May 1st, 2008
02:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Bush most unpopular in modern history

New poll numbers show bad news for president Bush.
New poll numbers show bad news for president Bush.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new poll suggests that George W. Bush is the most unpopular president in modern American history.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 71 percent of the American public disapprove of how Bush his handling his job as president.

"No president has ever had a higher disapproval rating in any CNN or Gallup poll; in fact, this is the first time that any president's disapproval rating has cracked the 70 percent mark," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"Bush's approval rating, which stands at 28 percent in our new poll, remains better than the all-time lows set by Harry Truman and Richard Nixon (22 percent and 24 percent, respectively) but even those two presidents never got a disapproval rating in the 70s," Holland added. "The previous all-time record in CNN or Gallup polling was set by Truman, 66 percent disapproval in January 1952."

CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider adds, "He is more unpopular than Richard Nixon was just before he resigned from the presidency in August 1974." President Nixon's disapproval rating in August 1974 stood at 67 percent.

The poll also indicates that support for the war in Iraq has never been lower. Thirty percent of those questioned favored the war while 68 percent opposed the conflict.

"Americans are growing more pessimistic about the war," Holland said. "In January, nearly half believed that things were going well for the U.S. in Iraq; now that figure has dropped to 39 percent."

The numbers on the Iraq war come on the five-year anniversary of President Bush's "mission accomplished" moment onboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, when Bush proclaimed that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

The record low support for the war in a CNN poll could be one reason behind the president's unpopularity, but it probably is not the only one.

"Support for the war, the assessment of the economy and approval of Mr. Bush are all about the same - bad," Schneider said.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted by telephone from Monday through Wednesday, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (321 Responses)
  1. DEANNA

    FINALLY, HE'S GOOD AT SOMETHING!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. diana

    sorry dont know where you get your information but I disagree...as far as I can see it was one of those times that he would be put between a nut and a hard place.....he be damed if he didnt do anything and damed if he did.....and yes I would vote for him again if he were running

    May 1, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. G Kurz

    Gee there, Mick. You're that certain that this guy is just a 'victim of the media'? He bears no responsibility in lying to the whole world to start this war resulting in thousands of American deaths and possibly a hundered thousand Iraqi deaths? Last time I looked things went pretty well under the Clinton administrations, and nobody had to die for it.

    May 1, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Mike

    Bush should make up a medal for being the worse president ever and give it to himself, he can pin it on his flight jacket, if he can find it. Will somebody please arrest these criminals for war crimes and war proffiteering. Bushes grandfather profited from the Nazis, Bush senior joined the Carlyle Group, face it, war proffiteering is the family business and its F America I'm making money

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Bruce Allen

    Tom... No attacks? I'm not sure the 4027 dead G.I.'s and 100,000 plus dead Iraqis would agree with you.

    Bruce

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. sb

    OBAMA IS SINKING IN THE GALLUP POLL!

    HILLARY LEADS OBAMA BY 4 POINTS!

    OBAMA HAD A 10 POINTS LEAD JUST 1 WEEK AGO!!!!

    OBAMA DROPPED 14 POINTS IN 1 WEEK !!!!

    GO HILLARY!!!!

    GO NASCAR!!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    R u guys serious??? Obama will NEVER have as low as Bush. Luckily we only have 6 months of Bush left and 8 Years of Obamam baby!

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Andy

    I really think George W. Bush never had adversity in his life. He laughs at everything and when he's serious, I get the sense that he's just pretending.

    He had a privileged life, and so did his dad, and so did his grandfather, and you really can't speak for average Americans unless you know how they feel. GW didn't know and didn't care.

    He will pay for his mistakes someday, but right now America is paying for them...at the pump, and in Iraq. We can't afford to make another mistake.

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. me

    democracy is good

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. independant

    Met him in the 90`s when he was Governon . I have been proven right again and again and has done great harm to our country----- He`s a "zero" in my book. -- the president was Dick Cheney all along folks !!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Jeff

    W, the most unpopular. No way, the poll must beflawed, this can't be true. Nope, I believe it–at least I'm proud of myself that I didn't vote for him. Kerry was the lesser of the two evils but America didn't realize it. Maybe in November we'll get a change. If not, cue the Beach Boys song for 4 more years...Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Mememe

    Echoing everyone else here...like this is supposed to be a surprise?? He's got the IQ of a walnut, and that's an insult to walnuts!

    All you Dems out there – this is yet another reason why we need to get the Republicans out of office – McCain is just another McSame.

    I know you've got strong feelings for either Clinton or Obama, but it scares the heck out of me when I read comments that if your chosen one doesn't get in, you're going to vote for McCain.

    Please, please, please don't do that! Whenever we get the nomination settled, no matter who it is, please stick with the party and vote for the nominee. This country simply will not survive another four (or more) years of Republican McSameness.

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. dan

    I need to know a little bit more about Rev Wright before I can vote for him. He is running for president isn't he? He must be leading in the polls, he's been the top story every night. Does the Rev have a good energy plan, how about healthcare?

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. wake up

    "Tom" what are you talking about saying we haven't been attacked during his time. What do you call 9/11! an Attack.

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Uncle Sam

    It may not make the president feel much better, but congressional job approval is currently at 22%.

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Den

    S Mick – The man started a preemptive war that has caused untold civilian casualties (not to mention a few thousand American troops' lives), the gap between rich and poor in the country has steadily risen, fewer of our kids have decent health care or education, Katrina...and the CLINTONS make you more ashamed? I'm no lover of Bill and Hil these days, but seriously?

    May 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. V

    Surprise! Surprise!

    May 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Ben

    I don't think there has been much anti-Hillary, pro-Obama bias from CNN these. Aside from the news of Sen. Obama's superdelegate gains - which is actual news and not speculation - the majority of the Obama-related stories have focused on Rev. Wright and/or polls about Barack losing ground nationally or not doing as well as Sen. Clinton in swing states - which I believe is only temporary bc of her PA win...

    May 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Steve DeRosa

    Heck of a job W.

    May 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Westone

    CNN.com is a political site. Why would any one be surprised that they might cover our President's low approval rating? Do you think they made it up? What does it have to do With Obama, Clinton or McCain for that matter? If you don't like political news perhaps you shouldn't visit the site. Just a thought.

    May 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Chris

    Good ! I always say : "We have what we vote for" ! Goodbye prosperity, and our consumer's lifestyle. Welcome to the third world status for our country... Not yet ? Oh ! Soon... Wait few years, and see what kind of damage this president, and his administration did to this economy. Do we deserve it ? I guess so. After all we've voted this moron into the office.

    May 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. jj

    Could it be his arrogance and pure stubborness have something to do with it?

    May 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Nivrad

    Actually, He's really done his job well for the Republican Party. He's got the Oil people much richer, the war suppliers richer , and his own self worth richer when he retires! That's what he's there for.

    Them and not you! He could care less!

    May 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  24. Ruebin

    The Iraq war disaster and the lies that got us into it, the Afghanistan war... now with no end in sight as well, the downfall of our economy, the shipping of our jobs to China and elsewhere overseas, Katrina, the use of torture on our enemies, the loss of our status abroad and the gradual loss of our freedoms here at home, and the list goes on and on and on...

    What I can't figure out is why this character hasn't been impeached yet?!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. Mike

    I can't decide who was the worst. Carter or W. Guess it will remain one of the mysteries of the universe...

    May 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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