Obama's Approval Ratings Top Recent Presidents Bush, Clinton

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President Barack Obama is winning higher marks from Americans than the last three presidents early in their terms as he takes on a global recession, two wars and domestic fights over government spending, health care and taxes.

Obama’s approval rating climbed to a high of 66 percent in an April 1-5 New York Times/CBS News poll released today. The poll follows recent surveys by the Gallup Poll, Quinnipiac University and the Pew Research Center all showing that about six out of 10 Americans approve of the job the president is doing.

A Gallup Poll taken in March showed Obama, a Democrat, with a 64 percent approval rating. That compares with 56 percent for Republican George H.W. Bush, 52 percent for Democrat Bill Clinton and 53 percent for Republican George W. Bush at similar points in their presidencies. The last Bush left office with an approval rating of 34 percent, according to a Jan. 9-11 Gallup Poll....

Former President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, saw his approval rating climb from 51 percent soon after his inauguration to 60 percent in mid-March of 1981. After a failed attempt on his life on March 30 of that year, Reagan’s approval climbed to 67 percent in early April and stayed at that level until June in the Gallup Poll.

Early popularity also doesn’t guarantee success. The approval ratings for former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, in the Gallup Poll started at 66 percent and climbed as high as 75 percent by March 1977. The Iran hostage crisis, gasoline shortages and double-digit inflation helped push Carter’s approval to 34 percent in December 1980, before he left office after having lost his re-election bid to Reagan.

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Vernon Clayson - 4/8/2009

The pollsters obviously aren't polling the unemployed, those losing their homes to foreclosures or those in the banking and automobile industries. The umemployment rate is the highest in 40 years and still rising while the foreclosures are at rates never seen before. I have no idea what Obama's so-called popularity is due to, most of the people I talk to are tired of the all day everyday coverage of his travels and speeches.