Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Four Years Ago, High Expectations for Obama’s First Term

Two-thirds of voters (67%) expected Barack Obama to have a successful first term, while only 22% thought the new president would be unsuccessful, according to a survey conducted immediately after the 2008 election.

Nearly all Democrats (90%) were optimistic about Obama’s first term, as were 67% of independent voters. Republicans were nearly evenly divided; 41% believed Obama’s first term would be successful while 44% said it would be unsuccessful.

Voters were somewhat more upbeat about the prospects for Obama’s first term than they were four years earlier about George W. Bush’s second term. After the 2004 election, 61% expected Bush to have a successful second term, while 29% predicted an unsuccessful second term.

Majorities of voters also viewed Obama as inspiring (81%), down-to-earth (73%), patriotic (70%), honest (68%), and well-qualified (58%). However, a sizable minority saw Obama as risky (46%) and more than one-third said that he made them feel uneasy (35%). Read More