Obama Approval Ratings: How He Compares to Predecessors

U.S. President Barack Obama waves goodbye after he and First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to U.S. Marines and personnel on Christmas day at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Reuters

This article originally was published on the International Business Times.

Despite what some may perceive as a repudiation of eight years of his policies with the victory by Donald Trump in the November presidential election, President Barack Obama has enjoyed favorable approval ratings as he enters the final three weeks of his term.

For December, Obama received at least a 50 percent approval rating in all 16 polls compiled by Real Clear Politics and finished with an average of 53.1 percent. Obama's disapproval rating dipped as low as 36 percent in one poll this month but his December average was 42.3 percent.

Obama's poll numbers in his final full month in office are considerably better than his predecessor. In December 2008, George W. Bush had a 29 percent approval rating and a 67 percent disapproval rating, according to Gallup.

But Obama doesn't fare as well when compared to the last Democratic president before him. In Gallup's final poll of December 2000, Bill Clinton had a 66 percent approval rating and a 32 percent disapproval rating.

In Gallup poll charts, one-term president George H.W. Bush had an approval rating of about 50 percent in his final full month in office, while Ronald Reagan's final December in the White House was at about 60 percent.

Obama's poll numbers are currently higher than President-elect Trump's favorable ratings. Since his victory on Nov. 8, Trump has reached 50 percent or higher just four times in the 26 polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. Trump's unfavorable rating, meanwhile, has been at least 50 percent in 17 of the 26 polls.

Trump's numbers aren't far off from his Democratic challenger in early November. In the final 10 polls leading up to Election Day, Hillary Clinton averaged a 42.8 favorable rating, but in that same span had an average disapproval rating of 54.3 percent.