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. conservative

    Bet that was a real scientific liberal poll ! Your derision has no bounds CNN!

    December 26, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. janet , ohio

    Will you be glad when Obambi fails to protect this country from Islamic extremists? When you are arrested for walking your dog because it's an unclean animal? When your wife has to wear a veil over her face, and be accompanied by a male, to leave the house? How about when homosexual men are accused falsely of raping children, and hanged in the public square? When your eight-year-old daughter has to marry a middle-aged man to pay off a debt? I really hope all you uninformed Obama idiots are still happy then.

    Mr. Bush, you have not been perfect, but you have kept us safe and free. For that, I can forgive much. Thank you and God bless you.

    December 26, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Charles from Atlanta

    I only can say those 25% said they miss Bush must be drunk or heavily brainwashed by Hannity or Linbaugh for last 8 years. Here is the things historian will see for last 8 years.

    War on Terror: after 9/11 he correctly launch attack to Taliban and alQaeda, but failed to capture Bin Laden and eliminate al Qaeda. He devoted himnself to invade Iraq and let Taliban and al Qaeda come back in Afghanistain.

    War on Iraq: He misled American to invade Iraq with clear objective and couldn't finish war during his term. 5000 American soldiers died and more than 20,000 wounded. More than 50,000 Iraq lost life. More than trillions spent on this war. Abe Ghraib instance forever tarnished American Troop's images.

    React to Katrina: His administration failed to react after Katrina Hurricane and he was on vacation at that time.

    National Debt: He doubled the national debt to more than 10+ trillions.

    Economy: The American economy experienced severe recession during his last year of adminstration and he failed to prevent and react.

    Other noticable things: He signed a bill for Terry Shiavo. He tried to nomonate his counselor to Supereme Court. He had solid 6 years of total control of government and failed to accomplish any signaficant social/economic/international agenda. His party lost elections beause of his fail leadership. "He was thrown shoes by Iraqi people." ....

    December 26, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bush can't leave office soon enough and to think we as taxpayers will still be paying for his security for the rest of his sorry life.

    December 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Godluvr

    75% Winners.....23% Losers.

    December 26, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. FAYE MOGHTADER

    CAN THE BUSH ADMNISTRATION SHOW ONE GOOD THINK THAT THEY HAVE DONE.9/11 THAT IS WHAT THEY HAVE GONE BACK TO,KEEPING AMERICA SAFE.WE ARE NOT 100 PERCENT SURE THAT THE REASON WE HAVE NOT BEEN ATTACKED IS BECAUSE OF BUSHES POLICIES.NO ONE CAN FOR SURE TELL US THAT.3000 PEOPLE WERE KILLED ON 9/11.MORE THAN 4500 AMERICANS HAVE DIED IN IRAQ,500000 PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN IRAQ,AND MANY MORE TO COME.

    December 26, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. david

    I grew up in Texas abd knew from the start he would be nothing but bad news and went into a depression when he actually won the 2000 election by crook and that would set the tone for his administration. True to form he didn't disapoint. Hopefully, the new year will bing a welcome change and I'm willing to give Obama's administration and the next congress to do some good, unlike the 12 years that the Republicans controled congress and the last 8 years with this particular president ruining this country. Thanks for the misery mr. bush.

    December 26, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. John in Ohio

    Only 75%? I would have thought the number would be higher. Well, that core 20-25% of loonies has stayed steady in their insanity for years now. I shouldn't be surprised.

    Reminds me of something from SNL, back 3 years ago in 2005.

    "A new poll shows 66% of Americans think President Bush is doing a poor job handling the war in Iraq. The remaining 34% think Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to church."
    –TINA FEY, co-anchor on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update"

    December 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. James

    Start the criminal investigations now.

    December 26, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Really

    I think we are ready for some change in leadership. I do not hold him fully responsible for the war or the economy. President Bush is a good man and did what he felt was right. The attack was not planned after he took office. 9/11 was in the works so I am not sure how people can blame him. I think this devasted him and he vowed not to let it happen again. He stood by his principals and was not swayed by the whinning left. There are many factors well outside his control that have left us struggling. I wish we could be bidding the leaders of the congress farewell too.

    December 26, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. Mr. Lugo

    Anyone ever see the Dentyne commercial where the 4th Dentist that was supposed to recommend the gum was bit in the nuts by a squirrel and screamed "NOOOOOOOO!"?

    I think that just happened with this poll LOL

    December 26, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Prop. 8

    Thank God and Grayhound. See Ya

    December 26, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Defeated American......

    Both Republicans and Democrats have ruined this country:

    Republicans for screwing up foreign policies such as starting a war in Iraq while not focusing on Afganistan.

    Democrats for screwing up domestic policies such as eliminating financial safeguards @ Fannie and Freddie

    Rights and respect are not given, they are earned!

    December 26, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. mike

    Its interesting how G.W was given everything in life due to his families wealth and stature, but somehow failed so miserably. He divided the nation, used fear to carry out an ultra right wing agenda, destroyed our reputation abroad, and nearly bankrupted our economy. I'm glad Pres. Obama wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

    December 26, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. Al

    I already miss Pres. Bush and the 1st Lady. His stand against terrorists will go down in history like those in the Revolutionary War. I also have a fear now that so many Americans have been sucked into the Obama thought process. What a shame. I think we're in for a real awakening at the next attack because democrats don't have a backbone to fight like Pres. Bush does. Oh, but we have a 1st black president (whoopie!).

    December 26, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Noah

    Trickle down Economics works well. It has given us 25 years of uninterrupted economic growth. The Luny Left has been telling us every year since 2001 that we were in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression. They had to finally be right. Only when their is doom and gloom do Liberal politicians thrive. So sad

    December 26, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Glenda

    I'm suppose to believe anythng CNN tells me???? Not on your lfe. These polls can be twisted to make any outcome you want....I'm not a particular Bush fan, but I don't believe anything the media tells me after this election I've just seen...........I'm not that dumb...........

    December 26, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. carole

    liberals are the only ones watching CNN...so threrfore the poll results. I never vote on CNN and do not view their network, pick up CNN news on internet only and very raerly.

    December 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. US Citizen

    "3 out of four Americans glad to see Bush go". This means that 1 in 4 American's education is below minimum – this means lots of work for our new Sedcretary of Education under Obama.

    December 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. gt

    I am sure msnbc will miss him.That is all that channel does is bash Bush , i wonder how long some of these so called news net works will last once Bush is gone. He has been there story line for the last several yrs ......

    December 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. conservative

    What else could one expect from a liberal blog site run by a biased network that panders to the hate element in the far left! Just look at the mindless PAP being posted!

    December 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Larry

    Why is such a useless question even asked. News must be slow today. Nice to rub it in. Are you going to ask if people are going to be glad to see the President-elect too?

    December 26, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. MadDog2020

    I for one am glad to see him go. He was more of a democrat then a republican.

    December 26, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. A race to the bottom

    17% proves the pod people are here.

    December 26, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. Franky

    "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."

    Yeah, that is true. The way the Hierarchy works(think I spelled it right), anything related to the boss comes through the boss and within the boss. Is no surprise that so many people wanna see him leave. And since he was the leader of the GOP, that had a dramatic effect. And from there, it all started crumbling down little by little...

    Yeah, I'm gonna miss him. But when you have ratings like that, not only is it not good for business but is bad internally and externally. The only way the President may revive his legacy is if he gets help from the future. Public opinion may be kinder to Bush in the long run but you do need to understand that is gonna take a team effort. How long?? Only the lord knows...

    December 26, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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