Bush leaving office more unpopular than Nixon
- Story Highlights
- Over three-quarters, 76 percent, disapprove of President Bush
- Bush approval rating is lower than President Nixon's after Watergate
- Majority, 57 percent, believe transition to President Obama will be relatively easy
CNN Deputy Political Director
WASHINGTON DC (CNN) -- On the day that President-elect Barack Obama is visiting the White House, a new national poll suggests that the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the most unpopular president since approval ratings were first sought more than six decades ago.
Seventy-six percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday disapprove of how President Bush is handling his job.
That's an all-time high in CNN polling and in Gallup polling dating back to World War II.
"No other president's disapproval rating has gone higher than 70 percent. Bush has managed to do that three times so far this year," says CNN polling director Keating Holland. "That means that Bush is now more unpopular than Richard Nixon was when he resigned from office during Watergate with a 66 percent disapproval rating."
Before Bush, the record holder for presidential disapproval was Harry Truman, with a 67 percent disapproval rating in January of 1952, his last full year in office.
As Obama visits the White House to start the transition from the Bush administration to an Obama administration, 57 percent of those questioned think the transfer of power will be relatively easy and free from tension, with 39 percent saying the transition will be difficult. Watch what Bush and Obama may talk about »
"A majority say that the transition from Bush to Obama will go smoothly, although nearly one in four predict a lot of tension between Bush aides and Obama aides in the next few weeks. That sentiment is highest among Democrats, but even among them, a majority believes that the transition will be relatively easy," Holland said. Watch Obama's ambitious agenda »
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday with 1,246 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.