Washington: Two in three Americans approve the way President Barack Obama has handled his initial days in the White House, better than his eight predecessors but a shade short of John F. Kennedy’s record 72%.
In the first Gallup Poll job approval rating of his administration, Obama received a high marks of 68% from Americans.
The survey was conducted from 21-23 January, spanning Obama’s first three full days on the job. Only 12% of Americans disapprove of how he has performed thus far, while 21% have no opinion, Gallup said.
“Obama’s 68% approval score is on the high end of the range of initial job approval ratings Gallup has recorded for the previous eight presidents who were elected to their first term,” Gallup said.
The low percentage of Americans disapproving of his performance is fairly typical for new presidents — although Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — both started with much higher public disapproval, it noted.
Among US presidents elected to their first term, Kennedy had the highest initial job approval rating, 72%, in Gallup polling three weeks after his inauguration in 1961.
Next were Dwight Eisenhower with 68% approval and Jimmy Carter with 66%. Every other president elected to a first term since Eisenhower started office with at least majority job approval — Richard Nixon 59%; Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush 51%; Bill Clinton’s 58% and George W. Bush 57%.
Clinton faced 20% disapproval after taking office in 1993, and George W. Bush faced 25% disapproval after the Supreme Court gave him the presidency after the controversial Florida recount in 2000.