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. Walter T. Allen

    President-elect Obama is going in the right directions..., excellent!

    December 9, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Ann

    I'll second "American View"'s opinion. There is way to much hate and name calling going on out there. With all the problems facing our nation, we as a people have a responsibility to pull together. Our president and leaders can't do it all. It's time for Americans to grow up.

    December 9, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Meh

    Showmanship> The Founding Fathers were not Christians. Sorry to burst your bubble! (They were Deists.)

    December 9, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Michael

    To all those saying the honeymoon starts after the wedding, what do you think Nov. 4 was? The honeymoon period is the beginning of a marriage where the reality hasn't kicked in yet and everything is fun and vacation. This period before he actually get into office would be the honeymoon and Jan 20 would be when the couple gets back from their trip and has to get back to reality.

    Please think before you post. And spell check too, or you sound like a fool.

    December 9, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. DEBI

    I never make comments on these things but people need to go and read Karissa's comments and quit completely blaming Bush. He did much better the first term than the second when he lost his backing. She is right. He had a Democratic Senate, not a Republican Senate. It's impossible for a President to do anything with that and people need to quit blaming him. We will see Mr. Obama do pretty much he wants except he won't have a complete filabuster. Thank God or it would be not so good. He could push through all kinds of liberal things that conserative people like myself do not care for. But for Mr. Bush, people need to quit blaming him totally and we need to remember that as for America we have had a pretty long easy ride of financial ease and now we are having to pay up for the spending of our forefathers and ourselves. And, whether anyone agrees, we need to listen to one line that Ms. Palim said, "go back to something our grandparents taught us and that's to strap up our boots and pay as we go and get this country out of debt."

    December 9, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. JB

    Boy I bet all you negative nellies and haters were really he|| on the bush admin, right?

    Obama's already doing a great job – at least we can have confidence in him and his plans for the future. GW Bush...just go away.

    December 9, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Chelle

    TO: 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

    GET OVER YOURSELF, he's your president too 🙂

    December 9, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Tom Swift, Shopton

    "... honeymoon continues ..." ???????? C'mon... he's not even President yet. His honeymoon should start on Jan. 20, not election day. Give him a break.

    December 9, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. pam Eugene OR

    Karissa@ 9:15
    I wouldn't think any sane person could be so wrong. Everything that is going on right now can be tied directly to the current administration. Bush is NOT a good guy.
    This current fiasco came to light during the campaign and well before Barack was elected. It is what cost McCain any chance of being elected.
    Bush pushed for the first 700 billion bailout with no oversight! Not Obama.
    Wake up and smell the coffee Karissa or get back on your meds.
    I pray Barack can fix this awful mess Bush is leaving us with, 2 wars, a nation deep in debt and a failing Wall Street, all parting gifts from Bush!

    December 9, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Really

    What has he done so far except for talk? Wait that is all he has done his whole career. Wait until he has to actually do something, than we will see.

    December 9, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Steven

    Karissa... you think Bush is a great president..

    you must be blinded by the light of God then.

    December 9, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. WOW

    Let me say this....I did not vote for Obama, but this is my country and I want the BEST for everyone here. Call it selfish, but I pray for him to do a good job. I hope he is the best president ever! We need to bury the hatchet and be the best we can for our country.

    I wish the hostile Obama followers and Bush haters would do the same.

    December 9, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Pecan State Pundit. The next thing a liberal 'fixes' will be the first thing a liberal fixes. Your characterization of conservatives as all being out for a buck at the expense of the country is disgusting. Try looking at the Democratic Party, say Charlie Rangel who writes tax laws, but 'forgets' to pay taxes; or the Gov. of IL who was just arrested for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. Your holier than thou attitude is sickening.

    December 9, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. ShawnT

    So far so good. I agree with the poll results, he's done a good job with the transition.

    The whole world now prays that Obama will have what it takes to excel in his presidency...for it will take nothing short of excellence to get the world out of this mes..

    December 9, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    I find it kind of ironic that some of you are saying that he's not even in office yet are probably the same ones that complain about what he's doing before he takes office and don't want him to do well while he's IN office. Some bitter folks need something to moan about I guess.

    December 9, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Carramia

    Sweetie, so far I have heard comments that Michelle was gracious etc. Get over it dont like that the black family is coming in the front door do you

    December 9, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. Franky


    Let's just sit back, relax and let things get better...or just be slick, that worked for Bill, LOL!!

    December 9, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Rick

    gosh such a fluffy and worthless poll. Who are these "people" you are talking too? My business is down over 50%, My banks have cut my credit lines to almost nothing (despite great credit) and raised my APRs to double (or more) then they were charging a few months ago. My 30% equity in my home is gone, and I now owe more then its worth.

    I will soon be asking people for CHANGE on the streets.

    Everyone gripes about all the Bush about the lame "former-Clinton" staffers.....seems like our new President believes Change is bringing back the same losers that were pushing the buttons for the Dems.

    I hope Obama gets something done......but so far nothing but hot air....not that hot air is not business as normal in DC.

    December 9, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. deb

    I have nothing but high hopes for Obama. So far he has proven to be calm, cool and collected, sincere in his efforts and a hard worker.

    The people on these boards who continue to defend Bush and his administration are beyond hope. They truly don't have any idea how INeffective he has been as our leader. It's sad but they continue to spew hateful and ignorant comments. Thank God more people realized how stupid Bush has been and elected a smart, educated, sincere person as our next president. He has one hell of a job ahead of him thanks to the mess Bush and his cronies have made and I just hope the right wingers give him a chance before they bash him to death. This mess isn't going to be fixed overnight. There's just too much to do.

    December 9, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. John

    The higher they rise, the harder they fall.

    December 9, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Matt B

    This article makes no sense. What is the approval rating based on? He hasn't made any decisions other than some of his cabinet members. If that's what people are basing their approval rating on, why didn't they just say 80% of people agree with his cabinet appointees?

    The President-Elect has kept quiet on every major issue that has arisen since his election, constantly stating that we "only have one President at a time" the point that Democrats have openly criticized his silence. Even though I'm more than ready for President Bush to leave, I agree with Obama's point of view on this but it does not mean I'd give a positive or negative approval rating for doing nothing.

    December 9, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. Paul in sc

    How can he be rated for job approval when he has not taken office yet.

    December 9, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. sglman4Obama

    How can you have the honeymoon without the wedding? He hasnt even been inagurated yet people! Come on we still have to follow procedures in this country. I am as excited as the next person but I still believe in good old fashioned protocol.

    December 9, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. deb

    To Peggy – What's with the "when Obama shows his true colors"? What exactly does that mean? It's just more ignorant rantings from the right who continue to think Obama is a Muslim and was not born in the U.S. Please. Move on from that! Obama is showing his true colors NOW by doing everything he can to choose the right people for his cabinet. Give the guy a break! You might try actually reading up on the issues and policies of Bush and Obama. Maybe you'll learn a thing or two.

    December 9, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Matthew

    Umm...he hasn't even taken the oath of office yet. Wait until he is actually responsible for making decisions and then see what the polls say.

    December 9, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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