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. Tigger Lily

    Abyssinian Lion, in case you haven't already noticed, he hasn't even been sworn in yet. You and the rest are praising and fawing over someone who, for all intensive purposes, has done much of anything yet, except get elected President on media hype, voter infatuation, and a lousy economy. I'm still at a loss to figure out what he has done that makes everyone so weak at the knees....besides writing 2 books, a lackluster turn in Congress, appearances on Oprah, and a lot of pretty speeches; I still don't see the appeal. Maybe I'm just dense, but appointing Clintonites and lobbyists, backpeddling on campaign promises, and offering social programs that will eventually tax us blind don't sound promising to me. But then again, most people haven't bothered to look under the covers yet.

    December 9, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. American View

    Why do we hate each other so much? Why are these boards so filled with Name Calling and Hate!

    It really reminds me of an elementary school play ground. People, let's act like grown ups and engage in intelligent debate not hate and name calling.

    December 9, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. MattH

    A "good time" would have been four years ago, Rob.
    Well, he hasn't messed anything up yet, I'll give him that. But this is his "honeymoon". Lets see how well he does in office.

    December 9, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. J.D.

    He has no choice, he has to do well. Failure is not an option for him. Otherwise this country is done.

    December 9, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  5. karissa

    in case ya'll didn't notice America didn't have a huge economic disaster until the Democrats gained full majority of the house and senate. then everything began to crash! Hello! what does that tell you!?? Bush couldn't stop the mess no matter how hard he tried. I think he is a Wonderful President and someday ya'll will realize that too! Thank God for President Bush and i think it's about time for America to Bless GOD!

    December 9, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Things are tough and could get worse..........but..........I feel that Obama will give us 100% and bring the best of the best to his administration; which will give America the EXCELLENCE to get us OUT OF THIS MESS !!! We can do this as Americans.....just takes some leadership to get this Country back on the right foot. HOW LUCKY WE ARE AS A COUNTRY TO HAVE THIS GREAT MAN ........CARE ABOUT ALL OF US !!!!

    December 9, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. The Pecan State Pundit

    Obama will make some decisions that displease many segments of our society. Remember, everything is the way it is because it made someone rich. Every element of the very flawed status quo has its constituency that is willing to fight hard to keep things the way they are.

    America's history for the last two centuries has been episodic and jerky. Liberals come to office and try to repair the damage done by Conservatives. Then, Conservatives come to power and cause more damage in their desire to make themselves more powerful and the wealthy even more wealthy. Now, after the one-two-three punch of Reagan-Bush-Bush, the nation is teetering on the verge of a tragic economic collapse. It is vitally important that the Obama administration succeed. Conservative leaders will try to make the Obama administration a failure.

    Conservatives, of course, do not care what happens to the nation as long as they themselves prosper. I'm not talking about rank-and-file Conservative voters, whose only sin is being so gullible. I'm talking about the Conservative leadership, which has done far more damage to this nation that al Quaeda could ever hope to.

    December 9, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. The Dawg

    Calling it a job approval rating is a bit of a misnomer. He hasn't done anything as President yet. It's hard not to say that you approve of how someone is handling the transition. Heck, even most liberals have said that President Bush is handling the transition very well. Let's see what his job approval ratings are when he actually takes over the job. I think that once policy starts becoming enacted, you will start to see that number go down, although I would guess that it would be more in the 60 range if I were to guess.

    December 9, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. Sharon Kitchen

    The Bush/Cheney admin was a disaster.With him still in office...he still is making disaster type/pen signing/last second pres orders that will affect us all.......what National Park?....oh ,you mean that black flat ,shoveled out area........coal("clean"-not). Oh, you mean that toxic dump area that we used to call the Grand Canyon? What clean water?
    What water?
    What endagered species.......he does not see any critters.......................
    and now, we can not seem to find any of them......that's right folks.......right from under everyones noses...................................................but I am sure you might have a picture of what they used to look like,back when they were alive............You don't?....darn .........and the companies are closing,right and left.........let's see....Polaroid,next..............
    Did the folks list their families........yep......planet in peril,people in peril.
    Yes................................he is still very busy. Anyone watching???????
    with the Big 3 taking all eyes off him............SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  10. Bruce

    Give me a break. The man hasn't even done anything yet. Of course his approval rating is high. Plus I'm sure they asked mostly Democrats in this poll that always seems to be skewed.

    December 9, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  11. Christopher

    I see so many HATORZ..with the comments "He hasnt taken office yet"..Amazingly he seems to be doing much more than the incumbent president has done in 8 years. I think it's an utter crying shame when people can hope for someone to fail simply because they arent crazy of thier skin color. IT'S CALLED SMALL MINDED... Fortunatley, the American people have elected a presidet that is LARGE MINDED.

    December 9, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. Peggy

    It scares me to know that our country now consists of a majority of pacifist sheep. Who are you going to blame when Obama shows his true colors in the future. Also, It's unbelievable that so many think George Bush is to blame for the economy of the whole world. Totally insane.....................

    December 9, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  13. Amber

    Ewww! That's all I have to say.

    When are we gonna start electing officials based on experience and qualifications rather than aesthetics (what's beautiful to the ear and eye).

    So much for his "change". LOL......I am cracking up at all the gullible liberals. (And yes...I"m a Democrat).

    December 9, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  14. stephen

    The question is how much of the favourable opinion of the President-Elect's transition really due to a political 'honeymoon' or is it really due to a response to a very smooth, efficient, un-divisive, diciplined and decisive transition.

    Mr. Obama has conducted one of the better transitions to power in the US, which is to the credit of his team and of course himself.

    If his transition was frought with what the public and pundits believe are bad decisions, indecision, partisanship, antagonism to the outgoing administration etc, then one may find less support and hence a short 'honeymoon'.

    December 9, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. Michael watching from Canada

    I don't understand this CNN Article. Obama has yet to take to office. A honeymoon doesn't occur until after the wedding (inauguration) has occurred.

    December 9, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. Bubba

    He's already more presidential than Bush, but I had a fish for dinner last night that was more presidential than Bush.

    December 9, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. Jim

    It's true that he hasn't taken office yet, but he's already head and shoulders above Bush. He's been an exceptional President-elect. He will be an exceptional President.

    December 9, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. Sweetie

    It is WAY TOO EARLY to come to such a conclusion!

    I haven't talked with anyone who would be bold enough to say such a thing.

    We are waiting until after his first 100 days to decide if he is good or not.

    Certainly we are ready for greatness, but we need to see it first!

    PS I haven't heard a nice comment about Michelle at all.

    December 9, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. NY Republican

    Jim from New York – please learn to spell BEFORE calling someone else an idiot. Thank you.

    December 9, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. PJP

    That's OK, the honeymoon will soon be over. There might even be a divorce in the near future!!

    December 9, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. Chip

    @Pecan State Pundit

    I'm sorry you have such a narrow view. It must be nice in your world where everyone and everything fits into a cozy little box with no dynamics whatsoever.

    December 9, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. jt

    So proud to be Obama hard core supporter, a common sense politics.

    December 9, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. PJP

    RE: Karissa
    Hey, you go girl and according to the Word, I agree with you!!!

    December 9, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Kel in Auburn, AL

    He's our man! Go O!

    December 9, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. Frank

    Higher approval ratings than Bush? Wow, that's amazing. I wonder what his approval rating will be once he actually has to make a decision.

    December 9, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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