December 9th, 2008
08:20 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama honeymoon continues, poll shows

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama is enjoying a nearly 80 percent approval rating."]WASHINGTON (CNN) -  A new national poll suggests that Barack Obama's having one heck of a honeymoon.

Nearly eight in ten Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out Tuesday morning are giving the president-elect the thumbs up when it comes to his handling of the transition. Seventy-nine percent approve of Obama's performance so far during transition, with 18 percent disapproving.

Obama's approval rating is "14 points higher than the approval rating for president-elect Bush in 2001 and 17 points higher than president-elect Clinton's rating in 1992," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland noted.

The president-elect's current approval rating is also more than 50 points higher than Bush's current approval rating, which now stands at 28 percent, with 71 percent disapproving of the way Bush is handling his job as president.

"An Obama job approval rating of 79 percent! That’s the sort of rating you see when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster. To many Americans, the Bush Administration was a national disaster," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

The poll also indicates that 79 percent of the public thinks Obama will do a good job as president. That's up 4 points from last month. Eighteen percent think Obama will do a poor job as president, down 3 points from November.

Seventy-eight percent of those questioned feel Obama will be a uniter, 20 points higher than those who felt the same way 8 years ago about then-president-elect Bush. Twenty percent say Obama will be a divider, 16 points lower than those who said Bush would be a divider.

"Bush came in promising to be a uniter, not a divider. That’s a promise Bush failed to deliver – as he himself acknowledged last week in an interview with ABC news when he said that one of his big disappointments is that the tone in Washington got worse rather than better. Nearly 80 percent describe Obama as a uniter. So far, so good," said Schneider.

Seventy-six percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of Obama.

"And the president-elect is not the only one who is popular right now. Sixty-seven percent have a favorable view of Michelle Obama and 56 percent have a positive view of Vice President-elect Joe Biden ," Holland added.

And the Democratic party continues to be much more popular than the GOP. Six in ten have a favorable view of the Democratic party, while a majority have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican party.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 1-2, with 1,096 adult Americans interviewed by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (234 Responses)

    Obama came at a good time.It can,t get much.

    December 9, 2008 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  2. williefloyd

    It's about time some of our citizens open their eyes and see the writing on the wall. The man is making an outstanding effort to bring this country together, but he can't do it alone. Those who refuse to accept him can't really support their country-so sad.

    December 9, 2008 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  3. Jeff


    December 9, 2008 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  4. Jim in Bisbee

    Change is as change does. I'm glad to see support for him – I think most Americans can see him as genuine.

    December 9, 2008 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  5. Ann, MI

    Considering that President Bush stopped working on November 5th (if not before that), President-Elect Obama is the only president we have right now, its only logical that people would approve. Imagine what will happen when he can actually begin work!

    December 9, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  6. Jim from New York

    WHAT could anyone possibly be negative about? I can only imagine people who do not share his political views are not liking his choices ~ but how does that translate into him not doing a good job in handling the transition? How does that translate into him not doing an OUTSTANDING job of handling the transition?

    Maybe the prefer looking at Rumsfeld, Cheney & Rice in the Texas field, with a stammering George W. Bush in from of them.

    Complete idiots.

    December 9, 2008 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  7. southcarolinadem

    I totally agree with this poll. It sure is refreshing to have a President(elect) who seems to be not only competent, but also intellectually curious. I just pray that he is the leader he seems to be, we REALLY need a great one during these trying times.

    December 9, 2008 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  8. grahame

    I suppose the eighteen percent are Republicans. Given that amount though 2012 looks good even though Obama.s approval rating by definition will go down. Point is that the majority of Americans don't want a return to the hate mongering policies (read Sarah Palin) of the last election go-round

    December 9, 2008 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  9. Wynter

    Gee what a surprise... Bush was counting "hanging chads" and recounting in Florida. While Obama is pulling together a top notch team based on skill instead of ideology and cronyism.

    Imagine that...

    December 9, 2008 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  10. Scott Tucson

    Of course these poll numbers are coming from the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation. It would appear that they're so far up Obama's backside that they can't see the light of day. Those pollsters must get a tingling feeling much like Chris Matthews feels everytime they hear Obama's name mentioned.

    As for the Democratic party continuing to be much more popular than the GOP, let's have some criminal investigations into this economic meltdown that started with the Dems being in charged for the past 2 years and indict Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Charles Shumer for starters for their roll in it.

    December 9, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  11. Nisey01

    Obama honeymoon continues, poll shows

    With all due respect, Obama has earned the respect and the extended honeymoon. When one engages in rightful and earnest ways to deliver for all, with no respecter of persons, this is what actually happens. We the people have no other choice then too rally around and support Obama, for he has proven that he means well and have adhered to combating our crisis which appears to be the epoch of his agenda and has been from Day 1. Obama has no doubt inspired so many in his journey to the point that at times I personally feel that I as a citizen of America is on a honeymoon in this moment enjoying the reunion in regaining my country via the transitional format that has been laid out by Obama. It’s like a marriage being restored and a manifestation of a second honeymoon. You remember the saying “I love when a plan comes together”, well there you have it . God Bless America!

    December 9, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  12. sunshine

    wow what a great president.

    December 9, 2008 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  13. Mike Dallas

    Some of us realized Obama would be a good President early on, however, I am glad that others are now beginning to see it as well!

    Also, doesn't what's her name have an 62% approval rating up on the tundra, with a population of 600K?

    Obama is 79% out of 150 million. Since repugs were touting "popularity" as a reason to vote for the half-wit, looks like Obama is going to be a great President!

    December 9, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  14. New Yorker

    And why doesn't the article state what Bush's rating was after 9/11? Why not balance the story with some more facts? The division in Washington was caused by those who opposed Bush right from the start and had enough influence to convince others to. Those who get all the facts before making judgement know that Bush did and excellent job in warding off more terrorist attacks, helping to bring about a much needed change in Iraq, has helped millions of aids sufferers, and made excellent choices for the Supreme Court. Time wll tell that he was one of the best Presidents this country will ever have. It remains to be seen what Obama (citizen of the world) will actually do for this country. Let's check the opinion polls in 4 years, keeping in mind that the influential, left-slanted media is on his side.
    Will you post this CNN or hold it in moderation mode forever?

    December 9, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  15. 1/20/13

    UMMMM.Can you please explain what job he has done and what important decision he has made. Oh wait ,he gives speeches every weekend on his web address. Please the poll shoul dread 8 out of 10 Democraps approve of th ejob he is doing

    December 9, 2008 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  16. Dominic

    I believe everyone appreciates the ingenuity of this young man and his ability to use the intelligence God has given him to work as hard as possible to improve this nation. This is the reason congress must work with him to begin to tackle the numerious issues facing this country. American people have carefully watched the President-elect and have come to a conclusion that he is got the brain, the temperament, and mental skils to lead this country at this critical and unique time in the history of this nation.
    God bless the president-elect and God bless America.

    December 9, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  17. A Real American

    "That’s the sort of rating you see when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster."

    Get out much, Sparky?

    The economy's in the crapper, unemployment is skyrocketing, we're still fighting two wars and the one in Afghanistan ain't going so good, and a lameduck moron, almost ex-president can't seem to find the wherewithal (or brains) to deal with any of it.

    As far as I'm concerned, 8 long years of the Bush led national nightmare qualifies as a disaster in anyone's book.

    December 9, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  18. proudliberal

    he's doing a great job giving folks some hope. his cabinet picks suck, though.

    December 9, 2008 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  19. Juan Grain

    The eighteen percent of haters don't want truth to power they want to suck on their failure and kool-aid of failed necon policies. They close their eys and cry, im afraid of Obama, with no reason. it speaks more about their disfunction than it does about our new brillant leader!

    December 9, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  20. carol

    I am not surprised at all, PE Obama is doing a wonderful job already and he's not even President yet!
    These weekly addresses he gives are very good , keeping us informed as to what is going on......his hands made be tied right now but he feels it's important for us to feel he's engaged with us at least.
    He is going to make a great President and will definitely get this country working again, I just hope everybody especially those who did not vote for him give him a chance.

    December 9, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  21. Ray Fisher

    I don't see how anyone could be negative about the transition since any change at all is better than what we have now. I'm surprised it isn't 100% approval. Apparently the die hard racists are still in denial of our new President and the fact that Republicans have ruined America. Perhaps one day they will think about our nation before themselves.

    December 9, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  22. Mike

    The bar has been set so very low for Obama. He would have to be as moronic as his supporters to not meet expectations.

    December 9, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  23. Mike

    I'm curious, how can Obama be having a honeymoon when he hasn't taken office yet. CNN continues its pandering so prevalent in the primaries and general election.

    December 9, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  24. Joe M

    In rough times, the new administration will get a "running" start. Only crackpots or extreme right or left wing nut cases want a failure. Policies will be questioned, alternatives offered and that's as it should be, but lawsuits trying to discredit Obama's citizenship (or Mc Cain's for that matter) belong where they ended up (in the trashcan).

    The law of averagess tells us that some appointees will "crash and burn", but I predict the numbers will be far lower than in previous administrations. You don't run a great nation with mediocrity. We've just seen proof of that!

    December 9, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  25. frank a true american

    the media (some) tells Americans every day to believe that the Bush administration is a after day after day.
    so what are you going to believe if that is all you hear!
    when we look back at history do we want a Clinton that allowed genocide in Ruanda and had unacceptable behavior with an intern...
    or a Bush that stood up to terrorism against our Country, brought the possibility of liberty to Iraq and Afganistan....with the opportunity to spread to the entire area.....
    I take Bush...that made a differrence in the world and protected us!

    December 9, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10