Obama favorability soars after win, mirrors Bush disapproval rate

A USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday shows President-elect Barack Obama with the highest favorability rating of any presidential candidate since Gallup started asking the question in 1992.

In a survey taken over the weekend, 68 percent of respondents said they thought favorably of Obama, up from 62 percent on the eve of the election. Obama’s results are a mirror image of President Bush’s ratings — in the same poll, 68 percent said they viewed the incumbent unfavorably, down slightly from 70 percent the previous weekend.

Americans are thinking highly of both Obama and John McCain, the Republican who lost the election on Tuesday. McCain’s favorability went from 50 percent on the eve of the election to 64 percent in the most recent survey.

USA Today’s Jim Norman compared Obama’s numbers to those of the last two presidents measured around four elections:

• President Bush went from 51 percent favorable before the 2004 election to 60 percent after he won re-election. In 2000, Bush went from 55 percent to 59 percent when the Supreme Court ruled to end the election.

• President Clinton went from 56 percent before the 1996 election to 60 percent after its conclusion. In 1992, Clinton’s favorability went from 51 percent to 60 percent.

The Gallup poll released Monday was conducted by telephone Friday through Sunday with 1,010 respondents. It has a margin of error or 3 percentage points.

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