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. CHIP

    Has Jesus stopped talking to bush also ?

    November 10, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |

    Bush appointed Ziegler, a head doorman in Congress, to head the INS pre-9/11. Under Ziegler's private contracting outside the INS, 9/11 terrorists' visas were approved post mortem. People's votes were disenfranchised in Florida due to hanging chads voters were supposed to know about. Cheney has run the whole show from behind the curtains. From the outset, the Bush presidency has been a historical disaster!

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. rwh

    President Bush....respond to many situations that did some very bad damages to America, period! Nothing was done to help America in the last eight long years. The rich got richer and CEO's walk off with countless of people 401ks and millions of they care...not on your life. Like a chain-reaction one thing right after another and he just sit back and watch and did nothing! America needs a change no matter the color of a person skin and all of those who might not like what has taken place; in every elections...the people speak who they feel that can lead them! A might storm has came and it linger within our great place we called America. We have lost thousand of people for nothing, and we have lost thousand of jobs....its time we put a stop to that inwhich have held us under the water for so long. It's time we float out into brighters seas to enjoy brighter days!

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Lee

    My mother in law read a book about 6 years ago that Dubya Bush was sent by Jesus to save us! She believed it. She watches Fox News and dutifully listens to Rush on the radio still and is one of the 20 something percent that still approves of Bush.

    Her next "saviour" is Palin.

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Noah

    PDX Gal- You are showing yourself to be uneducated, uninformed, and/or intellectually dishonest, 9/11 happened in the 7th month of Bush's presidency but an attack of that magnitude was planned years in advance, under the Clinton Administration. Clinton dropped the ball when it came to Al Qaeda and thus sowed the seeds for the terrible attack of 9-11. To blame Bush exclusively shows you are either a lunatic or dishonest liberal. Probably both

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Eldon

    Hope stem cell research will be expanded
    as obits still full of cancer deaths.
    Also hope the internet gambling bill, you know where
    the banks are the moral police on
    where you can put your money, be repealed.

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Darlene

    I am not a Bush supporter but sometimes think we are a little naive to what is really going on. A lot of things we are dealing with now are complicated and it is presumptuous for us to think that everything is as it seems.

    True enough he is not the smartest person in the room, but the president is not a LONE job. Many of advisers, staff, etc. contributed to the decisions that lead to that rating. We expect the government to do a lot, and honestly, they can't please everyone.

    I think sometimes we jump on the George Bush is bad sometimes without giving some consideration to what he has done right. We have not just simply blown up so something is going right. Again, I am a democrat, but think we are dealing with some complex issues that even we don't understand.

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Alex

    It is funny how republicans keep complaining about people obama is appointing... which are mostly democrats. Republicans... do you expect obama to make his team made out all republicans... not gonna happen. You have to fair, obama is a democrat and majority of his people would be dems, as it would be the other way around. Even if obama appointed 50% republicans in the white house, do u think dems would be happy...

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Well, what did you expect from a guy whose ethics, intelligence and integrity are lower than a snake's belly?

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Michael from Lone Tree

    Hey Matt, you said "two words for the liberals….Jimmy Carter!" - what does that mean? It means nothing. The thing I notice about all of the Bush defenders is that they can come up with little more than emotional arguments (we're all gonna get bombed) or stupid comments like Matt's. With a two-party system, people think in two dimensions.

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Angry in S.F.

    Congratulations, George!! Obama's not the only one making history right now!

    November 10, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. Pecos45

    Even Jimmy Carter didn't waste 4,000 lives on a stupid "war" or leave an economy so wrecked as Bush.
    Nice try, but GWB43 still holds the record as the WORST EVER!!!

    He is a good person, but just not up to snuff as a leader. (We knew this in Texas, but no one listend to us......they just listened to Rove.)

    November 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. KMAN

    It's official ... 24% of America adults are blind to reality ... or they are simply too stupid to have the right to vote!

    November 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Frank

    To the people posting that we've been so safe under Bush, and we'll get blown up under Obama:

    The fear tactics worked for the 2004 election. No more. Bush's policies since 9/11 have created more terrorists than we'll ever know. He managed to piss away international good will at a breathtaking pace. His knowledge of the Middle East going into office was on par with a 5th grader. He vacationed more in his first year of office than any other president. He's spent $1 trillion and 4000 American lives on an invasion largley based on stories cooked up by Ahmad Chalabai. Do you know who he is? Collin Powell was against the invasion, despite the puppet show he was made to put on in front of the U.N. And oh yeah, Cheney was against the invasion–under Bush senior, that is.

    But these issues have all been stated before. Why let the facts get in the way?

    November 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Larry

    No doubt that Mr. Bush is human and made many mistakes, but haven't we all? I believe he had good intentions and a lot of the bad wasn't his fault. He didn't cause 9-11 or Katrina, and had to work with a congress with lower approval ratings than his. I know that God is in control and we are to respect our leaders whomever they are. I will be praying for George and Laura as they retire to a much deserved private life and will be praying for our new President as he takes office. God Bless America!!

    November 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Larry

    Two words for the door Matt.... You lose!

    November 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Herve Le Roux

    I am surprised the approval ratings for George Bush are the high.
    Any other country, he would have been booted from the presidency.

    November 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Mccain/Palin are liars!

    Yipe, and I was just beginning to like him after the honorable way he congradulated Obama. He seems like his heart is in the right place, but he's simply an idiot. Thank god Mccain didn't win and we don't have to go through another for years with a total moron.

    November 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. bird

    I hope everyone applies the same scrutiny to the new administration. I also did not vote for Bush in 00 or 04, but I have contempt for all the fools who felt that voting against McCain, was voting against Bush.
    If they really felt that strongly, we would have re-elected John Kerry last week and the country might be a very different place. Instead it is the "popular" mindset to follow the media's hyper-critical flatulence

    November 10, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. GA Independent

    Too bad he can't leave early – he even looks like he wants to!

    November 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Kim

    For all of you who voted for Bush over Gore and especially Bush over Kerry, thank you for this economic and foreign policy mess our great country is now experiencing.

    November 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Mark

    what did u expect with Voodoo economics. I find it incredible that the republicans accuse dems of tax and spend while all the time they simply just SPEND

    November 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. Jay


    November 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. RJ, Phoenix

    "9/11 happened on W's watch. This rating is well deserved."

    9/11 was pretty much a forgone conclusion by the time Bush took office.
    9/11 was due to Clinton not killing Osama when the military had him in their sights.
    Clinton refused to give the order.
    Clinton let him get away... more than once.

    November 10, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. lee75

    What a loser. I am so glad the last 8 years are about over.

    November 10, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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