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. Mari

    Our family and friends, knew from the start that Barack Hussein Obama would and WILL be a GREAT President!

    After eight long years of lies, mounting National debt, two wars....... RECORD DEFICIT...... etc., etc., we are facing the BIGGEST DISASTER in our Nation's history.

    May God bless President-elect Obama with health, wisdom, a Nation's support and plenty of courage...... he will need it!

    HOPE WON....... HOPE WON............ HOPE WON.........HOPE WON..........!

    December 31, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Truth

    Disinformation. How can we believe that since he is not in office yet. Hey! guess what? I have 100% approval rating....the highest ever. Oh. Im not in office? Maybe I will be in 10 years. We the American Sheeple have been led blindly around long enough! Demand the Truth! Quit being timid little sheep!

    December 31, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Jan Illinois

    Let's give credit where credit is due. So far Obama is not leading because he is not the leader yet. He'll do great things, that is our hope, but instead of putting pressure on Obama, why not ask why Bush is not leading instead of these reports on the new president, you must admit that they are "Just something to talk about not real news". Bush is riding off into the sun-set , totally unscathed, after what he has done to us, with a fist full of your dollars and we are not going to talk about that? What has our media been doing?

    December 31, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Fast Eddie

    Leadership my foot!!! Tell me how does spending 174 days in the
    US Senate make you a soon to be great leader! Oh that's right I
    totally forgot that he also known as the "MESSIAH" and also known
    as "THE CHOSEN ONE"!! It won't be long before the MSM will report
    that he can ACTUALLY WALK ON WATER!!!!

    December 31, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. David Goldman

    IT BETTER TO GET IT A LITTLE LATE THAN NEVER.

    AMERICANS HAVE RISEN TO THE TASK SINCE

    THERE WAS AN AMERICA.

    THE SLEEPING GIANT WAKES UP YET AGAIN TO LEAD THE

    WORLD TO THE NEXT STAGE OF OUR DEVELOPMENT.ONLY

    AMERICA MAKES OBAMAS. & THAT'S HOW AMERICA STAYS ON TOP.

    December 31, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Carl

    Great leader?

    Last time I checked, he has never led anything.

    I'm not knocking the man, but let's look at the facts here.

    Just just shows to me that 75% of america is sick of neo-cons.

    Then again, if Ron Paul had more power and influence in Washington, Republicans would have a better name.

    December 31, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. DeLong

    Good for him, but let's see the 1st 100 days before any ratings are worth talking about...He's not President yet CNN..

    December 31, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Proud American

    God Speed Mr. President the entire Country supports you. Becky, Midwest YOU LOST so GET OVER IT. Open your Idiot eyes and watch real leadership. Happy New Year

    December 31, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. jon

    Strong, decisive? The man who took 3 DAYS to issue a statement about Gov B. You mean the messiah who couldn't speak on his own until his handlers told him the proper response and they had time to check the wind sock.

    Get real, he hasn't done anything in his years of public office and is doubtful he will be truely effective in this one. The media who picked him and protected him will tell us he is, but the truth is he will be an average president in a difficult 1st term

    December 31, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. obama08

    This guy is going to do great things for our country. Let's all rally around him and pray for him to succeed.

    December 31, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Dave, Illinois

    I'll reserve my opinion until he actually takes office and does something. The media actually is doing Obama more harm by raising expectations to an impossible level. I did not vote for Obama, but I am willing to give the guy a chance with reasonable goals. Its too bad that the Libs can't see beyond their hate and see the good that Bush did – no more attacks since 9/11, tax breaks that helped the economy to grow until the sub-prime mess, decline of AIDS in Africa, and the startup of a democracy in the Middle East.

    December 31, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Jon

    He hasn't even done anything yet! Why don't they wait until he's been at his new job for a while before taking a poll?

    December 31, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. Kim

    You know, for the first time in how many presidencies, we have someone elected to office that *did not* come from money and privilege. A guy who had to work hard to get his degree, to make something of his life. Who better understands what it's like to work your way to your goals.

    That alone is inspiring.

    He's got a tough job ahead of him, but I believe he is up to the task and will do his best to help the country get back on track.

    I look forward to the next four, hopefully eight years, and I pray that the entire country will get behind this man and show him their support.

    December 31, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Ken Godevenos

    Having two daughters and two grand-daughters, I certainly believe in the equality of the sexes when it comes to leadership. I wonder how many people have noticed that with Obama's new cabinet, the protection of the United States (Homeland Security), what makes America work (Labor), and how America interacts with the rest of the world (Secretary of State) - all three departments are headed by women. Yes, there are more guys in his cabinet than women - but America, you're in your sisters' hands now!

    December 31, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Carolyn White

    2008 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE YEAR THAT AMERICANS VOTED FOR AN ILLEGAL ALIEN TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. 2008 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE YEAR THAT JOURNALISM AND THE MEDIA DIED. 2008 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE YEAR THAT CHICAGO PRODUCED THE MOST CORRUPTED POLITICIANS IN HISTORY, 2008 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE YEAR THAT AMERICANS VOTED FOR AN EMPTY SUIT AS PRESIDENT, AND HAD NO CLUE THAT THIS SNAKE OIL SALESMAN WAS JUST SELLING BULL SH-T, AND GOT AWAY WITH IT. 2008 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE YEAR ONE OF THE BIGGEST HOAX WAS PULLED OFF IN A PRESIDENT ELECTION IN 200 YEARS. Goodbye 2008, what will 2009 nine be, the year the United States come to an end. and you wonder Why one word and one name OBAMA.

    December 31, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. VALUES

    Thing man is a born leader.

    December 31, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. 30-m-Democrat-voted-Clinton-McCain

    There are a lot of stupid and brainwashed people out there. The American people never seize to amaze me. First they vote in Bush in 2000 and then again in 2004. Now they vote in another idiot in 2008. I would have thought after the first failed experiment (8 years of an unqualifed president) people would vote for someone who actually is qualifed for the job. Nope. Now we all have to suffer.

    December 31, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Brenda C

    Just one person: What has he done? I mean really What has obama accomplished thus far?

    December 31, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. WhoCares?

    Little bitter eh Becky?

    Here's a small hint for you because apparently you don't understand one of the foundations of our Government :

    Ready?

    America has one President at a time. The President-Elect is not the President.

    It's your hero (Bush) that is letting the country go down the tubes by continuating his lack of leadership he has excelled at for 8 years.

    Nice try though...too bad you're not as intelligent as you are bitter.

    December 31, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  20. Blue is my favourite colour

    His cabinet choices indicate that he can make careful, thoughtful decisions on who is best to help him govern in this mess, so those poll numbers are reflective of that.

    The real test will come on Jan. 21, after the party and he's moved in.
    He has many good tools in his toolbox: He is not a swaggering, shoot-from-the-hip cowboy who's idea of governing is through dictatorship. He understands the constitution and knows that he must abide by it. He is also far more intelligent than Bush, speaks well, inspires people by his carefully chosen words and uses adult vocabulary–not elementary school vocabulary. Bush couldn't even get elementary school vocabulary right (nucular, for example). Obama is thoughtful, respectful and calm–and he REALLY LISTENS!! When you are negotiating with someone like that I believe you will always have good results.

    December 31, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. dr.mimi de la cuz

    I DON'T THINK ITS JUST ABOUT GEORGE BUSH OR

    THE CRIPPLED ECONOMY. IT NOT ABOUT WHERE WE

    HAVE BEEN AS MUCH AS ABOUT WHERE WE HOPE TO GO.

    WE LIKE THAT "LEADERSHIP" ROLE. IT'S HOW WE SEE

    OURSELVES. IT IS OUR VISION OF OURSELVES.IT'S WHO

    WE ARE. IT'S WHO WE INTEND TO ALWAYS BE. IT'S IN OUR DNA.

    WE HAVE ELECTED A LEADER THAT SHARES THAT VISION.

    AT THE END OF THE DAY OR CENURY OR CENTURIES, WE

    ARE THE EQUALIZER & IT'S A JOB WE HAVE DONE QUITE WELL.

    December 31, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Sue Ellen Stamp

    I believe Obama deserves the enthusiasm and loyalty he's enjoying. He ran a historic campaign and won the minds and hearts of the majority of Americans. He began working on the day following his win, and has just only stopped for a 12 day Christmas vacation. After a two year gruelling campaign, he had the strength to put together his team, and surrounded himself with the brightest and smartest in the country, just as he had promised to do throughout his campaign. He has a daunting job ahead of him, but if he can't straighten out the economy, nobody can! Keep the faith, and to the naysayers, take a look at what the options were – frightening!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    December 31, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. sandee in Portland

    I, for one, agree wholeheartly with the 76%. Think its about time we had a leader who could actually lead and was intelligent instead of just a personality winner.

    @Sherman...lol, we have been on the road to becoming a third world country for about 5 years now, and if the only jobs we keep creating are service industry jobs, we will definitely achieve that goal.

    December 31, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Viet Vet

    Uh, did I miss something, like an inaugeration? The guy is the President elect- -He will become President Obama on January 20th, 2009. Lets wait a few days after that and have a poll- -Polls that I'm sick of, don't mean squat and should be banned.

    December 31, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. nylady

    Becky, Midwest, calm down, 8 question marks and 3 exclamation marks, chill. Cnn did this poll, I thought that was obvious from the title, as they did with other former president elects to see how popular they are and how people view their individual characterics. And what does asinine mean? Cheers ta.

    December 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8