Obama’s job approval vs. George W. Bush — better but not great

Obama’s U.S. job approval are not strong right now.

For a good part of his second term, his job approval numbers have been in the mid-forties.

However, those numbers are clearly ahead of where George W. Bush was at this same point in Bush’s presidency.

From Alec Tyson, "Obama viewed as more caring than Bush, but no more effective," FactTank (Pew Research), July 16, 2014

From Alec Tyson, “Obama viewed as more caring than Bush, but no more effective,” FactTank (Pew Research), July 16, 2014

As this chart of data from the Pew Research Center shows, Obama and Bush’s approval both declined in their second terms.

However, Bush fell further to a lower point than Obama’s.

At this point in Bush’s presidency, his approval rating was eight percentage points below where Obama’s is now.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 8.30.54 AMCitizens saw Bush differently than Obama.

The big difference in perceived characteristics is in how much people trust the respective presidents and how much they see them as caring about people like them.

Obama has clear advantages on both.

By this point in Bush’s presidency, only 41% trusted him and thought he cared about people’s problems. Obama is trusted by more (51%) and even more think he cares about their problems (54%).

But the presidents are very close on being able to get things done, with just a two point advantage for Obama.

More people see Obama as a strong leader now, as compared to Bush then. Obama has a four point advantage on that question, although fewer than half characterize him that way.

You can see more, including party breakdowns, at this link. Information about the poll methodology is here.

Bonus graph: International public opinion of Obama vs George W. Bush 

Data from Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. Conrad Hackett.

Data from Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. Conrad Hackett

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives.