December 26th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
4 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. A.P

    Thanks God. No mind man gone.

    December 26, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. A race to the bottom

    I hope he can finish reading "My Pet Goat"in Leavenworth.

    December 26, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. NEL E BELL

    GET OUT YOUR ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN ONE HUGE STINKER OF THE RICH FOR THE WELL CONNECTED AT THE EXSPENSE OF ANYONE UNDER 1MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

    December 26, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. JJS

    Typical Liberal BS. You want to talk corrupt. Looking at the man the liberals voted in. Grow up CNN.

    December 26, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    @ conservative.....

    CNN is biased and FoxNews is.............????

    December 26, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Yay

    75%? Let's see, that would include everyone that voted for Obama and then the psycho tinfoil right that thinks Bush's problem is that he's too liberal.

    That's good news for the country, since it essentially demonstrates that the GOP has fractured completely. The 25% approval vote would appear to be all that remains from the mainstream Republican base. The rest of what used to be the Grand Old Party will be lining up behind Palin and the rest of the ultra-right hardcore evangelical candidates in the coming years, thus guaranteeing their continued progression into irrelevance.

    So ends the 10th century Conservative movement.

    December 26, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Lyndon from CA

    I will miss Barney. Can I adopt him?

    December 26, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. chuck

    I AM ONE OF THE 75% THAT WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIM LEAVE NOW,NOW,NOW,.

    December 26, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Jim Hall

    The village idiot I wish would go faster for me. I would be ashamed to have CNN announce on the news this morning what was for Christmas dinner that the Bushs had. Being there are so many people in this country out of work and are eating soup if they can afford that while the village idiot and his lame brain family are dining on turkey and all the trimmings how discusting. Jim Hall Kansas City, Missouri

    December 26, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Marc

    Janet, Ohio – EVEN in the very delusional possiblity that you are right and that's what PEOTUS plans to do with the country, do you really think he'll manage to do that. Have you lost any confidence in the SCOTUS (majority appointed by Republicans) and the Legislative? No wait, you meant that the Democratic Party (at least in its majority) has a clear un-American agenda, and therefore we're done for... Soure Grapes! And what a bad loser...
    BeefMasterX – You're right about Truman, he was regarded as the worst president ever when he finished his elected term and now the majority of historians see that actually HE was right, and HE had the guts to sacrifice his political career and legacy in order to do the right things... so don't compare him to G.W. Bush. Well, Bush also thought that HE was right, but he wasn't. No, I am not a seer or a clairvoyant, but let's see... his environment agenda (which was not based in science or ecology) is being reviewed before the end of his term; his international agenda brought isolation and discredit to the USA (and helped Iran and other countries that doesn't want any good to us); his education/health programs are failures...
    Truman paid the price for standing for what he believed, let's see if GW Bush will do the same, then you can start to compare them more closely.

    December 26, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Christopher

    DANM aint he gone yet!!!!

    December 26, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. John from SC

    ::To Slappy::

    you say, "Let's see, how many times were we attacked after 9/11?"

    I say, "Let's see, how many times were we attacked before 9/11?"

    and, "how many of our young men and women have we lost because we were blindly following GW into a war daddy did not even think we could win, a war that we "won" years ago, a war what we are still fighting?" last time I checked, when you "win" a war, you stop figting and leave.

    December 26, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Cheryl from MN

    "count me among them" oh Bush won't be regarded as a great president among the majority of the American public except on FOX news. And you are wrong he did accomplish some things while in office, to bring down Saddam who insulted his Daddy, start a war on false pretenses and make money for Haliburton a company Cheney had ties to, and probably still did "secretly" through friends, driving gas prices up so his Arab friends could rake in the dough, do anything he could to hurt our environment by not setting some kind of regulation in place to keep big corporations from polluting our land, water and air, by not protecting us from Wall Street, he was against regulation, he gave them and others freedom to do what they liked while he was in office to rape us over the coals to earn all they could. yea he accomplished alot I would say. What I mentioned isn't even the tip of the iceberg.
    MadDog2020 December 26th, 2008 2:10 pm ET

    I for one am glad to see him go. He was more of a democrat then a republican.
    This comment is just another Republican that wants to put the blame for our economic woes on the Dems. So he says Bush was more of a Dem. Wrong buddy. The Rep were in office 8 years 8 years, don't tell me we have all this trouble from 2 yrs of Dems in control. And it was the Rep that always voted against regulation. If we had some regulation on Wall Street and controlling some other areas like mortgage loans, it is a good chance we wouldn't be in this big of a mess. No MadDog2020 it was Bush, his cronies and the Republicans that we have to thank.
    Yeah you probably voted for Bush for both terms too!!

    December 26, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. John from SC

    ::To Al::

    there are two major differences between Bush and Washington...
    Washington actually fought, Bush stayed bunkered down in safety.
    Washington fought for his and our freedom, Bush had others fight for his and his cronies personal gain.

    December 26, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    As I recall, most of us were very happy to see Bill Clinton go also.

    December 26, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. dan

    I'm just sorry Bush could not serve a 3rd term. In answer to the attack on America of 9/11, he did exactly what the country wanted him to do – remember all of the flag waving back then? Remember all of the cheering when Saddam's statue came down? Did you really forget so soon?

    December 26, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Mike from Tacoma

    Huh? Bush is still around? Billy May's Commercials have more impact on people these days

    December 26, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Lauren

    Ok, I voted for Bush, but I admit, he needs to go.

    But, with that said. He was, and is only one man in power. I do not, nor will I blame him for the countries problems. There are many more in congress and the senate, on both sides of the parties who need to go.

    He did not create this mess alone we are in. He had PLENTY of help.
    Each and every politician in Washington is, and should be held responsible for creating the bad economy. All the way back to Clinton and George the first.

    Yes, Bush is gone, he needs to be gone. Change is needed. I can only hope Obama does bring the change he so expertly preached about. This coming from a person who did NOT vote for Obama.
    I honestly do not see it, he filled his cabinet with Clinton era people. He has not made any major shakes or moves. Anything he has done has been political.

    Again, all of you people who point fingers, point those fingers at Washington as a whole. Not one man. But then again, you people who point at Bush are probaly limited in your knowledge, have bought intot he smooth talking Obama. You can not see past your hatred and political scenes.

    December 26, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Ex-Republican

    Thank god...the man that was so inept that he allowed us to be attacked on our soil for the first time in 60 years is finally going away.

    The man has been the biggest threat to america! Who needs terrorists when you have George Bush as your President?!

    PS: For those saying you can't trust CNN, or you don't pay attention to CNN...I guess you didn't see this, and your comments were written by someone other then you! You people are jokes! I don't read Fox blogs...now go try to find a posting from me on them...yea, didn't think so, because some of us aren't idiots posting on a site we don't pay attention to!

    December 26, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    The only people who are sad to see him go are the kind of folks you saw at McCain/Palin rallies.

    BUSH IS THE SUCKIEST PRESIDENT EVER!

    Does he know how to correctly pronounce the word N-U-C-L-E-A-R?

    December 26, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. PA Independent

    Now, now...let's give credit where credit is due. Without GWB, there might have been a lot more unemployed comedians these last 8 years. However, all good jokes must come to an end. Cya, George!

    December 26, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. INDEPENDENT NOW

    Everyone should bring an extra shoe to the innaguaration. Give bush the sendoff he deserves.

    December 26, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Melissa

    Janet in Ohio (with her delusionsal, xenophonic, irrational, religiously intolerant rants) has to be one of the 25% ... which explains a lot.

    December 26, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. clifford

    President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney: No scandals!, No Impeachments!,No criminal charges or convictions EVER!! (so forget it it isn't going to happen)! President elect Barack Obama keeps Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on and picks retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones for National Security Adviser! (sweet vindication for the Bush/Cheney doctrine)!! Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation! WOW!! I think Obama may be a closet Republican!! Can this guy fool his sheep or what??

    December 26, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. THE OLD TIMER

    I DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM OF HIS FATHER. BUSH SR. DID NOTHING TO IMPRESS ME NEITHER DID JR. THE WOMEN PUT THESE TWO FELLERS IN OFFICE AND YOU SEE WHAT YOU GOT....

    NOW WAIT UNTIL YOU GET THE LOW DOWN ON THIS GUY THAT THE MEDIA AND THE YOUNG GENERATION PUT INTO OFFICE. THEN IT WILL BE I NEVER VOTED FOR HIM,,,,,,,,,

    OBAMA HAS A LOT TO KEEP OUT OF THE PUBLIC VIEW AND HE IS DOING A GOOD JOB AT IT. 7 JUDGES ARE ALLREADY AFRIAD OF HIM WAIT UNTIL HE,S IN OFFICE A WHILE THEN I WILL COME BACK AND SAY I TOLD YOU VOTERS THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.

    HE SHOULD NEVER GOTTING THE JOB AS PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 26, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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