Obama vs. predecessors at start of second terms
January 19th, 2013
04:58 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama vs. predecessors at start of second terms

Washington (CNN) – It's the most important indicator for a second term president: His approval rating in public opinion polls.

So as President Barack Obama gets ready for his second inaugural, how does he stack up against his predecessors who also served two terms in the White House?

A CNN/ORC International poll conducted Monday and Tuesday indicates that 55% of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing, with 43% giving the president a thumbs down. And a CNN Poll of Polls, which averages the CNN poll and seven other non-partisan, live operator national surveys conducted over the past week and a half indicates the president with a 52%-43% approval rating.

How does Obama rate compared to his predecessors?

He's slightly ahead of George W. Bush, who stood at 51% in January 2005 in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

And he's slightly behind Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. Clinton had a 62% approval rating in January 1997 in a CNN/USA Today poll, and Reagan also stood at 62% in January 1985 in a Gallup survey.

Going further back in history: Richard Nixon was at 51% in January 1973, Lyndon Johnson stood at 71% in January 1965, Dwight Eisenhower was at 73% in 1957, and Harry Truman stood at 69% in January 1949, all in Gallup polling.

– CNN Polling Director Keating Holland contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN poll • Inauguration • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    I am going out of country, here my blessings, well-wishes for you in advance. God bless you with all the honesty, integrity that this nation now needs. I pray for it. Once again, good lucks.

    January 19, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Wake up People!

    The ish just don't stop does it Fox-lite???

    January 19, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. dennis

    Obama barely won re-election, and the way he won it was ballot dumping in Racial District, and by keeping polls open in Racial Districts 3, 4 & 5 hours after the polls were to have closed. He got a 51% margin in the vote, but 60% of the people are not for him at all. By the end of his next four years he'll be more like an Emperior than a President. He'll be the first President in the history of our country who never even got a budget approved by Congress. He'll have that Chinese Credit Card poor o'Bush left on his desk in the White House maxed out, and the rich will be in chains and prisions.

    January 19, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. roro

    I'm sure that if the obstructionist Republicans had allowed Obama to get anything done, his approval ratings would be much higher. Nevertheless, it's a heckuva lot higher than that of Congress.

    January 19, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I think that he had to do better that George W. Bush. Given the job that Bush did, he had to do better, but the level of partisanship out there likely contributed to approval rating.

    January 19, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |