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CBS Poll: High Expectations For Obama

There's a new CBS News/New York Times poll out tonight. Here are some of the highlights:

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
  • President Bush is leaving office with the lowest final approval rating for an outgoing president since Gallup began asking about presidential approval more than 70 years ago. Just 22 percent say that they approve of the way Mr. Bush has handled his job as president over the last eight years, while 73 percent say they disapprove.
  • As for the man who is replacing him, President-elect Obama is coming into office with astonishingly high expectations. Twenty-eight percent say they think Mr. Obama will be a very good president and 40 percent think he will be a good president, according to the poll. Twenty percent say he will be an average president and four percent say he will be a poor president.
  • (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • The combined sixty-eight percent overall who say Mr. Obama will be a good or very good president is 25 points higher than expectations for Mr. Bush in January 2001, when 43 percent said they thought he would be a good or very good president.
  • When they look back on his eight years in office, half of all Americans think Mr. Bush has been a poor president.
  • In an interesting twist, Mr. Bush has the distinction of having the highest approval rating for a president as well as the lowest. His high point was 90 percent in November 2001, and the low point was 20 percent just before the election in November.
  • The president's overall job rating has been below 50% for his entire second term.
  • Here are Mr. Bush's final approval ratings on several key issues: the war in Iraq -- 25 percent; the economy -- 17 percent; and terrorism – 47 percent.
  • Vice President Dick Cheney also leaves office with a negative rating. At 13 percent favorable, it matches the lowest since he assumed office. Forty-four percent of Americans now view him unfavorably.
  • Nine in 10 Democrats expect Mr. Obama to be a good president, including 48 percent who think he will be a "very good" one. Republicans are less hopeful, but 38 percent still say they think Mr. Obama will be a good president.

    More polling on Mr. Obama from CBS News and the New York Times will be released tomorrow afternoon.

    Click here for more on tonight's poll.

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