The year in polls

President Obama left office a popular figure — 62 percent of Americans approved of the way he handled his job over the past eight years, ranking him third among outgoing presidents since CBS began asking the question in 1981 – behind outgoing presidents Bill Clinton (68 percent) and Ronald Reagan (68 percent).

As for the incoming president, more than half of Americans (56 percent) said they were optimistic about the next four years with Donald Trump in the White House, yet that was the lowest level of optimism for any president-elect in CBS News polling going back to Jimmy Carter in 1977, when the question was first asked. CONT.

Jennifer De Pinto, CBS News