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. Florida voter

    Mr. Will:
    "Let's hear it for another Clinton administration"...PEACE AND PROSPERITY

    December 9, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. bhogan

    As others have pointed out, this isn't a "honeymoon". With his apppointments, and his public statements, President-Elect is earning our respect.

    December 9, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. Simpliticus

    This guy is already different from George W. Bush! Bush never appeared to be a "take the bull by the horns" type of guy as his handlers deftly kept him away from this image. Obama, given Bush's immense problems , a kindly left behind reminder of his very poor leadership, must stear a pernicious course as even the President in the wings! That is why Obama rates as high as he does!

    December 9, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. david from Canada

    Trust me. Having Barack Obama as your leader makes you (The United States) the envy of the world. No matter how bad things are, there's a good chance it could be a heck of a lot worse with anybody else at the helm.

    So far he's done a great job giving everybody a stake and a seat at his table. Even my republican relatives love the guy. They've lost half their retirement under bush.

    I would trade our prime minister in Canada for Barack Obama in a heartbeat.

    December 9, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. lori

    He's not even in office and I feel like he's our President now. Seems to me he really does care about the American people.

    I see him more than the current administration(not complaining), talking about the economy and where he stands with those poor plant workers who deserve what is owed to them... Has Bush comment on that, of course not, he's too busy picking out drapes for his new house.

    So what if Obama administration consist of Clinton people. As long as the job gets done and as I recall our economy was great during the Clinton administration.

    December 9, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. ran

    Why wouldn't it be, Obama is going to be a President for the people. I wish all our representatives after winning would do what our founders wanted :to gov. for the people.not for party or power or special interest.

    December 9, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Marc

    Frank a true american get your facts straight.
    That idea of bringing liberty by force failed miserably, to the point that the genocide wackos that gave the Islam such a bad name not only were hunted down and imprisoned, but gained a ton of 'motives' to do what they do. All they have to do is pick some facts, twist them as they like it done and present them to their sheeps.
    Let's remember the basic, 'jihad' is not 'holly war' (more like self enlightbnement and desire/need to spread the Islam) but those wackos had managed to twist the concept so much that that's what many people (including Muslims) believes that that's what the word stands for... and due to all the failed policies of Bush&Co. these 'beings' (I'll get censored if I call them what they truly are) have more penetration in the Middle East than ever.
    The Iranians that hate the Ocident (roughly 30 to 40% of the population), the Lebanese that want to force a theocracy (on their terms) to their countryfellows, Al Qaeda and many others have always been the main problem simply because those guys HATE democracy, freedom of religion and many other rights that the USA always stood for.
    And now they are more powerful than ever, thanks to the Bush doctrine of 'Freedom by Force'...

    December 9, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Kpawlak


    Liberals are only open minded if you agree and think like them otherwise, you are labeled and you know that.

    December 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    Good for him!! It's a good thing that he was SNATCHED right away to be Prez BEFORE he's tainted like the rest of the crowd. I'm sure he's tainted but he's 10% tainted, compared to when W came into office.

    December 9, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. jess

    for all of you out there waiting for pres.elect, to crash and burn,don't try and sneek back and blend in with the ones who are supporting him ,.now. [we are to support the pres.first ] remember when you prejudge you are looking in a mirrow,that face you see shall also be judged.all it takes is one slip up and you're the one who needs someone to support you.and trashed or prejudged someone else no one is there to help you when you need be careful,what ride you jump on you may end up in the wrong place.

    December 9, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Tom in Delaware

    The Honeymoon just ended...please reference the arrest of the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich....Aaah Chicago.

    December 9, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Sherrol in Canada

    Ditto to all the positive comments.................

    My one concern is that expectations for him may be way too high, not that I doubt he can live up to them, but I do believe in leaving some room for the adversities that will be faced later.

    December 9, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Charlie in Maine

    I think we are seeing "The Tiger Woods Effect", you may not have voted for him, you may even be prejudiced against him for his color. But he is to loitics what Woods has been to golf. He doesn't look like those who came before him but he is just soooo good at what he does that the golf world does not see his color anymore. He is just "the greatest player" period. I think Obama will come to be thought of not as "A black President" but as a "Great President". (hopefully more than just by comparison to Bush) Time will tell.

    December 9, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Adam in VA

    I love how all of the comments on articles about who Obama is choosing for his cabinet from right wing sore losers saying "obama-bots must be feeling stupid now!"

    No, we aren't. In fact, I don't think there is any way Obama could be doing a better job!

    Wynter- Just because the election hadn't been called in 2000 doesn't mean Bush couldn't have been vetting and trying to organize a cabinet given the chance that he was elected.

    And this economic downturn started long before a democratic majority in congress.

    December 9, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Blue is my favourite colour

    Frank a true American: You are a dumb person. The economic crisis is because of Bush's spend, spend, spend BS with Wars, and other special interest projects that sent us down the tubes. I'll take Obama any day of the millenium...

    All bets are off, however, if he ever says: "I'm the decider".

    December 9, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Maggie from Virginia

    Barrack = Blessed

    Nothing will stop this movement

    December 9, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Susan

    Of course the honeymoon continues. The president-elect has been doing all the right things since election day.

    December 9, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. David

    And it will even if he wrecks the country. Some people will never admit mistakes. I can. I voted Bush in 2000 (big mistake I did not repeat in 2004). The two party system is a scam. Try one party, two names. The elite military-industrial-banking complex controls the political arena.

    December 9, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Believe it or not

    Obama is believed to be doing a great job because we want to believe he is doing a great job.

    December 9, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Red, Red WHINE!!

    Sweetie December 9th, 2008 9:32 am ET
    Nah, its not way too early to come to a conclusion. It's been eight years, and that is more then enough time to conclude that Bush has been a 'natural disaster'!

    On that note, yes, that is much why Obama is getting such incredible ratings. It's hard for this country NOT to be jubilent that the worse thing to ever happen to america is about to leave the white house!

    December 9, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Lupe,TX

    To Mike,

    "The bar has been set so very low for Obama.."

    Are you kidding me? He has inherited a crisis, not a country that is stable. His every moved will be ridiculed, because the "bar" is set so HIGH. Get real.

    December 9, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Michael in Ventura,CA

    Karissa, along with other repugs, need to check their history. To blame this fiasco on the Democratic Congress who have had a majority for two years is not only ridiculous- it's just plain stupid.

    December 9, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Terri


    I've heard several nice comments about Michelle. Maybe it's just the type of people you hang around with.

    December 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. globalgroove

    Why can't Republicans spell correctly?

    December 9, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. nom deplume

    The honeymoon is never gonna end. We now have a president that the media likes, the media helped get elected, and that the media can never criticize unless it wants Al Sharpton, his bullhorn, and the usual suspects of community organizers outside the executive offices.

    December 9, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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