December 26th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
7 years ago

CNN Poll: Three out of four Americans glad to see Bush go

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Three-fourths of those polled are glad to see Bush's presidency end."](CNN) - As President George W. Bush gets ready to leave the White House in three-and-a-half weeks, and a new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans feel his departure is coming not a moment too soon.

Seventy-five percent of those questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they're glad President Bush is going, with 23 percent indicating they'll miss him.

"Earlier this year, Bush scored some of the lowest presidential approval ratings we've seen in half a century, so it's understandable that the public is eager for a new president to step in," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The three-quarters of Americans surveyed who say they won't miss Bush is 24 points higher than the 51 percent who said they wouldn't miss Bill Clinton when he left office in January 2001. Forty-five percent of those questioned at that time said they would miss Clinton.

"As President Bush prepares to leave office, the American public has a parting thought: Good riddance. At least that's the way three-quarters feel," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

The poll indicates that Bush has been compared poorly to his predecessors, with 28 percent saying that he's the worst ever when compared to other presidents in American history. Forty percent rate Bush as poor and 31 percent feel he's been a good president.

Only a third of those polled want Bush to remain active in public life after he leaves the White House, with two-thirds saying they don't want him to stay active in a public way. That 33 percent figure who want Bush to remain in the public eye is 22 points lower than those questioned in 2001 who wanted Bill Clinton to retain a public role.

"Bush has dropped on a number of measures but possibly the biggest is that only one in five say he inspires confidence. That's an important figure when the country is facing its biggest economic crisis in a generation," says Holland.

When running for the White House in the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush promised to be a uniter, not a divider.

But the poll suggests that 82 percent feel that Bush did not unite the country, with 17 percent saying he did.

"The vast majority of Americans believed he betrayed his promise to unite the country," says Schneider. "He took a country that was divided under President Clinton and he divided it worse."

Only 27 percent of those questioned in the poll approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president, with 72 percent in disapproval. Bush's job approval rating has been at or below freezing since the beginning of the year, says Schneider - one of the lowest ratings for any president, ever.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 19-21, with 1,013 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: CNN poll • President Bush
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Rick

    "WE THE PEOPLE" these words you may reconize, no matter how much people want to see George Bush leave, it was the people that put him in office. The people allow themselves to be fool by words like mainstream america, religous belief, and traditional values, these are code words for white america. So the condition america is in is not George Bush fault, but the american people. So let us look closer at candidates that love to use these code words, more than likely their actions will be the same as the president that we have now and we see where that has gotten us.

    December 26, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    The two most frightening words George Bush could ever say are:

    "I'm baaaaack!!!"

    December 26, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    As far as I can tell, Bush only had two problems:

    Foreign policy and Domestic Policy.

    December 26, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. mark dc


    December 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Maurice

    LOL... that means 1 out of every four is the Grown child with a football helmet on, with Cowboys boots, still wearing a diaper.... or better known as the Short Bus Valedicatorian.....

    December 26, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. NY republican

    Here we go again, today we find someone that can't spell saying 1 of 4 Americans have an education that is " below minimum". I guess "US CITIZEN" is one of the 1 of 4 he's talking about.

    December 26, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. ketch22

    CNN poll says America hates Bush... LOL. Elsewhere in the polls, a seal poll indicates that sharks are our greatest enemy.

    December 26, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Rickymo

    I still think that both Bush and Cheney should be tried for crimes against humanity but I have learned to take my winnings as long as they are gone. The worst 8 years of any administration in my lifetime and I am over 50!

    December 26, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. NY republican

    Rick – Don't forget the new "code words" in the next few years. "Change you can beleave in", "yes we can", "spread the wealth around". We may learn to regret getting caught up in those catch phrases too. Catchy phrases and sound bites are not a one side exclusive.

    December 26, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. Jeanine

    75%. Is that all?

    December 26, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Sampling

    To the people who comment on the veracity of these or other polls – Please read up on how statistical sampling works. Just because you have never been polled doesn't mean it's not worthy. (And these polls are not administered via a check box on a website.) It's not the "numbers" one should review, it's the questions and how they are asked. Really, you people should educate yourselves on research before spouting off about how unfair they are. You all sound like conspiracy theorists. By the way, polls are directional, and should be taken for what they are.

    December 26, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Shari, N.Y.

    I will miss the trademark blank look on his face.

    December 26, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Anonymous


    Who are you kidding?

    You are such a liar.

    For someone who adamantely states you never vote CNN, view their network or visit their site.....and close it by saying "rarely," ( in which you mispelled along with the word therefore) with the EXCEPTION of this post, you would be more credible if you were posting at all!

    However, since you are here, you must be one of those "New Liberals" trying hard not to be attached to the 1 out of 4 who will cry a bucket of tears over Bush's departure. Please go with him and take a few more like you with you, for without you and your freinds we wouldn't have 2 terms with this man and for that you should be punished. lol!
    carole December 26th, 2008 2:05 pm ET

    liberals are the only ones watching CNN…so threrfore the poll results. I never vote on CNN and do not view their network, pick up CNN news on internet only and very raerly.

    December 26, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    By the time a Presidents terms are over its always 3 out of 4 that like them. nothing new there.

    December 26, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    The 23% are made up of people like "God Help Us" who keep believing that BO is not a citizen. Churchill said "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with an average voter." A 5 second blog post from Richard Rohde and Janet from Ohio is more than enough for me.

    December 26, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Bea thing that the Bush Admin must get credit for is the way they spent so much to try and help the AIDS epidemic in Africa. In Kenya alone, the rate of HIV is declining and this is in part to the fact that resources are no available to educate and help with medication. Safe sex is also being promoted and educatiors now have money to provide condoms etc. So thank you G.W for your good work your administration has done to try and save lives in Africa in regards to AIDS.

    December 26, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Mike

    Duh! The man has a 25% approval rating. That would mean a 75% dis-approval rating. This is just a new twist on old news for another chance for CNN and you libs to bash Bush.

    December 26, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. ME IN FL

    I am glad to see him go! The worst Pres. that we have ever had!! This man has insulted our intelligence with his lies and fear tactics. He has divided the country, he has brought our country down to the stature of a 3rd world country, not mentioning the job losses, foreclosures, outsourcing, an unjustified war, etc...etc.....etc...... the list can go on and on and on.

    Can't wati for 1/20, good riddance and may we never hear of you, your family and cronies again!!!

    December 26, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. flybyshoeing

    Did anyone see that little hissy fit Bush threw this morning? Something seemed to really annoy him just before he got on the helicopter. He appeared to be yelling at someone out of the shot. Then got is some guys face while walking towards the copter. Any lip readers out there?

    December 26, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. NY republican

    Bob – I have 3 letters for you "L.B.J." – 58,698 names on a black stone wall, all AMERCIANS, all dead in a pointless war this does not even include the wounded (I am one of those), the missing or the STILL MISSING 25 or more years later. As the saying goes "Lest we forget".

    December 26, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Blake

    Whoops! My bad, I meant "Jeff Skilling." Forgive me, it's been awhile since we've heard from "the smartest guys in the room."

    December 26, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Joyce

    George Bush has served his eight years....right or wrong. But, now it is time for him to go. I wish him well and hope he and Laura find happiness.

    December 26, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Richard S

    Only 3 out of 4? I think that's kinda low.

    December 26, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Cheryl from MN

    I hear he is retiring. Good. I don't ever want to see his face again. It would just remind me of all the lies, the war that he started in Iraq on false pretenses and all the other terrible things he and his administration will be remembered for. It's best to sweep all of that under the carpet (including him) and forget it all because it is too painful to remember it.

    December 26, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. carol

    Isn't that sad that so many of us won't be sorry to see Bush leave office....he has messed this country up so badly and I still don't think he really realizes that yet!!!
    I do think outside of the Presidency he is a nice man....but he was just not Presidential material unfortunately and the state of the country has reflected that.
    We all hope with PE Obama we will get more confidence back and the country can start to feel some upbeat movement again and getting back to people feeling good about themselves and can look forward to the future once again with more hope.

    December 26, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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