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Obama leaving office at 60% approval rating

By
Allen Cone
President Barack Obama speaks to the media as he attends the final White House press briefing of his administration, in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. Obama leaves office with a 60 percent job approval rating in an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
President Barack Obama speaks to the media as he attends the final White House press briefing of his administration, in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. Obama leaves office with a 60 percent job approval rating in an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama is leaving office with his highest job approval rating since shortly after becoming president -- 60 percent -- according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Also, 61 percent of the respondents approve of him personally in the poll.

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Obama's job rating is at its highest since June 2009 when it was 69 percent.

His transition approval rating was 83 percent in 2009.

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That contrasted with his successor on Friday -- Donald Trump -- who has a 40 percent approval rating of his transition.

Obama's rating is boosted by an improving economy on which he has a 61 percent approval rating. His approval rating for handling healthcare is 52 percent and 53 percent for dealing with terrorism.

In the overall rating, 42 percent approve of him "strongly" compared with 42 percent disapproval.

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Franklin Roosevelt had the highest poll approval rating upon leaving office -- 66 percent by Gallup. The lowest was Richard Nixon at 24 percent. Obama was just behind Bill Clinton (65 percent), and Ronald Reagan (64 percent). Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, had a 33 percent rating when he left office eight years ago.

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Since Obama became president, his average is 50 percent compared with 51 percent for George W. Bush.

Obama's lowest approval rating was 40 percent.

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When asked whether Obama will go in history as an above-average president, 51 percent agreed. That contrasts with 35 percent for the first Bush president, 47 percent for Clinton and 16 percent for the second Bush at 43.

Among specific segments of the population, Obama's rating is strongest among black people (92 percent), Democrats (90 percent), liberals (85 percent), Hispanics (85 percent) and city dwellers (75 percent). Conversely, 18 percent of Republicans approve of him but that's better than 7 percent in March 2015. His approval rating among conservatives is 18 percent. Among white people, he's at 47 percent. Other ratings are 58 percent among men and 62 percent among women as well as 61 percent among independents, 67 percent who are college grads, 58 percent non-college grads.

His approval rating among those who wanted Trump to win the presidency was 19 percent compared with 97 percent who wanted Hillary Clinton.

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The poll, produced by Langer Research Associates, was conducted Jan. 12-15 among a random sample of 1,005 American adults and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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