In this final McClatchy-Marist Poll before President Barack Obama leaves office, a majority of registered voters nationally, 55%, approve of President Obama’s job performance. This is up from 51% in November. This is President Obama’s highest job approval rating since August 2009 when the same proportion, 55%, gave the president their stamp of approval. President Obama achieved his highest job approval rating, 56%, when the McClatchy-Marist Poll first measured it in April 2009 and, again, in June of that same year. Currently, 42% of registered voters disapprove of how the president is doing his job, and 3% are unsure.
“For all the partisanship and bitter battles during the last eight years, President Obama is receiving strong send-off numbers,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
Not surprisingly, 92% of Democrats think well of President Obama’s job performance. 53% of independents agree. While 79% of Republicans disapprove, a notable 15% of the GOP approve of how the president is doing in office.
Despite President Obama’s solid job approval rating, only 40% of Americans think history will remember President Obama in the highest regard. This includes 16% who say the president will be remembered as one of the nation’s best presidents and 24% who believe he will be thought of as an above average president. 28% assert that Obama will be considered an average president, and 31% think he will be thought of as either a below average leader, 14%, or one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, 17%. One percent is unsure.
The partisan polarization that dogged President Obama’s tenure in office is reflected here as well. 73% of Democrats believe Barack Obama will be remembered as either one of the best presidents, 33%, or as above average, 40%. In contrast, 69% of Republicans describe his presidency as subpar with 28% stating it was below average and another 41% reporting it was one of the worst.
61% of African Americans recount Obama’s presidency as highly successful. This includes 30% who say it is above average and 31% who describe it as one of the best. 57% of Latino Americans agree.