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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Poll: Obama's 68% approval rating is highest start since JFK

By Viola Gienger

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama won approval from 68 percent of Americans in his first three days on the job, emerging at the high end of ratings for the last eight first- term predecessors, according to a Gallup poll.

The 68 percent rating compares with 12 percent who said they disapproved of the job Obama has done and 21 percent who had no opinion, Gallup reported today on its Web site. The telephone survey of 1,591 adults nationwide was conducted Jan. 21-23.

The disapproval rating is typical for new presidents, previous poll results show. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were exceptions as both started with higher levels of disfavor, at 20 percent and 25 percent respectively, Gallup said. Clinton’s initial first-term approval rating was 58 percent, and Bush’s was 57 percent.

The latest poll has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. Gallup is tracking Obama’s job approval rating daily and will report it using a three-day rolling average.

Obama’s high initial rating also reflects the positive evaluations he got during the transition. He received 83 percent approval for the way he handled the transition, compared with 61 percent that Bush netted in 2001 and 68 percent for Clinton in 1993, according to Gallup.

To contact the reporter on this story: Viola Gienger in Washington at