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.

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

    Meaningless fluff. From where I'm sitting, he doesn't ooze strength, and his habit of speaking in soothing generalities is the opposite of what you'd expect from someone decisive. He's also not our leader yet, in case one forgets.

    But all that's of no importance. He'll be portrayed by the MSM as a success no matter what happens. He can't be allowed to be seen as anything less - that would be a setback for racial justice and healing, you see. He's got to succeed where the White Man has failed. He's just GOT to. The fact that his important policymaking appointments are overwhelmingly White will hardly rate a footnote.

    As for yours truly, I'll just sit back and laugh at the silly show.

    December 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Franky

    @Bush begone

    You know, I guess people should have their time. It is no wonder that many millions of people wanna go. Me personally, I'm looking forward to what he's gonna do or not in the White House. I don't care what he hasn't done yet bexcause quite frankly, there's nothing to look for, just like Becky said, LOL!! He is young...

    I'm being realistic, I'm gonna judge him for what he's gonna accomplish or not, I'm not gonna be a radical and criticize our President-elect, he hasn't even been sworn in. And not give out nouns to our elected members of Congress, calling them like "Marxists" or "socialists" or whatever, people should have repsect. Just because I haven't seen anything like this in my whole life doesn't mean I have a reason to call our elected members of Congress idiots or morons, that just ain't right. People are just upset because no one listens and they feel like they don't care. Then again, these are the same people that if Congress helps them out, guess who's gonna be nice to Congress...is actually a psychological term for it. In other words, our country is Jerry Jones...

    Let em complain, we'll see when the bill gets blocked by the GOP, we'll see if they care by then...

    December 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Griff

    Whatever??? Egypt must be two-faced. They are supplying Gaza with rockets and still playing the Good Guy... So long as there is one rocket in Gaza, Israel can Strike....

    December 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Kevin B

    It is good to hear he has strong vote of confidence, however, it will take all Americans pulling together for the first time since 1940's (WWII) to really bring America out of the mess created by the destructive hyper-political partisianship of the past two decades or so.

    As for PE Obama success as president as of 1/20/09, he will only be considered a success if we all are.

    Either we all win or we all lose. Those are the stakes at hand. Get it.

    As Warren Buffet put it "We are all accountable for the success of our nation"

    December 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. white plains mark

    hey, it's a no-brainer. we had a befuddled president asleep at the switch for the last 8 years. Howdy Doody would get better ratings than our outgoing Prez...

    December 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Danny

    I do not believe Barack has any experience to lead our nation. He has to grow up. It looks like everybody is blind to give him any rating.He does not desrve any rating. Sorry.

    December 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Really

    Hey media, your guy won. You can stop with the stories to try to build him up. He has not done anything yet because he is not President. The only thing this tells me is that the US is optimistic. Not unusual. The economy is down and people are hoping for a better year. I love how the media is trying to make him almost super human and they have already started making excuses for him. Lets just wait and see.

    December 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. double standard

    LOL it's a CNN poll.....duh what did you think the outcome would be??

    December 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Bridgette-PA

    "Becky, Midwest "- If you are angry at CNN's journalism, take it out on them. You seem so frustrated about these opinion polls. We all know that OBAMA hasn't taken office yet. Even if John McCain would have won, I wouldn't spew hate on his name because of "tasteless journalism". Grow up. A new year starts in 7 hrs and 13 minutes. A new, mature you, should start right now.

    December 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. EVERYMAN

    "...a strong and decisive leader..?" BASED ON WHAT????

    December 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Larry in Houston

    This is to Becky in the midwest......George Washington did not have any experience at all..... I don't think those first few presidents of the U.S. had 4.0 averages & such, not to mention that they were not rocket scientists........

    Larry C.
    Houston, Texas

    December 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Paul H

    We're all just gushing. Look I hope and pray he does a wonderful job. But these kinds of polls are getting pretty cheesy.

    December 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Perusing-Through

    THE VOTERS GOT IT RIGHT THIS TIME; JUST HOPE IT IS NOT TOO LATE.

    Young man, your handling of the transition is more evidence that the voters finally got it right. Unfortunately for you Mr. Obama, your inbox will contain some of the following task:

    1.) – Successfully end two wars (Iraq & Afghanistan),
    2.) – Resolve Iran's nuclear weapons potentials,
    3.) – Arbitrate peace between two nuclear armed nations (Pakistan & India),
    4.) – Arbitrate peace between Palestinians and Israelis,
    5.) – Resolve Castro/U.S. frozen relations,
    6.) – Check Hugo Chavez nuclear ambitions and Putin's warships on Venezuelan coast,
    7.) – Halt genocide and starvation of millions throughout the African Continent,
    8.) – Fight drug wars, kidnappings, and killings spilling out of Mexico across U.S. borders,
    9.) – Fix broken immigration policy while 20-million Illegals hide in the shadows,
    10.) – Engage the U.S. in International efforts to slow Global warming,
    11.) – Reverse national economic meltdown,
    12.) – Help financial markets restore credit,
    13.) – Help American auto-manufacturing with 'FINAL' bailout to successfully compete,
    14.) – Reverse skyrocketing unemployment,
    15.) – Replace/Overhaul Bush-Cheney disastrous energy policies,
    16.) – Reverse record breaking home foreclosures,
    17.) – Make health and drug coverage available & affordable,
    18.) – Halt losses in pensions and retirement plans due to Wall Street abuses,
    19.) – Reverse plummeting national debt,
    20.) – Help make education affordable,
    21.) – Restore the nation's credibility and admiration,
    22.) – Strengthen inefficient fed agencies like FEMA, EPA, and CDC,
    23.) – Stop the hemorrhaging of jobs to overseas slave labor markets.

    December 31, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Wisconsin Vet

    I voted for the man and I stand by that vote first of all.

    Second he has not shown any party or presidental leadership...Yet.

    I see in him carefully appointed smart men and women to positions. I see in him a watchful eye of money markets, war fronts & home economics values. Lending his voice only when needed and not oversteping his position of President – Elect.

    So for the Haters and the Fan this poll is like a poot in the wind.

    But if you think you hate or love him now Just wait till 1/20/09. Then you can start with the leadership polls. This is the man I am putting my money , hope and faith of leadership in as my US President. And if you cann't than you need to look at yourself.

    Be critical of his actions, Give praise for his decisions. But Be AMERICAN First

    December 31, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    Becky in the Midwest: I'm sorry that the journalistic integrity of this article makes you sick, but I think your problems go a lot deeper than CNN's poll.

    You are obviously in the mere 25% that does not believe P.E. Obama has what it takes to help this nation regain its place in the world. The rest of us believe he has the intelligence and leadership ability to make a difference. As far as what he has done – leading the Harvard Law Review requires leadership ability, above-average intelligence, and integrity. He has demonstrated his leadership abilities in the public and private sector, but it doesn't really matter because people like you refuse to acknowledge any of this man's achievements.

    I did not vote for McCain, but I was able to point out his achievements. I feel sorry for people like you who can't give credit where credit is due. Now, I have to get a little nasty because your posting made me sick. Turn on Rush or Hannity and find out what you are supposed to think today. Oh yeah, what have YOU accomplished?

    December 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Question----

    Don't you have to do something to get a high rating????

    Let's see if he brings the economy out of recession, brings the troops home, stops terrorism, and improves the U.S. image abroad.
    Then we'll see about high ratings. Right now it's all expectations which are worth nothing.

    December 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. J in NJ

    Who has he lead and what descisions has he made?

    December 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Aaron from Ohio

    Obama is rated so highly because he is trying to get ALL Americans to work together. We are facing dire circumstances and just one party or just one ideological group isn't going to make things better. By reaching out to all people and all groups he is trying to include everyone in trying to find a solution to the enormous problems we face. Obama has criticized the Iraq War for years and then asked Gates to be Secretary of Defense because Gates made enormous progress. He chose Hillary as Secretary of State because world leaders are familiar with the Clintons and respect them. He has chosen people for their ability to get things done regardless of whether they supported him or not. If he runs the country like he ran his campaign, I have hope for our future.

    December 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. New Yorker

    Becky is correct. I just hope when all the Obamabots realize where their "leader" is leading us (if they can ever see this for what it is) that they still won't continue to crow his praise. Hitler had a fantastic following and high approval rating for too long, also. Not saying he's just like Hitler but beware.

    December 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Rick

    I will give him the same courtesy that all you democrats gave Bush after his election.........none.

    December 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Pat M

    I am one of the 25% who believe No President can fix our issues without a Congress that is bipartisian. I agree with Beckly, I like to set my expectations low and then be suprised and happy if things work out good. But my overall view of politics is bad and no one man can fix it.

    December 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Hey Mr. High Rating....

    How about telling us who is hiding your illegal immigrant aunt and why she's not on the next boat to Kenya? Something funny going on here.

    December 31, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Sherman in Atlanta

    @Your right Jimmy,and the scumbags have just begun to turn us into a third world slave nation .Its not Obamas fault,he didnt know they would turn him in to a podperson too,like they did poor George.When they take out his chip he wont even know where hes been for eight years.lmao

    December 31, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Kenneth M. of Flushing Queens

    Obama does not have to do anything to be rated higher then W. Just the fact that we have not ignited means he is going a better job. Becky the vains in your head are popping.

    December 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. New Yorker

    Becky is correct. I just hope when all the Obamabots realize where their "leader" is leading us (if they can ever see this for what it is) that they still won't continue to crow his praise. Hitler had a fantastic following and high approval rating for too long, also. Not saying he's just like Hitler but beware. No not fear mongering just a caution till you we see where we are being led to.

    December 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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