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. Mark

    Who are the remaining 24%?

    November 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. John in NewYork

    I don't know if we should give him credit for being as bad as he is. He is only a puppett of the REAL idiots.

    November 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Mike

    I've said it once, twice and I'll say it again, Gov. Palin is George Bush with lipstick!!!

    November 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. Terry, Dallas Texas

    I think the dog is more popular than he is.

    November 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. JAM

    Numbers befitting the Worst. President. Ever.

    November 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Bush should leave by the back door of the White House.

    November 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. mary dale

    Bush's approval ratings are that high because a full 30% of the people cannot see him for what he has done for our country. They are the blind who still think he has done a great job. He has ruined every aspect of our lives while enriching the already rich. For those of you who live by the bible, George W. Bush will surely burn in hell for all eternity; right next to the rest of his cabinet and VP

    November 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Dexter Skagway

    Oddly enough, the people who repeatedly voted this disaster into power still think they know better. Everything they voted for, believed in and howled about has failed miserably, and yet they still think they are right.

    Angry liberals are downright happy compared to Rage Republicans!

    November 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. Luis

    Gee, I'm SO surprised – what has he done that might be remotely considered as "good" over the last eight years? Getting out of office – that's an excellent start.

    November 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. al ft lauderdale florida

    The worst EVER! And to those that are complaining about the Congress, that's because of all the REPUBLICAN fillbusters and not enough votes. May the EVIL REPUBLICAN PARTY be DEAD FOREVER.

    November 10, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Doc

    If the Republiscums would not have blocked key issues in the Congress, such as alternative energy just because they also wanted more domestic drilling, perhaps their approval rating would be higher and more Scums would be returning to Congress. I think the voters made informed and enlightened decisions.

    November 10, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. V

    Congress's low approval rating is an insult to democrats and republicans.

    Bush's low approval rating is an insult to republicans.

    November 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Ted O. (Canada)

    I don't know why Bush has such a high disapproval rating. Most of the same voters who now disapprove, are the very ones who voted for him in 2000, and 2004. George Bush is just the perfect example, of how choosing a president based on populism, instead using your head can backfire.The same majority who voted for him originally, and now disapprove, should look in the mirror every morning, and vent their frustration on the person looking back at them. Congress should create "Stupidity Tax Law" and charge this tax to every Republican voter from the last 2 elections. That's a lot of money!

    November 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Thomas

    There is nothing worse than a man who is both inept and arrogant.

    November 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Blake

    I think people don't understand the entirety of everything that is going on. When something goes wrong and people don't understand it, they want someone to blame even if it is not there fault. This is what everyone is doing with President Bush. I believe that over time, people will wake up to find that President Bush faced things that almost no other president in our history has. Granted, they may have faced one or two things that Bush has but not all of them at once. Our country has been kept safe for the past 7 years since the 9/11 attacks. Our country was booming economically during the Clinton Administration, not because of Clinton but because of the dot com boom and now that we are on the bust end of everything we complain. Never has a President faced a terrorist attack as great as 9/11. Never has a President faced a hurricance (Katrina) after a terrorist attack. Never has a President faced a slump in the economy such as this, after a terrorist attack, and a hurricane. This article and time in our country is typical, someone else can always do it better but usually those people are too scared to make the decisions. If you think you can do better, run for office.

    November 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Gary

    Way to be a maverick in reporting the numbers. Even though every other mention of the rating decides to use 'approval' numbers. Thanks Paul I love doing math when I'm reading an article. So a 76% disapproval rating to CNN is a 24% approval rating to everyone else. It makes me question why you chose to report the numbers this way.

    November 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Proud to be American

    Buh, bye Bushie – good ridiance.... I am extremely happy to see you depart!

    November 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. sglman4Obama

    The president needs to stop worrying about "approval ratings" and find himself a good lawyer for those war crimes charges he and Big Dick Cheyney are gonna face for killing innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. I can't wait to watch them fry before the world stage for being a bunch of dictorial idiots!

    November 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. David

    The problem with members of Congress is that voters always think THEIR elected official is great but YOURS are terrible. Hence the slow turnover in members.

    November 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Kurt

    Bush has been an equal opportunity disaster. He brought down the Republican party along with the nation. 100 years from now his legacy will be the devastating consequences of the Bush Doctrine–the preemptive strike–the first time in the history of our great nation when we made it a policy to attack first without being attacked. The oil wars are his, and that is what they will be known as: 100 years from now historicals will long have realized there would be no war in the middle east had they no oil. He did nothing in eight years to help wean us.

    November 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Ted O. (Canada)

    I don't know why Bush has such a high disapproval rating. Most of the same voters who now disapprove, are the very ones who voted for him in 2000, and 2004. George Bush is just the perfect example, of how choosing a president based on populism, instead using your head can backfire.The same majority who voted for him originally, and now disapprove, should look in the mirror every morning, and vent their frustration on the person looking back at them. Congress should create "Stupidity Tax Law" and charge this tax to every Republican voter from the last 2 elections. That's a lot of money!

    November 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. lou

    What is the approval rating for Congress???

    November 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. mike

    History will see him as the unluckiest president ever

    November 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Justus

    You just have to wonder what his daddy thinks.

    November 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Barbara in NC

    Bet those of you complaining about Congress voted the same ones back in.

    WE didn't here in NC. At least one lazy, selfish, no-good gone. If the next one is as bad – OUT!!

    YOU quit complaining and do something about who represents YOUR state.

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