Obama's approval rating soars as he exits the White House

President Barack Obama is set to leave office nearly as popular as he was coming into the job.

A CNN/ORC poll conducted in the week before the end of his term found Obama with a 63% favourable rating, compared to the 34% of Americans who held an unfavorable view of the president. The same poll found 60% of adults approved of the job he was doing, compared to 39% who disapproved.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey taken in the same period found 56% of adults approved of Obama’s job performance, while 57% held a positive view of the president.

And an ABC/Washington Post survey conducted last week showed Obama with a 61% favourable rating and 36% unfavorable rating. The favourable rating was almost identical to the 60% of survey respondents who believed Obama was doing a good job as president.

Obama has remained slightly popular with the majority of Americans throughout the majority of his tenure, though it has seen a particularly significant spike over the past year. Over the course of his presidency, Obama garnered a 53% favourable rating in an average of Gallup polls, but it sat in the low to mid-40s until early 2016.

Obama’s high favorability rating stands in stark contrast to incoming President Donald Trump’s low numbers.

Several polls conducted last week showed that just 40% of Americans approved of how Trump’s team was handling the transfer of power. And the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls found Trump with a 42% favourable rating and 48% unfavorable rating.

Typically, presidents experience a honeymoon period shortly after their election and into their tenure.

Immediately following the 2008 race, Gallup found that 70% of Americans held a favourable view of Obama, while 83% of adults approved of his handling of the transition from the Bush administration.

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also experienced similar high points of approval, with each garnering 67% and 61% favourable ratings respectively following their first elections.

Obama will leave office with lower approval ratings than Clinton, who was at 66% rating in Gallup’s final poll while he was president. But the outgoing president will leave far more popular than Bush, who only 34% of Americans approved of when he left office.

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