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. Anonymous

    I will rejoice on his last day like never before. This man and his cronies have been the most despicable group to lead this country in many decades. I only hope that we can overcome the damage they have done. While I suspect that W will head back to the ranch content in his conviction that he always did the right thing, the rest of us who live in the real world will remember him only as the closest thing to a tyrant this country has ever had. While I wish him an and his family well, if he ever comes near my house I will throw all my wife's shoes at him.

    December 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. dmjakers

    Not only are 75% glad to be rid of him, but the other 23% are COMEDIANS who will miss all that free easy material he's always given them. The last 2% are Fox Noise viewers.

    December 26, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. LF Oneto - VA

    Count me in as one of the 75 percent. Can´t wait to see this incompetent cretine leave office. Amazing that there are some people who will miss him. Then again, there are millions of rednecks who can´t find their own state on a blind map.

    December 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Mark

    to xcusme
    still using typical bush math...

    one in four, not one in three. remember, his favorable ratings are in the mid-20s, not 33% (i.e., one in three).

    and LIP,
    things not like bush in Obama's admin will be environmental, science, the economy, approach to Afghanistan, international diplomacy...

    December 26, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. bill

    IS HE GONE YET.thank just a few more days.and this crooked fool is gone. ASTLIVESTA GOOD RIDDENCE TO RUBBISH.FUMEGATE WHITE HOUSE.ITS FINNALY OVER.

    December 26, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. God Help Us

    2 out of 4 Americans want to see Obama's birth certificate.

    December 26, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Edie

    George W. Bush is the worst President we've ever had. He makes Herbert Hoover look good. It'll take 3-generations, if we're lucky to undo the damage he's done. And he can't even admit he's done ANYTHING wrong. I only wish he and Cheney were held accountable for their CRIMES!

    December 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. tm7devils

    Be afraid! Be very afraid. There are 25% who don't want to see Bush go! WHAT, or how, can these people be thinking?
    Reality, like the temperature, must come in degrees.

    December 26, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Pat Omaha, NE

    Good bye, Mr. Bush...you leave behind a broken country. I will go to my grave wondering how you were elected once...let alone twice.
    I am hoping to wake from this nightmare and find that it is eight years ago and someone else won!!

    December 26, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Julie

    LIP: Bush actually really is all that bad, and he's made such a distastrous mess of not only our country, but now the rest of the world as well. Even other countries want him out. The only reason he's (Obama) keeping a few of the Bush cronies around is because they have helped to create this mess, (the wars) and now they are right in the middle of it, and have to help clean it up. There's not much of an intelligent alternative at the moment, besides leaving Gates in his post. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to put someone else in there at this point. ESPECIALLY since Obama will be bringing those trooops OUT of Iraq a lot sooner than the stupid agreement that Bush just signed with Iraq. (Why couldn't at least one of those shoes have hit?)

    Dave: Even though I disagree with your idealogies, I agree, Bush and his disgusting cronies (Cheney) HAVE TO GO.I only wish the Congress would have had the balls to impeach him, and convict them of the war crimes, and crimes against humanity that they have committed. The Neo Cons have been screwing this thing up for years. Reagan was just the beginning of them though. Read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" if you really really want to have an open mind and examine the party that you support. Actually, the GOP wanted RUMSFELD as the VP for Reagan. Reagan walked around with Milton Friedman's manifesto under his arm, and that was his ideal economic policy. Why don't you do a little research and see what that policy REALLY consists of? Reagan's first attack on the air traffic controllers, when they went on strike. Margaret Thatcher repeated this with the coal miners (only by force). I really wish Americans were more intelligent, and would dig deeper, and read more. If they only knew what our government has illicited on the behalf of "free trade".

    December 26, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Tanya

    Only 75% glad to see him go???

    December 26, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Sye the Pychic

    I see people partying worldwide and here at home the day they leave office.Lets have a parade and show them how much they will be missed.

    December 26, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. David

    Think Bush might be one of the 3 out of 4 that is glad he is no longer in office.

    Any president though that could manage a higher disapproval rating than any Congress (not just dem-controled) these days would be the most hated man in the history of mankind (other than Hitler of course).

    December 26, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Slappy

    Let's see.... how many times were we attacked after 911?

    December 26, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Kathy

    Add me to the list of people who are glad to see Bush go!!! Now the unraveling of the Bush/GOP controlled Washington mess can begin. It's going to get worse but I have great confidence that Obama and his economic team can get our great nation turned in the right direction.

    Of course, by mid-2009 the GOP will place the full blame for our current economic mess and horrible world standing on Obama because they have never held Bush accountable for anything.

    God Bless America, our brave troops and President Obama!!

    December 26, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. joyce

    It's amazing what's going on in the head of the remaining 25% who are not glad to see him go. I mean wake up people. This man inherited a surplus when he left office. Look where the country is now. I say that is bad, bad management skills on top of really lazy intellectual curiosity and a really bad heart. His intention was to protect his millionaire buddies. I'm glad the truth finally showed up. I hope it's not too late.

    December 26, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Scary that a quarter of the country STILL thinks Bush was ok. Who in hell ARE these morons anyway?

    Where are their heads (I think I know) after Bush created 2 wars, spied on Americans, ruined the economy, and eroded civil liberties??? All they care about is they idiotic manias over abortion and gay marriage.

    BUSH SUCKS.... GET IT?

    December 26, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. flybyshoeing

    Lip, Please give us all detail explaining your statement. Thanks.

    December 26, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. ted d

    America has learned a very painful lesson over the past eight years. Whether you respect someone's ideology or disagree with it, you can't cut corners on competence. George W. Bush was in far over his head, delegated too much to his Vice President, and may well have wrecked our country. We all hope our new President can reverse this damage, but it's a very tall order. Decades from now, historians will look back and judge the Bush Administration as the most damaging in our history.

    December 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Now Bush should be put on trial for crimes against humanity. He's responsible for the deaths of more people - including Americans - than Osama Bin Laden: more than 4,000 American service people in Iraq alone, and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, all because of an unnecessary war Bush started based on lies. If there is any justice in this world, he - and Cheney - will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

    December 26, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Janet in Reno

    It should be 4 out of 4. NO OTHER PRESIDENT IN OUR HISTORY has taken us down so low. Good riddance. Go away.

    December 26, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Sore winners

    You would have thought the Democrats lost.

    December 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. fred

    I'm one of the 1 in 4 I guess who will miss him.

    December 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Floridacat

    Yes, he is leaving (thank the Lord) but i have two words that should frighten the bejesus out of us all – JEB BUSH !!! He has already told the repugnicans they must form a "shadow government" to cross Obama. Jeb just sounds so, i don't know, Nazi like? NO MORE BUSHES IN OFFICE, JUST AROUND MY YARD !!!

    December 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Bob

    Now Bush needs to be put on trial for crimes against humanity. Let's remember that he is responsible for the deaths of more people - including Americans - than Osama Bin Laden. Bush's needless war in Iraq has killed more than 4,000 young Americans, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. And it's not over yet. If there is any justice in this world, Bush and Cheney will both spend the rest of their miserable lives behind bars.

    December 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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