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. Chris

    I can't wait for Bush to leave so Obama can help us and pave the path to a better country. And for those who think Obama will ruin us, give the man a chance before judging him!

    November 10, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    George W. Bush did nothing in the 8 years we called him Mr. President, think about. As a result, look at the mess he was allowed to create. It will take long tireless hours to fix this mess and the Nation knew when we voted Obama this isn't a job for a old unqualified man running on a war record.

    November 10, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Bingo

    Those that attempt to cast President Bush as the worst president ever obviously did not live through or remember the President Carter years. I know of no other President that has ever permitted an enemy attack on US soil and seizure of American citizens to go without a US response. It may take a couple of decades, just as it did with President Truman, but I am confident that President Bush will, eventually, be recognized as one the most courageous and principled Presidents of our history.

    November 10, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    almost as bad as the Dem Congress. Barney Frank is a disgrace

    November 10, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Sweetie

    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

    Of course so will we!

    November 10, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Ft Wayne IN

    Just two more months or so.. THANK GOD

    November 10, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. SKI

    - Keith November 10th, 2008 11:58 am ET
    The President's approval rating should not be mentioned without also stating the approval rating of congress.

    While The President's is low….Congress is and has been lower for many months.

    What the American public and the arrogant uneducated Republicans do not know is that the Congress can only push to a limit and the PRESIDENT has a VETO to block anything he dislikes. Watch out for the approval rating of the Congress after January 20, 2009.

    Keith, Try to learn the BASICS at least before commenting anything.

    November 10, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. AdamW

    How anyone ever liked him is beyond me. He was always an idiot.

    November 10, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. Leatherneck

    Everyone needs to lay off. We got what we wanted and that was a change. Let's quit talking about the old and start talking about the new. Let's make sure we can all work together and support our new president as he prepares to take office. As for Republicans, we need to start working together. Obama isn't even in the White House yet and already they're critizing his pick for Chief of Staff. Give it a rest and let the man do his job.

    "There is no Blue America, there is no Red Amercia, there is only the United States of America!!!"

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

    But that last twenty-four percent still thinks he walks on water, folks. Spencer, he's selling the Crawford 'show ranch.' He doesn't need to play cowboy for the suggestible voters anymore.

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. RJ, Phoenix

    For those stating that the Republicans voted Bush in, think about that comment for a moment.
    Some of you self righteous Democrats had to have voted for him as well, or he would not have won either of the elections.
    Take some responsibility for YOUR vote.
    And remember, some of us Republicans never voted for Bush.
    Me being one of them.
    So somewhere out there is a Democrat who offset my vote AGAINST Bush.

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Casey/NH

    Maybe his visit with Obama today will give a boost to his image.

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Steve

    I would not expect any different result from a liberallly biased media such as CNN and the liberal jerks that were surveyed! Wonder what the same group would have to say about the Pelosi/Reid run Congress? Last time I saw any results on a survey of Congress, their approval ratings were even lower and you morons out there still continue to support them! Talk about hypocrisy!

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Rick in Bergenfield

    I think when the time comes and they start talking about a Bush Library, I would suggest that the former President be given one of the FEMA trailers from New Orleans to house all of his worthwhile writings. It would probably be way to big, but certainly appropriate.

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Truth Hurts

    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"

    Truth Hurts

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Monica

    Im worried about the 24% who still support him!! They need psychiatric help!

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Andy

    @Matt re: Jimmy Carter

    I'd take Jimmy Carter over Dumbya any day of the week.

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Matt St. Jean

    He should not resign. Bush and his lover Dick Cheney should resign together and move to a happy place together so no one sees them ever again.

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Jimmy Carter

    Yeah thank God. I hated that label. Even though I didn't do an ounce of what President Bush accomplished. If we had the internet in 1979 and had all these angry liberals blogging and posting their anger all day, well I would still have the worst President label. Thank God for technology and liberal media.

    Well good luck Senator Obama, I wish you well.

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. John

    Jon in Talent – You're kidding, right? First, Congress has a low approval rating because anything good they want to get done gets vetoed and they don't have the 2/3 to override.
    Second, America is safe? The largest attack on American soil in the first year in office, after taking a large portion of that year off, and his response is "Osama bin who? Let's get Saddam!" I realize it's more likely his handlers are to blame, but he's supposedly the head, so he deserves the blame he gets.

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. Steve Highley

    Yet over 40% of the voters found it acceptable to have "Bush in a skirt" (Sarah Palin) in the White House?

    Have they learned nothing?

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Florida Joe

    You have to wonder what else would this guy have to do to lose the 24% that actually think he has done a good job.......I'm afraid to think about it

    70 days, 10 Hrs & 41 minutes of this agony left

    Hang in there America

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Bridgette-PA

    These ratings are, in part, why Barack won the W.H. If he had wonderful ratings, I'm not sure if McCain would have lost or at least lost by as much as he has. With that said, THANK YOU MCBUSH!

    November 10, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Super D

    When all your information is filtered by a Liberal media, no wonder Bush has the ratings he has. In spite of everything he's done or tried to do, the Liberal press got so pissed off in the 2000 election that they would never let him off the hook. That's the honest to God truth if you lemmings can handle it.

    Me? I got my eyes on you Obama. I can't wait to throw all the stuff that got threw at Bush right back at you. Obama is dumbing down expectations already. Just wait until that tax cut you morons thought you would get, well that's the first thing he's going to let you down on.

    I Can't wait for that! I will be ready.

    November 10, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Pablo R

    So 24% of America still supports Bush?
    I didn't know that Bush's family were so many to get to 24%. Or did they survey the same people by mistake over and over and got to 24%?

    November 10, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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