December 31st, 2008
04:00 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama leadership rates high as Bush's after 9/11

A new poll shows that President-elect Barack Obama is viewed as a strong, confident leader.
A new poll shows that President-elect Barack Obama is viewed as a strong, confident leader.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A national poll suggests that three-quarters of the public thinks President-elect Barack Obama is a strong and decisive leader, the highest marks for a president-elect on that characteristic in nearly three decades.

Seventy-six percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday said Obama is a strong and decisive leader.

"That's the best number an incoming president has gotten on that dimension since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The public's rating of his leadership skills is already as high as George W. Bush's was after 9/11 and easily beats the numbers that both Bush and Bill Clinton got at the start of their first terms in office."

Watch: See how President Bush fared in the latest CNN/ORC poll

Just six in 10 felt that Bush was a strong leader when he took office in 2001. After the attacks of September 11, that number rose to three in four. Sixty-seven percent thought Bill Clinton was a strong leader when he took office in January 1993.

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • CNN poll
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Marilyn

    What leadership??? He hasn't done anything yet - he's not even president yet!! This is just political correctness run amock.

    December 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Larry in Houston

    Happy New Year to You & Your Family, Mr. Obama……I think you're going to do well as can be expected….(especially with what Bush left you) I voted for you…..originally was for Hillary, because of the way the world is today, you need experience, but, since you've surrounded yourself with all of those Generals / Lieutenants / you don't have anything to worry about……. If it were me, I would do the same thing as your doing……..Have all of my Generals & Lieutenants and everyone on my committees come to a concensus, before coming to a decision……So, that being said…..I think you will be a fine President of the U.S. of A.

    Larry C.
    Houston, Texas

    December 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. sandee in Portland

    I agree wholeheartly with that 76%. Think it's about time we had a leader who could actually lead and was intelligent instead of just a personality contest winner.

    December 31, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. BUSH BEGONE AND NOW 75% OF AMERICANS AGREE, FINALLY!

    "three-quarters of the public thinks President-elect Barack Obama is a strong and decisive leader, the highest marks for a president-elect on that characteristic in nearly three decades."

    Some of us "Obamabots" saw it before others, but welcome aboard and the other 25% will never come around no matter what he does.

    And yet folks still wonder why 2-4 million people want to attend the inauguration.

    December 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. jaye

    This man has the weight of the world on his shoulders...or will after his inauguration...the same as President Bush after 911.
    President Bush dropped the ball, and it is now in Barack Obama's court. I have complete faith in Obama and will do everything I can as a citizen of this great country to help him in any way possible.
    We need to unite and stand with him and work with him as a nation – and let the naysayers (Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News,etc.) eat our dust.
    God Bless Barack Obama and his team!
    Happy New Year!!
    P.S. KUDOS to CNN for staying ABOVE THE FRAY of the naysayers and the media idiots.

    December 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Jimmy Crackhorns

    Sadly....he has no direction to go but down from here....2008 was the year the Luminati finally did one over on us....big time...banks...real estate...monetizing debt, the feds...we are now Marxists!!! Now they will force down mortgages on banks...I want to know...since I have paid my loan solidly for 8 years on a 15 year note if they are goinmg to "help" me by forcing the bank to "adjust" my miortgage down...or does it only apply to corporate carpet baggers and snake oil salesmen who have lied, cheated, and scammed this country into bankruptcy????

    December 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Becky, Midwest

    This kind of "journalism" makes me sick! Who is conducting these polls? And why? Leadership? Obama has leadership? As what? When? He hasn't done ANYTHING! As a junior Senator what did he lead? As President-elect, what has he done? NOTHING! Stop this asinine "reporting" until the man actually does do something! I'm tired of this crap. It's a non-story.

    December 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Newport News, VA

    There are differences between the polls. Bush rallied the country together after we were attacked. Let me remind you that we were attacked on his watch. He actually had my support for war then but how his aproval rating went up is beyond me. On the other hand, Obama is coming into the White House with a recession already embattling our country. So the difference is, one was already in power, and the other hasn't been in power.

    December 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Franky

    @Becky

    Hey, don't hate the man just because they love him, LOL!!! He's good and you're right, he didn't do nothing!! LOL!! Which makes him 100x as good!! LOL!!

    December 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. fairness

    he is not in the office yet, he cannot perform, what he does is still just a hope, promise.....so why this silly ratings?

    December 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Texas Teacher

    GOOOOO OBAMA.... :) RAH RAH RAH!!! *lol*

    the old texas teacher is a cheerleader.... Just picture that... and old Ind'n woman leaping into the air with pompoms.... *LOL*

    December 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Gallimimus

    Natural born leader. Calm, cool and collected. This is the guy that I want running the country. These types of people are few and far between. Reminds me of Colin Powells leadership style. This is good for the country. Somebody that we can stand behind.

    Becky in the midwest.

    Get a clue, he's not president yet. Also, leadership can come in many different ways. Loose the attitude!

    December 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. s

    We can't help it! WE like our president!!!

    Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Good luck to us all in the U.S.!!

    2009 would be good!!!

    December 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Becky, Midwest

    Leadership? As what? In what capacity? When did that happen? Obama hasn't accomplished ANYTHING? Can we at least let him be president first, and give him time to actually DO something before these ridiculous polls start?

    The only thing he's done is create his Obama fan club by smooth talking, and a gigantic push from the media and the back stabbing DNC. Let's let him actually "lead" first, shall we?

    The sheep that follow this guy would surely follow him right over the cliff from the way they drool whenever their chosen one speaks.

    December 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Virginia Republican

    Enjoy it while you can, Barack. The honeymoon will be over on 1/20/09 and reality will have to be reckoned with. Enjoy that high profile elite vacation while you can!

    December 31, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Mike, Syracuse NY

    And we saw what happened with Bush didn't we. Now where to go but down.

    December 31, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Connie

    Becky, You are just one of the "sour grapes" people. Get over it! McCain and the "you betcha" bimbo did not make the cut!. I would bet money that you are one of the people who put G.W. in office the second time. Give our new President a chance!

    December 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Anti-Obamabot

    In who's eyes? What's really bazaraar is? I have NEVER spoke to anyone who likes, admires or agrees with this jerk! I wouldn't attend this innauguration for anything and I mean anything!

    December 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. Naive Americans

    Say what you will about him, but decisive? The man has yet to commit with regard to anything. Pretty stupid populous to say he's "decisive." Very scary America!

    December 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. No Hillary = No Obama

    He has done nothing but break his campaign promise to rely on public financing and in doing so, was able to rake in millions of dollars and advertise ad nauseam. He was favored by the media, ad nauseam. He had every advantage imaginable – money, media-hype and gender. There is only one way for Obama to go – off the pedestal he placed himself on.

    December 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. Dave from Colorado

    If this survey is a sort of people's will, that only says that people have no clue to what they said. People are losing their hope so they are trying to grab a hope: Obama, to save themselves. That's it. They don't care about, or they don't know, if the hope is real or fake. People still don't know who Obama is. Period.

    December 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. richard rohde

    You are right Becky, it is asinine, but soon he will be all have for a president. Lets hope we can give him the same dignity,respect and support that the democrats did Bush.

    December 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. TangoDancer

    Obama is a very intelligent man. People like the way he thoroughly analyzes a situation and reviews numerous perspectives before making a decision. He will also be criticized for this, but usually by the same people who will criticize him for anything-everything and/or simply being a Democrat.

    The USA got burned with the Iraq fiasco. Lots of wasted money, lost lives and severed diplomatic relations were the result of poor planning and vision by the Bush administration. Obama's administration shows great promise to rectify these errors and bring a new sense of intellectual order to the White House.

    December 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMAS LEADERSHIP IS BASED ON WHAT??????

    OH I KNOW IT'S HIS SPEECHES!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Erika, KS

    Some of you "Obamabots" didn't "see" anything before others. You are mindless drones willing to believe a junior Senator with zero accomplishments, and dubious friendships are going to save you.

    I'm hopeful with Obama, but I'm not going to follow the man blindly. He hasn't done anything. It's stupid to hire a man with such little experience to lead our country, especially with the disaster that Bush is leaving.

    You need to all take care of yourselves, Obama won't be able to deliver a fraction of what he has promised you, and what you so eagerly believe.

    Time will tell.

    December 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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