December 26th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Three out of four Americans glad to see Bush go

Three-fourths of those polled are glad to see Bush's presidency end.
Three-fourths of those polled are glad to see Bush's presidency end.

(CNN) - As President George W. Bush gets ready to leave the White House in three-and-a-half weeks, and a new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans feel his departure is coming not a moment too soon.

Seventy-five percent of those questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they're glad President Bush is going, with 23 percent indicating they'll miss him.

"Earlier this year, Bush scored some of the lowest presidential approval ratings we've seen in half a century, so it's understandable that the public is eager for a new president to step in," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The three-quarters of Americans surveyed who say they won't miss Bush is 24 points higher than the 51 percent who said they wouldn't miss Bill Clinton when he left office in January 2001. Forty-five percent of those questioned at that time said they would miss Clinton.

"As President Bush prepares to leave office, the American public has a parting thought: Good riddance. At least that's the way three-quarters feel," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

The poll indicates that Bush has been compared poorly to his predecessors, with 28 percent saying that he's the worst ever when compared to other presidents in American history. Forty percent rate Bush as poor and 31 percent feel he's been a good president.

Only a third of those polled want Bush to remain active in public life after he leaves the White House, with two-thirds saying they don't want him to stay active in a public way. That 33 percent figure who want Bush to remain in the public eye is 22 points lower than those questioned in 2001 who wanted Bill Clinton to retain a public role.

"Bush has dropped on a number of measures but possibly the biggest is that only one in five say he inspires confidence. That's an important figure when the country is facing its biggest economic crisis in a generation," says Holland.

When running for the White House in the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush promised to be a uniter, not a divider.

But the poll suggests that 82 percent feel that Bush did not unite the country, with 17 percent saying he did.

"The vast majority of Americans believed he betrayed his promise to unite the country," says Schneider. "He took a country that was divided under President Clinton and he divided it worse."

Only 27 percent of those questioned in the poll approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president, with 72 percent in disapproval. Bush's job approval rating has been at or below freezing since the beginning of the year, says Schneider - one of the lowest ratings for any president, ever.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 19-21, with 1,013 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • President Bush
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. 42% is Fair only if we all pay 42%

    The only thing Bush can do now to reverse these numbers is to pardon Paxico Burress!

    December 26, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. LST

    Am not sad to see him go, but not because he is/was a bad president. It is simply time for change. He will probably aim for better things than being made a target for greedy people's mistakes as well as a bulls-eye for foreign made shoes. He deserves better than the treatment he is getting right now, and I know history will vindicate this man and his administration's legacy.

    December 26, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. AEK

    Add to both lists:
    • Old MacDonald Had a Farm But Lost it to Foreclosure
    • Little Golden Book of World Economic Failures
    • VERY Grimm Fairy Tales of Bad Foreign Policy
    • Curious George Screws the Environment
    • Richard Scary's Best Endangered Species Book Ever

    December 26, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. SMR

    It would be closer to 100 percent if more americans weren't blinded by party lines,racist bias and plain stupidity.By far the worst 1,2 punch in U.S. history.

    December 26, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Cali Mike

    Bye Bye Bushy. Good riddance. If I did my job as poorly as you did, I would be in serious danger of losing my job. Actually, becasue of you I AM in serious danger of losing my job. Thanks bud.

    December 26, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. LIP

    Interesting to note that throughout Barack Obama's campaign he stressed that with McCain we would be getting four more years of Bush. Bush must not be all that bad, since Obama has kept several of Bush's appointments and is following Bush's approach to taxes and incentives and security and the war in Iraq.

    December 26, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Joanna

    Na na na na, na na na na ,hey hey hey, good bye!!!!!The adults are home, the the GOP party is OVER! We'll see you at your war crimes hearing!!!

    December 26, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Mesa Mick

    Glad to see him go like hell – I want to see him – along with Cheney, Rummy and Gonzo – tried as war criminals!

    December 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Cardinal

    Bush and Cheney deserve a fair trial. Nobody can deny that.

    December 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. BeefMasterX

    Since we are going back in time, let's go all the way to our last great president, Harry S. Truman.
    He is the last president to govern while ignoring the needs of the press. He is the last president to make tough decisions for the benefit of America while sacrificing his legacy.
    George Bush is an evangelical whack job who made tough decisions for the benefit of us all.
    Who knows what would have happened if American citizens would have shown the same courage and moral conviction as our president.
    Quite possibly we would have seen a quicker end to the Iraq conflict, and probably the Afghan situation as well.
    Good luck to Barry.

    December 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Taa Taa

    I have no respect for him. When he called Jeb and told him to fix the race, I lost respect for him, and to this day, I have never addressed him as P--- Bush, because he did not win. His name is George to me. Title of President has not been earned by this man. I can 't wait to see him out. Good bye and friggin good riddance!!!!!!!!

    December 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. John from California

    Mr. Bush please feel free to leave earlier. We are counting the days, the hours and the minutes.

    December 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Elizabeth, Philadelphia, PA

    Don't the door hit you on the way out, Georgie.

    December 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. AnaB

    Honestly I don't hate Bush, he did a job that I would imagine most of us would never want. However I think he did a horrible job and I am one of those that cannot wait to see him go.

    December 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Tricky Dick

    3 out of 4? Those numbers sound low.

    December 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Lou-Dallas

    ...well, whatever some of you geniuses think, he kept our country safe. They may sound like something unimportant with this lame article, but that's the facts, ma'am!
    And this idiotic 'unite the country' thing. You Obamaites and this article seem to harp on that. But remember, some 66 million voted for ole Barry, but over 57 million voted against him...so where's this 'Obama's bringing the country togerther' thing anyway....!!??

    December 26, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Michael

    When Bush attacked Afghanistan, it was understandable. When he pushed into Iraq, that spelled the beginning of the end of a presidency which became synonymous with corruption, greed, low IQ, and collosal mismanagement of war, economy, and the country as a whole. Cheney and friends made out like bandits but we will pay for it for many decades to come. Good ridance.

    December 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Polar Bears Against Palen

    George W. Bush is worthless. What a digusting human being.

    December 26, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I can't imagine anyone not being glad. He has embarrased this country in front of the whole world. I just hope Obama will be able to repair the damage done. It will be a huge task!

    December 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. DC3

    We have all seen that 17% that approve of his performance.. Those are the ones that believe that Obama is muslim, they believe that garbage the GOP has been spreading for the last 20 years about the godless democrats and believe that O'Reilly and Ruxh Limbaugh are actually intelliegent..
    All I have to day is George if there was a merciful God he would have you and Chaney retire to the Green Zone in Iraq....

    December 26, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. David Goldman

    IRONIC, ISN'T IT !!!

    HE STOLE THE ELECTION TO BECOME A BIG MAN.

    & HE MANAGED TO BECOME THE MOST DETESTED

    LIVING MAN ON THE PLANET.

    December 26, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. Lawrence in Denver

    I am glad to see Bush go. Whether or not i'm a big fan of bush isn't the issue. It is the fact that I am ready to end this chapter, whether good or bad.

    I am ready for a new administration.
    I am ready for a bright administration.
    I am ready for a change in policy.
    I am ready for hope.

    I am ready for Barack Obama!

    ~Lawrence in Denver

    December 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Paul

    1 in 4 Americans must work for Haliburton or an oil company, because I can't see why anyone wouldn't be happy to see Bush and his gang of GOP crooks go.

    December 26, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. zephye

    My happiness no bounds. I am hoping to throw a big party to commemorate his end. We saw too much of him.

    December 26, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. sunshine

    i wish you and your family well and Gods Blessings, but maybe 4 years is enough for any president.

    December 26, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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