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. thor

    The way this president has mismanaged this economy i wouldn't be surprised if Howdy Doody would poll better than Obama !!!

    July 22, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. gt

    he may behind jimmy carter.... get our troops home now.....

    July 22, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Gina

    And this poll matters why?

    July 22, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. Ralph

    "To the victor belongs the spoils". Win first worry about getting elected and then worry about governing later (if ever). Stir the mob and then take their pulse and please them. If you empower me I will subsequently (and only subsequently) empower you. These attitudes are breaking the goverment (and the country) apart.

    CNN (and others) obsession with meaningless polls underlies and sustains these kinds of attitudes. We need not be trapped in a perpetual dialectical battle with ourselves if we work on the many problems that are right in front of our noses. How about more time asking experts have to solve immediate issues like the gulf. the economy, the war and less time chasing rating by helping partisans faun about a distant future when "our people" will have control.

    July 22, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. all of America

    obama was a looser from the beginning,anybody that voted for him is now realizing that now, truth hurts don't it !

    July 22, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  6. Glen

    Yeah, you know, because insuring the health of 40 million more Americans, putting regulations on Wall Street and creating a federal consumer protection agency... that's just terrible. Obama, what a failure.

    (note for idiots: I'm being sarcastic. Obama is the best and most effective president we've had in a lifetime)

    July 22, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. Indiana Voter

    I'm pretty sure every former President is more popular than Obama right now. That is not hard to believe. Obama is expanding government at an alarming rate and taxes will rise sharply as a result. Bu, the Dumasscrats are too stupid to see the light.

    July 22, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. worriedmom

    uh oh, watch out Bill, they will use you to get what they want and then throw you under the bus like the rest.

    July 22, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Marty, FL

    In other words, the majority of Americans have a favorable opinion of both Presidents Obama & Clinton. Not bad for a sitting & former president.

    The same apparently cannot be said of President Bush, considering our country is still trying to recover from his policies.

    July 22, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Moderate from Texas

    Forty-five percent had a favorable opinion of George W. Bush? I recall the debate with Al Gore when Gore predicted the results of Bush's proposed tax reduction for the rich. Al looks like a prophet now and "W" all but destroyed our country. Yet 45%% still think he did a good job. We are a stupid, stupid people.

    July 22, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Nick

    You can say that again, I'd take Carter over Obama at this point. Worst president ever.

    July 22, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. steve

    stop with the horserace polling bullshit already. you just posted a article about how Clinton's numbers were lower than Obama's are now when he was president. same thing with Regan's. can you at least write a coherent story about how mid-first term poll numbers are not indicative of squat? no duh clintons will be higher now, he doesn't have the job or the scrutiny that comes with it.

    July 22, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. Thad Strom

    Like Jackie Gleason always said, "you remember the past better than it lived".

    July 22, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    That simply shows how bad the overall judgment of the public really is.

    July 22, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Chris

    This poll has a margin of plus or minus total irrelevance.
    I love Bill, don't get me wrong. But you're always going to be rated higher in hindsight.
    All this talking about Obama's approval ratings don't take into account that both Clinton AND Reagan both had the same or lower ratings at this point in there terms too.

    We Americans are both impatient and also short minded.

    Handing congress back to Republicans because of Obama is like complaining a fireman isn't putting out the fire fast enough and hiring a lit match instead.

    July 22, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Donkey Party

    45% have a favorable rating of W? Just hammers home my point that nearly half of America is painfully ignorant. And that stupidity is caused by them believing the lies and mis-information spewed by the right-wing. America doesn't deserve to have a President like Obama, he's too good for them. Let them have Bush back so the destruction of America will be completed. 8 years wasn't quite long enough to finish the job.

    July 22, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. Hap

    No surprise. Clinton was and is a great leader and Obama still has his training wheels on.

    July 22, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Dano

    The real story here is that 45% of Americans have a favorable opinion of GWB. It just shows how short the memory of the American voter is when the person most responsible for our current problems has his favorable rating go up 10% in less than 2 years.

    July 22, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Audie

    It's easy to see why... His arrogance and pride is so thick nothing can penetrate it! Besides, other than flashing a big smile, Obama hasn't done anything to merit praise, unless you're measuring his mistakes! He shoved that Health Care Bill down our throats against our wishes, and now he's paying for it. So, now he's either resting on his laurels, back-peddling, or just spinning his wheels. We too are biding our time til 2012 to vote him OUT.

    July 22, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Splintter

    I wanna know how 45% still have a favorable opnion of Howdy Dowdy? Goes to show the lack of attention span that the american public has. We're in the mess that we're in because of him and his retarded republican buddies, how can that be favorable by any means? 1% is to high for that dope!

    July 22, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Naqib

    Yea... 52% favorable that they like him...

    About 37% think he's doing his job...

    Less in many states

    July 22, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. ja

    President Clinton left a budget surplus, President Obama inherited two warsnot mention terrorist possibilites, and a budge deficit from President Bush, now figure that, into the equation

    July 22, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. Odalice Yolanda Feliz

    I mean everybody knows that Bill is Americas sweetheart, you can't compare him with Obama who is new!!!!

    July 22, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. Anne P

    Any poll showing a 45% favorability for Bush is a statistically flawed. Whoops, maybe just those to gave a favorable rating are flawed. As for Clinton vs. Obama; we are a fickle bunch. This too shall change with the wind. These polls, once again, are pretty statistically insignificant; pure entertainment for CNN. Obama's had to make some tough decisions...isn't that what they use to say when Bush's numbers were down? Oh, that doesn't hold if it's a Dem?

    July 22, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  25. Dean

    than the 52 percent who say they see Obama in a favorable light. ....................................................I think this country needs quite a few new eye doctors.

    July 22, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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