July 22nd, 2010
08:47 AM ET
4 years ago

Bill Clinton ahead of Obama, says poll

A new poll suggests former President Bill Clinton is more popular among Americans than President Obama.
A new poll suggests former President Bill Clinton is more popular among Americans than President Obama.

Washington (CNN) – A new poll suggests that former President Bill Clinton is more popular with Americans than the man who currently holds the job, President Barack Obama.

Sixty-one percent of people questioned in a Gallup survey say they have a favorable opinion of Clinton. That's nine points higher than the 52 percent who say they see Obama in a favorable light. The poll indicates that 45 percent say they have a favorable opinion of former President George W. Bush.

Gallup says this is the first time in their polling that Clinton's favorable rating has eclipsed that of Obama. Clinton's numbers are up nine points from the summer of 2008, when he was branded by many people as playing a too partisan political role in helping his wife during her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination against Obama.

According to the poll, Obama's 52-percent favorable rating with the public ties his lowest number (in March of this year) since taking over in the White House in January of last year.

The poll, which was released Wednesday, could prompt the Democratic party to tap Clinton even further during the midterm election campaign, as the party tries to hold onto its majorities in Congress and its lead in governorships. The country's 42nd president has already been successful this year in helping Democratic candidates win contests in Arkansas and southwest Pennsylvania.

The survey indicates that Bush's favorable rating is up ten points since he left office at the beginning of 2009.

The Gallup poll was conducted July 8-11, with 1,020 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Engh....

    The only issue with polls is that it all depends on who you are asking. Polls are not accurate because taking a random sample of people instead of asking everyone could give you all sorts of different results. I wish that time and money were used for something a bit more helpful to people......like donate your time at shelters or money to food banks. That would be more meaningful than all the dumb polls that are done....sigh.

    July 22, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    This is not surprising. Pres. Clinton has shown many times that he is an independent thinker. He does not blindly follow the national party's agenda. He has always had a great talent to be in tune with the people and he truly looked to represent the people. He is a real moderate and IMHO the best president of my lifetime and I'm a conservative. Was he perfect no, but he was a leader.

    July 22, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. America Shrugged

    Half of Obama's administration is from the Clinton WH years so what's the difference. Now while I liked WJC and voted for him twice, we are finding out more and more how much some of the GOP bills he signed has hurt this country, I'm just not impressed nor do I wish to go back there. I also want to know how come I never get a call to participate in these all important polls? I guess you have to be on some preferred list.

    July 22, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. katiec

    Of course Clinton is more popular.
    He has not had to make important decisions, been victimized by the republicans, radicals, media and is not president.
    Our president has faced opposition like no other. When you have a political party that goes to all lenghts to destroy our president, supports Wall St over the American people, lies, distorts, promotes hate anger and even racism and some American people who let theirselves be manipulated, used by the radicals, the media than you have some discourse.
    I have never before in my lifetime witnessed a political party that has totally thrown all integrity, honor, responsibility to the wind in order to pursue their win at any cost.

    July 22, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Bernice

    CNN..could you kindly give us a number of just how many people you actually polled?? My guess is maybe?? 100??
    You're getting just as bad as Fox News..

    July 22, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. Peace

    This goes to show how the human thinking is really funny. When the two former Presidents Clinton and Bush were working for people, they were not favored. Now they are out of service their favored rate are sky rocketing. Pres. Obama should not worry at the moment, once he finishes his duty, he will be favored even more than his predecessors.

    July 22, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Shiranee Dassanayake

    Why does anyone bother with idiotic information like this? Did Clinto have to face a financial meltdown, a massive oil spill and two wars?

    CNN- YOur news coverage stinks, as do all your 'anchors' especially John King and his two cohorts, Yellen and Bash.

    July 22, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. False conspiracy fears are GOP Taliban tactics

    I know a lot of right wingnuts are upset with Obama because of the Sherrod firing based on Fox news editied report. But, people will realize that as bad as it was, it is not like we invaded a country for no reason.

    July 22, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. jimbo

    Bill didnt surround himself with pro-Palestinian, Pro-Islamic, anti-American radicals like Obama does. Bill picked knowledgeable people to be on his committees whereas Obama returns political favors. Whoever heard of a board on the auto Industry filled with people who knew nothing about autos or business either. ??? That the types Obama listens to and thats why he is a dismal failure... . also the clintons love ameria and politics is in their blood.... Obama hates our way of life and is diong all he can to destroy Capitalism

    July 22, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Henry

    Slow news day at Chicken Noodle Network? Palin not on Twitter yet?

    July 22, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Jack

    Absolutely..let's pray that President Clinton can encourage the much more experienced Hillary to challenge the nomination in 2012.. this country can't survive another 4 years of Obama.. I'm not sure we can survive until the next election!

    July 22, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. FM

    What is the justification of "W" favorable rating being up 10 points since he left Office?
    Is it because he is not seen!!!!

    July 22, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Bobby in Atlanta

    What exactly is the point of this poll CNN? How about you do some real journalistic work and stop putting up another useless poll everyday. Maybe that's why you're tv ratings are in the toilet.

    July 22, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Dis-gusted

    This is a ridculous comparison. Neither Bill Clinton nor GW Bush had their plates, pots and pans, etc., this full when they first sat down at the desk in the Oval office. And if everyone will remember, there was no love-fest when Clinton and Bush first left office. When Pres. Obama has been out of office for a few years,depending on the shape the economy is, then his policies and behavior in office will, no doubt, be admired. Except the Party of No is continually throwing a monkey wrech in there. I really appreciate the job Bill Clinton did while he was in office and leaving a surplus for the country. However, I didn't appreciate how he embarrassed his family as well as the whole country. It appears, however, he has remeemed himself. GW will never redeem himself for the situation he left this country in.

    July 22, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. Get A Grip

    Anyone want to bet Hillary Clinton will be trying to take Obama's job in 2012. Good old Bill is laying the ground work for that.

    July 22, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  16. Bob(Illinois)

    Yet another meaningless poll!

    July 22, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. jay

    What a stupid poll, what kind of work is Clinton doing to lose any support.

    July 22, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. Willy Brown

    You got to pick the less of the 2 evils pictured here

    July 22, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. Peter E

    Yes, I'm sure the republicans are delighted by this... until they see that either democrat would still be elected (if they were eligible) over any of the republican hopefuls, like Mitt flip-flop Romney, Sarah quitter Palin, or Newt has-been Gingrich!

    July 22, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. Grog

    52 % of Americans cant remember
    48 % of Americans cant forget

    July 22, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. Mike in Montana

    I find this poll to be very interesting. President Barack Obama better start thinking more about jobs, economy and the current recession or his approval ratings are even going to go lower.

    July 22, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Fed Up

    Thank God Bill can't run again. We've had enough of the sleaze factor in the White House. Of course, Billary could run and then he would have free reign again.

    July 22, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. NVa Native

    So a past President who lead our country thru eight years of historic prosperity, survived a politically motivated and very public witch hunt, left us with a federal surplus, has since retired to focus on serving the people of the world – has very favorable poll numbers?
    Then compare him with our current President; early in his first term, who is constantly hounded by a fake TV news channel that spreads lies and deceptions for the purpose of daily political witch hunts, the first non-white President, managing two previously un-funded wars, and leading during a very desperate time in our history as we recover finaically from the most regressive and destructive Presidency in our history – the "Bush/Cheney" fascism experiment.
    So it's predictable that our current President has lower poll numbers.
    Let's compare "Dub & Dicks's" current poll numbers to Obama's.
    Of course the "Dub & Dick" will get great ratings from the easily manipulated and irresponsibly loyal fox follower's and ditto heads – an undeserved 27% approval.

    July 22, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Dar

    It wont be long before Carter looks better than this bozo

    July 22, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. Potentate

    Anyone can beat obama now.

    July 22, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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