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. angie in dallas 28

    Amber- you're NO Democrat

    December 9, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Baze

    blah blah blah...

    December 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. G-baby, Austin, Tx




    December 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Mr. Will

    He hasn't done ANYTHING yet!!!! Lets hear it for another Clinton administration. When are they going to announce Monica's return as an intern?

    December 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Ravi

    Excellent! I'm happy that only a small minority disapproves of Obama (the folks posting on Fox news perhaps). Barack is definitely off to a good start. All he has to do is keep it going.

    December 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. STL-Veteran

    For Peggy and all those folks that say all Democrats (and Liberals) are sheep to the slaughter, we are not sheep, Rush Limbaugh's listeners are. We just tend to be more open minded and willing to listen to everyone's idea's, we are more optimistic about the future then you. Sorry your guy lost but that's just the way it works. I served this country proudly on the hopes of a better future for all not just the few!!!

    December 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bush has became a MIA (missing in action) president for a long time and further Cheney has proven he too is not worthy as vice president. Bush and Cheney continue to do a disservice to our country not only on war but the economy. Obama has almost been forced by our country to do what neither Bush or Cheney hold office to do.

    December 9, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Toni

    Many of the posters have stated that the honeymoon won't start until Jan 21st and we shouldn't judge him until then.

    However, consider that President-Elect Obama has already made policy, as well as cabinet, decisions and is primed to take actions on Jan21st. I have never seen a president so pro-active prior to his inauguration. Just the idea that he is willing to take ownership of the economy before he is legally required to says a lot about our soon-to-be President.

    December 9, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Shelagh from Ohio

    We love you, Barack! But we know it's up to all of us to get America out of the ditch and on the road again! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration, though! It definitely helps.

    December 9, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Central FL

    God bless America and the new Obama administration!

    December 9, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. DJK

    Gee, I wonder why the Obama honeymoon is continuing? Is it because we have an inept media still fauning over the guy?

    December 9, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. Brian MacDougall

    Inasmuch as Mr. Bush has functionally abdicated his office (putting an extra amount of lame in lame duck), Mr. Obama is actually the president of the United States, even though not sworn in.

    As such, he's doing a great job so far with his number one task: restoring domestic and international confidence in the United States after that confidence took a tremendous BEAT DOWN during Bush-Cheney. When the confidence returns, so will the Dow.

    Also, I'm not sure I'd refer to Gates or Jones as "pacifist sheep."

    December 9, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. Here we go...

    If he hasn't done anything yet and you don't want the honeymoon period to stretch, then you must commit to stop the criticism. If we are not allowed to give him praise, you are not allowed to dog the Leader of the Free World. Got that. Good. I think he has shown excellent foresight, picked stellar, pragmatic intellectuals for his Cabinet and made efforts to work with the existing President. That IS DOING SOMETHING.

    December 9, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. Real Change

    Both Political Parties talked about "change". Instead of putting your hope in or on either political party, we should all try to affect change on our own. By focusing on those we come in contact with daily. Whether its giving food,
    washing your neighbor's car, etc. If you see a need, fill it. We all have the power within us to affect change in this great country for the better. People need to stop being republican and democrats and be true Americans. Bashing each other does not accomplish "change", it only hinders it.

    December 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. J.Crobuzon

    Please stop with the incessant blather about how people who voted for Obama were "deceived" or "fooled" and so on. You're the same guys who were trying to deceive us about him being a Muslim from Kenya who is both a left-wing socialist and a right-wing communist at the same time, remember? You had a video of his wife spewing and you were THIS close to releasing it, remember?
    I guess you already know we aren't so gullible, pal. Give it up, and by the way, I voted for O' Bama because he's Irish.

    December 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    Why does this question keep being posed? Let Obama-Biden do what they need to do and select the people that they need to select!

    December 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. Hill Supporter

    Why shouldn't he have a high approval rating. He's using every Clinton person out there. He has advantages Bill Clinton never had. He could never do what he is doing without Clinton people. This is a man that will make sure he goes down in history as not only the first African-American president, but a president with no blemishes on his record.

    December 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. R.A.

    Atleast he looks and sounds intelligent while talking, thats a million point lead on the current president.

    December 9, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Ravi

    Abyssinian Lion 8:03 am:

    You stated that you don't understand why more people didn't vote for Obama. The sad truth is this: race. If he were White, this would have been a 500+ vote electoral landslide (he would have still lost AK, UT, WY and ID). This election proves that anti-Black sentiment is alive and well in the US.

    December 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. EW

    Obama doesn't even have a job right now. He is like the guy on the street asking if you have some spare change for his innaguration. This is the time when he is gathering his pens and paperclips in preparation for going to the office for the first time.

    I guess the poll means he is doing a good job at doing nothing.

    December 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. Dan, TX

    The honeymoon hasn't started yet. You have to have the ceremoney – inauguration first. Then the honeymoon can start.

    December 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. Meh

    You go, Barack!

    December 9, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. Larry C. in Texas

    Let me put this in perspective ....Bush # 1 was a war monger with 'stormin norman" in ""desert storm" ............
    Bush # 2 was a war monger with ground troops in Iraq.....

    this means : the 2 worst presidents in us history, with bush jr.
    being the worst ........thats why he's moving from crawford, to dallas..
    there are way too many bush haters in texas.

    Houston Texas

    December 9, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Independent Fred

    High approval ratings for a guy who hasn't even taken office cute.

    Let the man actually do some work before juddement please. Jeez must be a slow news day guys..

    December 9, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. Get over it

    Officially, he hasn't done anything yet.

    All of his appointment still have to be approved.

    December 9, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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