Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a record-breaking transition

and too long in coming ...

bush's final approval rating: 22 percent

president bush will leave office as one of the most unpopular departing presidents in history, according to a new cbs news/new york times poll showing mr. bush's final approval rating at 22 percent.

seventy-three percent say they disapprove of the way mr. bush has handled his job as president over the last eight years.

mr. bush's final approval rating is the lowest final rating for an outgoing president since gallup began asking about presidential approval more than 70 years ago.

the rating is far below the final ratings of recent two-term presidents bill clinton and ronald reagan, who both ended their terms with a 68 percent approval rating, according to cbs news polling.

recent one term presidents also had higher ratings than mr. bush. his father george h.w. bush had an end-of-term rating of 54 percent, while jimmy carter's rating was 44 percent.

harry truman had previously had the lowest end-of-term approval at 32 percent, as measured by gallup.

nation's hopes high for obama, poll shows

obama will take office tuesday as the most popular incoming president in a generation. he also will enter the white house with a broad mandate to act that was missing when george w. bush was elected by the narrowest of margins in 2000.

more than half of all americans have high hopes for his presidency, almost three-quarters of the public say obama's proposals will improve the struggling economy, and about eight in 10 have a favorable view of him — more than twice the percentage now holding positive views of bush. about seven in 10 say obama understands their problems, and a similar proportion say his victory gives him "a mandate to work for major new social and economic programs."

poll finds faith in obama, mixed with patience

president-elect barack obama is riding a powerful wave of optimism into the white house, with americans confident he can turn the economy around but prepared to give him years to deal with the crush of problems he faces starting tuesday, according to the latest new york times/cbs news poll.

... as the nation prepares for a transfer of power and the inauguration of its 44th president, mr. obama’s stature with the american public stands in sharp contrast to that of president bush.

mr. bush is leaving office with just 22 percent of americans offering a favorable view of how he handled the eight years of his presidency, a record low, and firmly identified with the economic crisis mr. obama is inheriting. more than 80 percent of respondents said the nation was in worse shape today than it was five years ago.

by contrast, 79 percent were optimistic about the next four years under mr. obama, a level of good will for a new chief executive that exceeds that measured for any of the past five incoming presidents. and it cuts across party lines: 58 percent of the respondents who said they voted for mr. obama’s opponent in the general election, senator john mccain of arizona, said they were optimistic about the country in an obama administration.

... his favorable rating, at 60 percent, is the highest it has been since the times/cbs news poll began asking about him. overwhelming majorities say they think that mr. obama will be a good president, that he will bring real change to washington, and that he will make the right decisions on the economy, iraq, dealing with the war in the middle east and protecting the country from terrorist attacks. over 70 percent said they approved of his cabinet selections.

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