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)
  1. MT

    I cried more after Bush's re-election than I did after 9/11.

    December 9, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. Sam Sixpack

    Does this mean cnn will stop being a left-wing suck-up propaganda machine and start reporting news?

    December 9, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  3. President Obama/VA

    Of course his rating is off the richter scale. He's the one providing plans and details on this economic crisis and not George Bush. I think Bush is taking a backseat to the economic crisis. Whenever Bush talks, stocks tumble. When Obama talks, the stocks hit 9,000.

    December 9, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. Donna

    "To many Americans, the Bush Administration was a national disaster,"-

    Exactly Bill.....but this poll isn't really relevant right now...people are just happy to see Bush leaving office...Obama could put cartoon characters in his cabinet and we'd be happy because it's the end of the Bush era...let's see the numbers after 6 months officially in the role of President...

    December 9, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  5. Thomas

    Honeymoon? The man is not even in office yet. The Honeymoon starts on 21 Jan and traditionally lasts 100 days.

    So far Obama is doing a pretty good job, but I would not say the Honeymoon is continuing. We are still in the "engagement party" mood.

    I am confident that President Obama will continue to do a wonderful job. I think we choose the right person for the job.

    But the Honeymoon does not start until 21 Jan. 🙂

    December 9, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  6. bob

    i don't agree... obama is looking more and more like bush everyday...

    December 9, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  7. Ken in Dallas

    It's sort of funny, but the hints at Obama policy that are showing so far look highly conservative (but in a rational way.)

    The energy policy that's beginning to emerge is underpinned by a major conservation initiative, as well as modernization. He's answering the question as to where we'd get the power for electric transportation by taking it out of building waste consumption, for instance.

    By making buildings more energy-efficient, we reduce the building's carbon footprint, and by using the conserved electricity to power transportation, you get another net reduction in carbon footprint, and a huge reduction in oil footprint. It's very conservative, yet it strengthens our standard of living, the overall economy, and national security.

    It's kind of a shame the Republicans don't understand real conservatism. I'm not sure how they can keep on styling themselves "conservative" when the supposedly "most liberal" President-elect acts far more conservatively than they do.

    December 9, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  8. meme

    I'm truly happy about having an intelligent President. We haven't had one in years. The transition should be the easy part, but I'm sure he President Elect will remain his calm and reserved self from Jan 20, 2009 and on... BARACK IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR..

    December 9, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  9. Jaye

    Bush promised to be a uniter not a divider.... that is the republican mantra, that, and, I will work in a bi-partisian way with everyone...
    I will reduce spending and balance the budget....I will secure social security....blah, blah, blah.
    What intelligent person isn't tired of this same old same old rhethoric?
    I look back over the past 8 years and can hardly wait for January 20.
    I give my full support to Barack Obama, and I hope CNN will, too.
    Americans need to unite and truly work together, and stop all the Obama hate. Give him a chance before you knock his ideas. Ask yourself, what would McCain and Palin be doing right now....then be glad they were not elected.

    December 9, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  10. carlo

    I appreciate his haste and sense of urgency in setting up a competent cabinet and being prepared, which is more than I can say for our "whose smarter than a fifth grader" current bozo president.

    December 9, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  11. Love Bird

    I will continue to pray for Barack.

    December 9, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  12. uksupport

    It's not only handling the transitions guys... OBAMA is turning out a synonyms of The Gen Next Politics..

    Cheers for his well being..

    Simply HE ROCKS...

    December 9, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  13. Ms. Jamaica

    To all the haters, just remember we are all in this together!

    December 9, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  14. Joe the Plumber


    December 9, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  15. Johng

    that's wonderful....just remember GWB has the highest approval rating in gallop history on record.....let's see when he actually HAS A JOB to do.

    December 9, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  16. Virginia

    To Ray Fisher--just because I am a Republican doesn't mean I am racist. I didn't vote for Obama because I don't like what ANY Democrat stands for. Nothing in their party platform interests me. Does that make me a racist? I don't think so!

    December 9, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  17. Crazy Cat Lady

    Obama is displaying calm, steady judgment, intelligent forethought, judicious choices in the people who will help him run the government, and clear-eyed but strong confidence in his and our ability to pull together and find solutions for this country's problems.

    What's not to like?

    December 9, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  18. Frank the Tank

    I predict a nasty divorce within the ranks of the Democrats before this is all over...

    December 9, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  19. Jerry

    This is the kind of reporting that should cease. Just yesterday I read that BHO libs were not happy and today of the 48% of Americans that did not vote for him, most now love him. Give me a break with the crappy surveys , I am certainly willing to give the guy a shot but since when did the democrat congress approval rating surge from single digits to over 60%. The story is clearly based on a contorted survey.

    December 9, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  20. Showmanship

    It is only a show, and wait until the rubber meets the road, as human nature is imperfect and sinful. Power corrupts, and Obama is no saint, angel or even superman, with the traditional Christian values of our founding-fathers. There are so many things we do not about this man's past, still, only time can tell. Those who work for him will resist him eventually, as they have no respect for an inexprienced boss, and are taking advantage of him for their own ambition, only Biden is content to be a vice president, or is he really?? It is mere showmanship.

    December 9, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. Larry

    Calling the Bush administration a National Disaster, is putting it mildly

    George Bush and his cronies have done so much damage to this country, it is beyond comparison

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and many others deserve no less than Prison for life, for crimes against humanity, murder, etc.

    December 9, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  22. Jozee

    My hope is that the honeymoon will continue after he is inaugurated. We, the people, allowed Bush to get by with murder, literally and did not bat an eye. The struggles that the nation will face, will be long, hard, and will test us like never before. I'm so grateful that we have a President like Obama and his cabinet members that has a strategy to tackle these tough issues.

    Check back in about 4 months and let's hope that his approval rating holds steady. Americans have an extremely short memory.


    December 9, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  23. RinFL

    Out of curiosity how much money do you Obama bashers get paid? Or is it a public service that you provide pro bono from your moms basement? If paid, do you get more for the really stupid comments or is that just a bonus for us non knuckle draggers?

    December 9, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  24. Derek

    Frank a "True" American...I have another word you can substitute for American in your handle there.

    So Bush is spreading Democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan while Clinton let genocide occur in Rwanda (that's actually the correct spelling Frank).


    Our Iraq and Afghanistan policies have been a disaster, we were actually justified in our steps in Iraq, but underfunded that so we could launch an unjustified invasion of another country. There are lots of world leaders we don't like, why Iraq and not North Korea, or most of East Africa??? Because one can fight back and another has no oil perhaps???

    Frank, you need to start getting information from more sources than Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, you sound like an idiot, unless of course idiocy is your comfort zone.

    And that byline of Frank and Dodd causing the housing collapse and the subsequent financial market meltdown, complete crap too. True, they had a hand in it, but where was the corporate oversight, or the truth in lending by the brokers, did Frank and Dodd keep interest rates artificially low thereby creating a market of "easy-money"??? Oversimplified, childish pap.

    Frank, a true American, more like a true moron.

    December 9, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  25. Victoria

    As it should be. Maybe America is finally opening its eyes to what we really need in this country- An intelligent, open-minded leader.

    December 9, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
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