While Obama’s job rating has been below 50% for the past year, it stands eight points higher than that of his predecessor, George W. Bush, at a comparable point eight years ago. In July 2006, 36% approved of Bush’s job performance.
In the current survey, 54% say Obama “cares about people like me” and 51% consider him “trustworthy.” By comparison, in the summer of 2006 – a year after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast – fewer said Bush cared about people like them (41%) and was trustworthy (41%).
In August 2006, 42% said Bush was “able to get things done,” while 51% said he was not able to get things done. Perceptions of Obama are nearly identical (44% can get things done, 53% cannot).
Similarly, 43% called Bush a strong leader in the summer of 2006, little different from the 47% who say this about Obama today.
However, Democrats are less likely to describe Obama as a strong leader and able to get things done than Republicans were to ascribe these traits to Bush eight years ago.
In 2006, 81% of Republicans said Bush was a strong leader and 76% said he was able to get things done.
Today, somewhat fewer Democrats call Obama a strong leader (72%) and say he is able to get things done (66%).