November 13th, 2008
04:20 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll: Obama facing high expectations

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Most people believe President-elect Barack Obama will change America when he takes over from his predecessor."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The overall public mood may still be sour at the moment, but a new national poll suggests that most Americans think Barack Obama will make major accomplishments as president of the United States.

Nearly two-thirds of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday said President-elect Obama will change the country for the better. Twenty-five percent said he won't change the country either way, and only 9 percent indicated they think Obama will change the country for the worse.

"The bar is being set awfully high for an Obama presidency," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

According to the poll, most people think it's likely that Obama will improve race relations, improve economic conditions, bring stability to the financial markets, make the United States safer from terrorism, reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil, reduce global warming, win the war in Afghanistan, and remove U.S. troops from Iraq without causing a major upheaval in that country.

"That's a pretty big to-do list," said Holland.

In a question separate from whether Obama will change the country for the better, 76 percent of poll respondents said the country will be better off four years from now, while 19 percent say it will be worse.

Three-quarters of those polled also have a favorable view of Obama, up 12 points since the election. Among black Americans the number was 99 percent, while among Republicans it was 41 percent.

The overall 75 percent favorable rating "makes Obama the most popular president-elect in at least a quarter of a century," Holland said.

In November of 1980, after his landslide victory over incumbent President Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan's favorable rating was 67 percent. Eight years later, the elder George Bush had a favorable rating of only 50 percent immediately after his win in the 1988 election. When Bill Clinton beat Bush
four years later, his favorable rating was 60 percent just after the election.

And after the Florida recount ended in December of 2000, George W. Bush had a 59 percent favorable rating.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted November 6-9, with 1,246 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Tim


    You don't have a clue as to what socialist means. When Alaska returns money to it's citizens for the use of the state resources, that is not socialism. When you take something away from one person and give it to another, that is socialism. Go look at Obama's tax plan and you'll get a good sense of socialism.

    November 13, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. Dan, FL

    It appears Barack is quiet and he has nothing to say. It is a wrong choice for our presidency. Anyway American people have to learn it. A real bad choice.

    November 13, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  3. Tim

    The Obama worship should have ended well before the election. Now that he is elected, we should not let people forget the worshipping they have done.

    But I know the MSM will do it's best to wipe out the pre-election worshiping that was going on so that when he fails to live up to expectations, the gap will not be as big.

    November 13, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. annie - never again a dem.

    The title of this article will be is downfall!

    November 13, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    conservative November 13th, 2008 5:02 pm ET

    Wow ; he really is the messiah ! Must be so; the fawning media is hyping it ( and I thought they were atheists)! Foolish me for doubting the media .
    No, he's not the messiah. He will gladly accept burnt offerings from you, though. 🙂

    November 13, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  6. Janice Illinois

    It was a pretty big election promises that were made by Obama. Now we expect him to deliver and I hope he can and will. He promised change and we want it.

    November 13, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  7. Jennifer

    First of all no matter what you think of Bush this is not all his doing this is years of corruption & greed on both sides also Clinton is the one who signed NAFTA & what has that done for us the main thing he did was distract the country with a sex scandel while he did god knows what I'm sure that made our counrty look good to others. Also I thinks that it is so wrong to take defense every time Obama is criticized thats part of being in politics you have to take the good with the bad & one more thing worse that a soar loser is a sarcastic winner Obama won & still everyone is complaining this is what you wanted deal with it.

    November 13, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Independent_me

    One of the things that the Obama administration should consider doing is to take the bailout and give each taxpayer $180,000. They will use this to buy stuff which will create demand and therefore create more production of goods and services, which will produce more jobs. Homeowners can pay off mortgages and debts, which will free up money for them to spend... again creating more jobs as demand for goods and services increase.

    If the government gives this money to the banks they will just hoard it. Consumers will sink deeper into debt as high interest rates kick in. This will affect credit scores, which will prevent consumers from getting loans... and the visious circle will continue.... Give the bailout to the taxpayers...its our money, anyway!!!

    November 13, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. lovable liberal

    Obama could never deliver on all the things that people hope for. Nonetheless, he will make steady progress.

    November 13, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. Nija

    I hope Shaun (Idiot) Hinity is listening.

    November 13, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  11. Dan from Philly

    Move to your right, Bush. I can still see your face.

    November 13, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    It amazes me that most of the people expecting the most of President Obama are the ones who voted twice for G.W. Bush, and also the ones who are painting a picture of doom for white, Christian America under an Obama administration. They are also the ones who are pointing out that even though Obama has been "President Elect" for nine whole days, all the problems caused by the Bush/Cheney administration are still with us.

    November 13, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  13. John

    Hey .,....They did it on this election ,..N ,..They will do it all da way to 2012, with no doubt,.""'Yes they can"' yes we can" to 2012

    November 13, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  14. Larry

    I think he's out of there in four years,he's a NOVA or a bright star in the sky that's already burned out,it appears to be something,but it's really nothing.

    November 13, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  15. gregg


    November 13, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. Bridg

    Vet in Texas– you are too much of a cry baby to be a Vet. News flash, the election is over, you and your ilk lost. So stop parroting McLame/Failin' talking points. The train is moving, jump on or get out of the way.

    November 13, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. gregg


    November 13, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. Betty

    First he will have to give in to all the people that helped him get elected: ACORN, ACLU, Move, etc. After he breaks all his promises, his ratings will drop. He will be a 1 term president.

    November 13, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. Ken

    It was Obama who set the stage and the mark high with all of his promises and everything that he promised the American people in order to get their vote. So I do hope that he does not back step, but rather keep to the promises that he gave the American people.


    November 13, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  20. gregg


    November 13, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  21. in Canada

    to Alonso – so well said...

    Sometimes it takes an observer to state the obvious – do your best!!!

    November 13, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  22. jess

    let's let him frist be sworn in,before we start judging him.and i hope he keeps the media in the dark,that way they can't spin and twist.because when they do get something they tell it in million ways.most of the reporter and analist don't what they are talking about.they couldn't get it right during the election so,now they'er trying to explain what happen.

    November 13, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  23. RLT

    Of course the expectations are high. He is the first Black president. And at this time in America many people are wanting to latch on to the hope for somethng better. Not to mention his presidency has already stamped a place in history....

    November 13, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  24. RLT

    gregg, what is wrong with you? I'm not sure why you are so jaded and cynical about Obama. I think it's time you get over it. Looks to me like YOU are the only one calling him someone's god. That old idiotic rhetoric is getting old. He's a man. JUST a man. Stop the maddness with the god stuff, sounds like you need God. hope you wake up and get over your hate.

    November 13, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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