May 9, 2014

Obama job ratings higher than Bush, but pale next to Bill Clinton

Obama, Bush, Clinton Job Ratings During MidtermsRight after their re-elections, President Obama and George W. Bush both suffered through the first year of their second terms. Heading into this year’s midterm elections, Obama’s job approval rate may be nothing to brag about, but it is better than Bush’s was at this point in 2006 and Obama appears to be less of a drag on his party’s midterm prospects than Bush was.

Obama’s job approval rating stands at 44% while Bush’s was 35% at the same point in the 2006 midterm year, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted April 23-27. But Obama can look with some envy at where his Democratic predecessor — Bill Clinton — stood in his sixth year. Clinton’s approval rating was a solid 62%. 

Helped by a strong economy, Clinton finished out his presidency at about the same high level of approval, while Bush sunk even further, ending his term as the 2008 financial crisis was underway. Obama, at this point, is hovering somewhere in between them with his future trajectory yet to be determined.

Another measure of what impact the standings of Obama and Bush might have on the midterms is the extent to which voters say their decisions are meant to be a vote for or against the sitting president.

At this point in 2006, 34% of voters regarded their midterm vote as opposition to Bush while 17% said it was a sign of support. This year, 26% of voters see their vote as one against Obama while 16% say their vote is meant to support him.

Topics: Election News, Presidential Approval

  1. Photo of Bruce Drake

    is a senior editor at Pew Research Center.


  1. Richard Tebaldi3 years ago

    Really? With 47 Million people on the taxpayer dole? I’d like to see how the questions were formed to get this answer! PEW. You are making me feel like you’re pro Obama, rather than integral reporting. Look around! There are millions out there who are off the books, creating their own income and probably not paying their share of taxes. Are you, (can you) counting the people who gave up looking for a job? Have you noticed what we don’t manufacture in this Country any more?
    This article is hard for me to swallow! Phew, PEW!

  2. Tony Capony3 years ago

    Just be honest ! Face it, Obama has gone to new lows never seen before in the history of this nation. I really think you guys are inflating the numbers a bit, Its more like 15%

    1. Scott M3 years ago

      ^”If the evidence doesn’t support my preferred narrative, the evidence must be faulty”