November 13th, 2008
04:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Obama facing high expectations

 Most people believe President-elect Barack Obama will change America when he takes over from his predecessor.
Most people believe President-elect Barack Obama will change America when he takes over from his predecessor.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The overall public mood may still be sour at the moment, but a new national poll suggests that most Americans think Barack Obama will make major accomplishments as president of the United States.

Nearly two-thirds of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday said President-elect Obama will change the country for the better. Twenty-five percent said he won't change the country either way, and only 9 percent indicated they think Obama will change the country for the worse.

"The bar is being set awfully high for an Obama presidency," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

According to the poll, most people think it's likely that Obama will improve race relations, improve economic conditions, bring stability to the financial markets, make the United States safer from terrorism, reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil, reduce global warming, win the war in Afghanistan, and remove U.S. troops from Iraq without causing a major upheaval in that country.

"That's a pretty big to-do list," said Holland.

In a question separate from whether Obama will change the country for the better, 76 percent of poll respondents said the country will be better off four years from now, while 19 percent say it will be worse.

Three-quarters of those polled also have a favorable view of Obama, up 12 points since the election. Among black Americans the number was 99 percent, while among Republicans it was 41 percent.

The overall 75 percent favorable rating "makes Obama the most popular president-elect in at least a quarter of a century," Holland said.

In November of 1980, after his landslide victory over incumbent President Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan's favorable rating was 67 percent. Eight years later, the elder George Bush had a favorable rating of only 50 percent immediately after his win in the 1988 election. When Bill Clinton beat Bush
four years later, his favorable rating was 60 percent just after the election.

And after the Florida recount ended in December of 2000, George W. Bush had a 59 percent favorable rating.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted November 6-9, with 1,246 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Long

    The whole world has a lot of expectations too. It is kind of daunting but at the same time it has the USA as the leader of the world on Nov 4th. I think that Obama will be to politics what Tiger is to Golf.

    It is happy days again in America and the World loves it too.

    November 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Jimi NY

    All I am caring about right now is Health Care. I Freelance and I have to pay my own Health Insurance and the new plans that just came out our unaffordable. I can make it affordable, but I have to sacrifice and take a less expensive plan that doesn't really cover hospital expenses until I pay $14,000. I don't have any health issues, but . . .
    I do trust that he is going to make things work because he is the best chance this country has had in a long time.

    November 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Cammi317

    At this point he could sit back and do little to nothing and come out better than Bush...LOL

    November 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Griff

    I didn't appreciate the Comments to my Comment.. Still I said, And I mean it... You are Heading for a Revolution... Black's Killing Hispanics? (Your choice of Words, not mine)... Wait! Just wait and see! You will wonder how you alloiwed this happen... Revolt! In all quarters..... Just Wait and see... You heard it here first!! Or did you???

    November 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Ruby

    Obama can only do so MUCH cleaning up after a HUGE black hole Bush left behind. Poor Barack!

    November 13, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. PDX Gal

    Well, yeah!! He set some pretty high expectations during his campaign, so of course.

    It's a long road ahead. But his hands are certainly more capable than the alternative!

    I'm sure in 4 years he will have accomplished a great deal, if bitter repugs can stay out of the way & not chase after his coat tails with a hammer & nail.

    November 13, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

    I am impressed with Americans being open to change. Some will take longer than others to get used to the new president. No president's job has ever been easy! Let's all give him a chance and be realistic. I am positive he'll break through the high standard and be one of the greatest presidents to serve 2 terms that we've ever had!

    November 13, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. Johanna

    We're behind you Obama. With all that this man is facing I feel I can jog a little longer, pay my bills on time, and get my butt to work at 8 in the morning when I am suppose to.

    Yes We Can

    November 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Annette

    President elect Obama has a huge challenge ahead of him. But Obama is the right person to get this country through this challenge. There will always be folks that will see him as this "liberal", but a title does not define a person. We did not get in these problems over night? So please, let's stop being naive??? I am sure President-elect realizes that folks are looking at his every move, just like folks did not during the Bush era. I think we all need to continue to step back and let the President elect have the space he needs to make these changes and organization, the same respect and space we would have given McCain.

    November 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Margie

    My prayers will always be with you and your beloved family.

    November 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    Yes, it took EIGHT years of a Republican presidency and SEVEN years of the Congress controlled by the Republicans to have this DISASTER hit us!

    I too, have faith in President-elect Obama, and his team, and Congress to START digging us out of the disaster we are in.

    I hope that EVERYONE realizes that it will take time, work, sacrifices but America will be stronger!

    And the best part, is that even the nay sayers will be eating crow! God willing!

    God bless you, Barack Obama!

    November 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Obama is only human BUT he will have a great team working with him so HE WILL get many good things done.

    Having a president that has taught U.S. Constitutional Law is going to be one of the greatest things that has ever happened to America.

    God bless the Obama and Biden families.

    November 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    He's up for the job - I just hope people don't expect overnight miracles and will give him enough time before they begin bashing him. We didn't get into this mess in a short while, and nobody would be able to get us out of it quickly.

    But then - I heard Limbaugh ranting about 'Obama's recession has already begun." Please - the man hasn't even taken office yet!

    November 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Chuck

    If he did nothing it would be better than what the Bush administration has done to the country in the last 8 years. Bush , Cheney and all the rest of the "axis of evil" in his administration should be at the very least charged with lying to the American public.

    November 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Brian NY

    Put me in the 9% category I guess. I think the country will get worse under Obama's rule.

    November 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. ace rhoad

    Lets talk more about the new dog! (The Mutt)

    November 13, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Worried Obama Voter

    The reality is he will not do hardly anything he campaigned on. Why did he sanitize his websites of all his plans? With all the Clinton people coming back we should have just elected Hillary.

    November 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. Tien

    WOW! What is up with the application? Are some of those questions even legal? Like private contact info of past romantic acquantenances? Private information on family members? I realize they want to protect themselves, but from the cnn report it sounds like some of these questions are a bit much. For now I'll chalk up to the reporting, but I'll be interested to see if this story goes anyway. If my 15 year son had a misdeamor, isn't that sealed?

    I don't have a 15 year old son, but I'm just wondering aloud.

    November 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Karl

    MD, TX: The bar is so low because of that idiot from Texas. The bar is not low for this elect. We expect a lot from him. But we understand that success may be far and in between...trying to clear up the mess where are in now. So to you...give it a rest and try to support this man's achievement. I think his achievement may help you. Do you plan to cut off your nose despite your face?

    November 13, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. OMG

    Please note: "Nearly two-thirds of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey," in other words – fake! Blah blah blah. Get a live already.

    November 13, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Worried Obama Voter

    I am starting to wonder....he removed all his plans from the campaign off the website and consolidated it into a vague one page statement. The reality is that he probably wont get most if not all of what he campaigned on done. Also, with all the Clinton people coming back, maybe we should have just elected Hillary.

    November 13, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. dj from Connecticut

    First, everyone in our country, including the news media, needs to support him and stay united with positive attitudes starting right now! We all know his aspirations! There has been enough negativity going out to everyone with the bind this country is in and for that matter globally. Soooooooo let's try to stay kool because this is gonna be a heckufa ride!!!!!

    November 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. FreeNLovIt

    What a mess!! We are all to blame for this mess. We were so smart we voted for him TWICE.

    November 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. ray

    when will the media stop covering this moron sara palin> please , please stop.

    November 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. MARY SWEET OREGON

    Hi Wolf!!!
    I think Obama wil be an extraordinary president if the right wingers would shut their mouth. Speaking of, how could you have that nut-job Palin on so much she opens her mouth and stupid pours out every time, Jeeeeeus, the sound of her voice is so depressing. Please somebody shut that woman up!!!!!

    November 13, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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