President Barack Obama will 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 that 63% of Americans said they held a favorable view of the president, compared with 34% of Americans who held an unfavorable view. The same poll found that 60% of adults said they approved of the job he was doing, compared with 39% who disapproved.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey taken in the same period found that 56% of adults approved of Obama’s job performance and 57% held a positive view of the president.
And an ABC/Washington Post survey conducted last week showed Obama with a 61% favorable rating and 36% unfavorable rating. The favorable rating was almost identical to the 60% of survey respondents who said they believed Obama was doing a good job as president.
Obama has remained popular with the majority of Americans throughout the majority of his tenure, though his favorability rating has seen a particularly significant spike over the past year. Over the course of his presidency, Obama garnered a 53% favorable rating, according to an average of Gallup polls, but it sat in the low- to mid-40s until early 2016.
Obama’s high favorability rating starkly contrasts that of incoming President Donald Trump.
Several polls conducted last week showed that 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 41% favorable rating and 49.5% unfavorable rating.
Typically, presidents experience a honeymoon period shortly after their election and into their tenure.
Immediately after the 2008 race, Gallup found that 70% of Americans held a favorable 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 approval numbers, garnering 67% and 61% favorable ratings, respectively, after their first elections.
Obama will leave office with lower approval ratings than Clinton, who was at 66% in Gallup’s final poll while he was president. But the outgoing president will leave far more popular than Bush, whom 34% of Americans approved of when he left office.