December 26th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
3 months 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. sg

    While I didn't vote for Bush during his first election, I'm glad he was at the wheel on 9/11/2001. I believe we would have experienced several more attacks had Gore been elected. I HOPE Obama, Pelosi and Reid don't let the gloves down. Clinton should have taken terrorism more seriously after the first Trade Center bombing. Guess he was too busy with Monica to address the threats to this country.

    December 26, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. williefloyd

    I can understand the ones who will be glad he's gone, it's the ones who will miss him that I can't understand!

    December 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Texans for Obama

    Bush ahas proteched us from andother attack, because he was behind the 1 that hit us. So, ot saying much bt saying that the guys who planned the attack kept us from another. Bin Laden works for teh CIA....It wasa big con game to get the military-industrial complex a war f0r $$$$....Bush last stab at us was done with his buddy, then Sec. of Treeasury, who raped us for a cool $700Billion +++++++

    December 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. earle,florida

    You all put him into office so whats the big deal. You'll be crying about BHO, in about six months to. The fact is people, "your all brain dead" ,you need a caretaker ,because your a lazy,pathetic bunch, of cry-baby's,...

    December 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. John from SC

    Wow...

    3 of every four people glad to see him go.

    I wonder if 2.5 of those 3 are glad that we are not going to have "Four More Years" under George McPalin.

    I know this one is.

    December 26, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Ted

    Yea, we can get rid of him but we can't get rid of the 60million people that voted for him and their plans to legislate their morality and their religion into our lives continue. The GOP has learned nothing from this situation. They continue to lie, obfuscate, cover and support these criminals while, at the same time, none of their candidates can be seen in the same state with members of this Administration.
    Dubya bought votes in 2000 by giving away money and many, many Americans let themselves be bought.
    Crimes have been committed and Cheney and company are admitting it. Where is the patriotism of the GOP to put country before criminal? Where is their responisibity for demanding accountability of their own Treasonous President and Veep? Cheney admitted that he outed Valerie Plame and Dubya didn't do a thing about it but lie and back off his promise to fire the "leakers"....Liars all and a bunch of you are behind him regardless of the lies... pathetic and frightening...

    December 26, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Another David

    David, I'm with you about the neo-con hijacking of the GOP, but it happened after Bush 1. George H.W. had no illusions about the messianic spread of democracy by force. He subscribed to the Powell doctrine – clear mission, overwhelming force, clear exit strategy – that W. abandoned. Many of H.W.'s advisors, such as Scowcroft and Baker, opposed W.'s Iraq war.

    In short, if junior had listened to daddy instead of the neo-cons, he'd have been a lot more successful.

    December 26, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Richard Rohde

    Oh kind and gentle liberalcrats, George Soros fed you the Kool Aid and you believe with a perverted evangelic fever all of the venom and hate you spill out. It is remarkable that we who have a conservative view are called racists and other names (really read some of these comments) by the enlightened elitists.

    December 26, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Seattle Sue

    I'm surprised that 23% of people will miss him, I would of thought it would only be the top 2% of people that Bush took care of.

    December 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Jeff

    I guess that means that 1 out of 4 people are not blinded by the media. Wait for the Obama to get old to the media, they will turn on him and his approval rating will go down. Way too many sheep.

    December 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. J.C.

    I am not GOP, but I felt worse after President Clinton tangled the Oval Office and himself with Monica than now. Many people couldn't see President Reagan's achievement till years later. I hope President G.W. Bush will fare better ten years down the road. I totally trust Mrs. Laura Bush and Michelle Obama with our White House furniture and treasures.

    Shall I say without Bush, we would have never heard of the shoe-throwing culture from Middle East? Iraq feels free to express themselves now and that is good, but at a high price.

    December 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Steve

    Sorry to say the Republican Party is dead. Whose is going to trust a party the next election that has created not one but 2 economical disasters.
    If you look at the percentage of McCain Votes in the south which were around 2/3 you will see the problem. White Southerners always vote
    Republican For Federal elections and in State Eclections they always vote Democratic. I saw that when I lived in the South for 5 years.
    But did not people practice the same thing in the the rest of the Country by voting for someone as ridiculous as mCain to keep from voting for Obama and what is disgusting is most of these people knew mcCain for what he was and is..

    December 26, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. We're NOT "your friends"!!!

    Who the "He double hockey sticks" are the 17% of the country that feels that W united the country. NUT JOBS!!!! Where have you people been living the past 8 years????

    December 26, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. John

    Wow...3 out of 4 Americans are mindless sheep. That is news!

    December 26, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    Are you sure CNN that it may be 4 out of 4 ?

    December 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. DOC

    The one good thing Bush did for this country was to expose how much of a CHEAP CARNY SCAM can be run out of Washington D.C.

    December 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. Slider

    Good riddance.

    That will be exactly what the American people will say to media types like yourself, Bill Schneider, for selling the country the bill of goods named Obama.

    You know where you can stick your pom-pons.

    December 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Reality Check richmond virginia

    glad to see you go, go, go, go, goodbye.

    December 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Americans need to see Bush go to

    Trial....go to Trial

    For if not...

    We are the worlds most disrespected joke.....

    No matter who the President Elect is

    There have been many casualties, and many permanent losses for GW. Did he not think at some point the path to Peace would demand the same from him for his actions?

    We all understand and expect that.

    December 26, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Mike O'Brien

    When does the large U-Haul truck arrive at the back door of the White House ? Need some help ? Good-bye, George W. Mike In Montana

    December 26, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Texas Teacher

    I think it is more like 4 out of 4, if people will be honest. Only a fool cannot recognize the mess this man and his people have dug us into! It is only the stubborn and illogical who cannot admit they were wrong.... or bamboozled is a closer word! We were bamboozled with fixed elections, and look what it has wrought all over this country and the world. No humor here. This is dead serious.

    We must all get behind Barack Obama and pray that he and his people can begin to right the wrong both here and over the rest of the world. He is the light of a new era! :) And that is worth smiling about.

    December 26, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. Donna from Colorado Springs

    I'm very glad to see him go! Maybe we can all take a deep breath and move forward out of the mess he put us in.

    December 26, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. Brad

    Even though I am young democrat, I would like to see the republican party become a more viable option. It would be nice, if they could come up with ideas that can ensure that our country remains elite. We'll only remain on top if we have better science programs, better education programs, and a better economy. It seems like the GOP is only concerned with improving Sunday school programs. By the way, we should check to see how Sunday schools have done since Bush took office, maybe that could be his saving grace for his legacy.

    December 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. mike davis

    I can't wait to buy Bushes memoirs because .I got a set of new crayons for Christmas Peace-out mike

    December 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. jim

    Nasty human being – if you can call Bush a human being. Thanks for all you did to the USA!! Oh and by the way - 9/11 happened 1 1/2 years in his watch. He was playing with children at the time - and morons thank him for keeping the country safe??

    These people are as ignorant as their leader!

    December 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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