CNN Poll: Three out of four Americans glad to see Bush go
Posted: 12:00 PM ET
From CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
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.