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Conservative James, Phoenix, AZ

    Noah,

    Do your homework. The 9/11 attacks were a direct result of US troops in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, started by Bush I. Bin Laden thought it a desecration to have foreign troops on Saudi soil.

    Nothing Clinton did provoked the attacks. Do your homework before you show the world how much of a dunce you are.

    November 10, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. RealityKing

    Oh, the same biased CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey that predicted a 10+ point victory for Obama? Great poll work CNN.., not!

    November 10, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. Bushwacked

    sally, san diego ca November 10th, 2008 12:25 pm ET

    Lets hear if from the idiots that re-elected him in 2004. That was one of the worst days for this country, everybody that voted for Kerry knew that the country was totally screwed.

    Sally, meet Noah

    November 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Noah November 10th, 2008 12:26 pm ET

    Big deal. President Truman had 22% approval ratings when he left office and he is now considered to be the 7th most popular and best President in history. Bush's image and legacy will be repaired in the years to come once the Left finally admit that he did a great job protecting us and we see the progress that will be made in Iraq. Almost every President has a poor approval rating when they leave office. Even wildily popular Presidents like Clinton.
    -------------
    Maybe you're right. Maybe fifty years from now, historians will see Bush as a good president.

    But for now, until then, Bush sucks more than any president has sucked before!

    November 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Ras-disputin

    A functioning idiot !

    November 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Greed is not good

    No surprise...his approval ratings keep getting worse the longer he stays in office.

    Bush and Cheney built their whole agenda about profiteering for big $ constituents in Iraq reconstruction projects. They need to stand trial for a pack of lies, dishonesty and deceit.

    November 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Dee

    Whoever said technology was progress has been so mistaken when it comes to most of these blogs. I never saw such hate and mean-spirited dialogue as in this political period. It makes me ashamed for you.

    As for Mr. Bush, even you don' respect the man, you have to respect the office. He is still our president. He kept me and my family safe after 9/11 and brought out the eternal good spirit that makes this country great. Don't you all remember the flags that were displayed all over our nation to declare to the world that they did not break us? He taught my grandchildren what patriotism is. For that I am grateful to him. Thank you, Mr. Bush.

    I did not vote for Mr. Obama, but he has my full support. He will be my president and I wish him all the best in the years to come. if I ever have the opportuity to help him, I will.

    It's time to move on, people.

    November 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Frank from Peterborough

    Whoever blogs under the name of sweetie has a very narrow perception of what is going on with the thinking Obama will have a worse approval rating than Bush.

    Bush is a war criminal along with his cronies and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries not only to U.S. military but to innocent Iraqi men, women and children.

    Guatanamo Bay and torture have dragged the U.S. down to a nation generally regarded as third world both domestically and internationally.

    This man is evil personified.

    November 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. AEK

    Although I voted for President-elect Obama because I to was fed up with the policies of the Bush administration, I am very disturbed at the unrelenting disrespect for the President I read on these posts. Until Rush Lamebrain and the other right wing comedians started that type of disrespectful broadcasting when President Clinton was elected, there was a common philosophy in this country that you were free to disagree with the current administration's policies but were respectful of the office of President and the person holding that office. Unfortunately we have seen that type of adult, intelligent disagreement and discourse replaced with anonymous vile rhetoric that is very unproductive to say the least.

    Come on folks, let's return to a time of civility and good judgement!

    November 10, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Simmy

    It's a new day!

    President Bush has had his chance. It's time to give change a chance!

    Move over critics – President Obama shut your mouths in the primaries against Clinton, and in the campaign against McCain.

    He's going keep shutting your critical mouths, until you concede that he's doing a heck of a job!

    Print That!

    November 10, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Gregg from Grand Terrace

    I would often wonder durning both terms of this sitting President how he could sleep at night, and I will always be proud of the fact that I did not vote for him once. Someone once said that he was someone that you would have liked to go out for a beer with. As Hillary Clinton said "maybe we should have left it as that." Thank goodness the days of slackers in the White House are soon to be over. We will soon have a former President of the Harvard Law Review as a sitting President, something we can all be proud of. I would prefer Joe Mensa as our President as opposed to Joe regular guy.

    November 10, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Mike

    *comic book-guy voice*:

    Worst President... ever.

    November 10, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. Richard

    Bush brought all this on himself. He BRAGGED over and over that he didn't "pay attention to polls", which reflected what Americans wanted him to do. His disgraceful failure to do anything for 4 days while Americans were suffering in a major city was just typical of his lack of caring about anyone but himself.

    WORST DISAPPROVAL RATING IN ITS HISTORY. Richly deserved.

    November 10, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. JIM...TX

    SuperD...haven't you heard???? Most INTELLIGENT Americans reject all that racial crap!

    November 10, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. David S.

    Both Bush and Congress should get the lowest ratings in history. Bush isnt the ojnly problem so are those fools in congress. Unfortunately, those who hated Bush went ahead and kept in idiots like Pelosi, Frank, Murtha, and Reid. Nothing will change because we still have career polticians in charge.

    November 10, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Joe in Dallas

    As much as I despise George Bush, our problems don't stem from him. They come from ourselves. As a country, we all need to do penance for the stupid mistakes that we've allowed this country to make in the last eight years. Sure, Bush is an inept, raving maniac, but this country has millions of inept raving maniacs that we DIDN'T elect as president. Yet we allowed ourselves to be duped by a Nazi-like manipulation of our fears, our religions, and our prejudices. We allowed these weaknesses to take this country from the darling of the world to the pariah of the world. Bush didn't do it. We did it to ourselves. The good thing about our democracy is that it is a self-healing creature, and we have tools to bring about immediate healing, but we chose not to use them because it would be "divisive". We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

    November 10, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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