If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What America Thinks: Tracking Obama's Presidency

As the nation prepares to say goodbye to President Obama, we decided to look back at his approval ratings over the last eight years to see what America thought of the 44th president of the United States.

Following his election in November 2008 and through his inauguration in January 2009, Barack Obama earned exceptionally high approval ratings, with his overall approval index reaching as high as +29 in those early months. But those ratings began to fall and were generally negative from July 2009 on, eventually reaching a low of -26 in the summer of 2011.

In November 2012, just days before his reelection, Obama's numbers started to climb. In the final days of the year, they edged back into positive territory for the first time in over three years, topping off at +3 by year’s end. But after only a few months, it was back to business as usual. Obama's ratings fell to a low of -25 over the next year. Voter sentiments didn't start to improve again until the spring of 2016 as the presidential campaign season reminded voters that Obama was a lame duck with less than a year to go in office.

That resurgence reached a peak on Election Day 2016 when the president earned his first positive approval rating since late 2012. With just three exceptions, his approval has remained at zero or above ever since, reaching a high of +13, a rating he hasn't seen since his first months in office.

Obama’s approval for his final full month in office was +3. By comparison, in his last full month in office, George W. Bush’s approval rating stood at -30.

While many of Obama's policies were unpopular with most voters and arguably led to Trump, the man himself has grown more and more popular as his presidency comes to a close.

For Rasmussen Reports, I'm Alex Boyer. Remember, if it's in the news, it's in our polls.