May 1st, 2008
02:30 PM ET
3 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. eStreet4ever

    Worst President EVER says it all.

    May 1, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. MC- Atlanta,GA

    LOL- I love saying I told ya so to sooo many ignorant voters back in 2004 – maybe next time you will listen.

    George W. Bush is a complete and total failure – no two ways about it. What a national disgrace...

    May 1, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Darnell

    Wow, surprised are ya?

    May 1, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. shane

    George Bush's chickens have come home to roost!

    May 1, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. aa

    I have been part of that 71% since 2000.

    May 1, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Wake Up US

    CNN is obviously an Obama backer. It's headlines on the race for the presidency are either pro-Obama or anti-Clinton. Whatever happened to impartiality in the media?

    May 1, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. John Adkisson

    28% approval? I haven't met a single person who approves of his performance since Katrina. This means in any American group almost one in three believe he has done a good job. I would love to see a breakdown of this group in a poll to see if each and every one of them gets their news from Fox, has no education, and believes government should be incompetent. Astonishing, we Americans.

    May 1, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. Bob

    My brother always ask: Who the heck are that 28 that approve? It almost strikes me as mental problem at this point. I didn't like Bush I or Reagan but I got why some people did. I wasn't even a big of Clinton, didn't approve or disapprove, but this guy is ruining America.

    May 1, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The most popular thing about Bush is failure.

    May 1, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. common sense

    Well, an illegal war based on lies of WMD, cheaper gas prices if we go to war, and not attempting the catch of bin Laden, Bush chose to take down Saddam Hussein. Hussein was a nefarious figure in history, BUT, he was not responsible for 9/11. We know that for certain.

    Meanwhile, bin Laden is living it up somewhere in the far east.

    Where do these low approval ratings come from??? It surely couldn't be the economy, and his smug attitude when he attempts to defend his Commander In Chief positions.

    We need a president with good judgement. We need Senator OBAMA!!

    Join Joe Andrew from Indiana, Ben Chandler from my homestate of KY, and John Patrick of Texas, and SWITCH to the uniter, not the divider!

    We can't vote for the same people and expect different results America!!

    May 1, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. kia

    Duh!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. TX_GAL

    Bush is the most unpopular president in modern history? Is that news? You might as well do a news story on "the sky is blue".

    May 1, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. honkey white guy from cali

    It is not surprising that he has such a low rating! The best part is we only have to deal with him till next Jan then Sen Obama will come into office and clean Washington up and flush out the lobbyist and corp America that owns our government and greedy corrupt people.

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Linda Esen

    WOW and this is a surprise ...even Republicans don't like him. I personally have nothing against a guy who sent my brother to war where he died – a war he lied about. But WAIT he wasn't president – Chaney was !!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Mike Santner

    And the 28% that approve of his job as president are probably making money hand over fist by his incompetence. I voted for the guy I'm ashamed to say.

    May 1, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Cynthia

    I can believe that.

    May 1, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. James S

    I am suprised his approval rating is that high. I dont think he really cares. Being that he is a self serving President, he has accomplished his goals. And just think, if McCain wins we can have have four more years of Bush policies. And being that people are distracted so easy and have short memories McCain may have a shot. WAKE UP AMERICA !!!

    May 1, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Mike

    This man will go down as one of the most infamous people in the history of this country.

    May 1, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. history will show

    he was better than the pundents gave him credit for.winh all you want liberals... I blame you for the recession... PANIC PANIC PANIC... all you're good for. Who remember Jimmy Carter? whom, might i add, was far and away the worst president... maybe in all of US history.

    May 1, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Greg

    Bush did it to himself. The Republican Party did it to itself. Republicans are to blame for every economic disaster and military travesty ever caused. It's time to get off the couch and go out to Brickbat Alley.

    May 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. ModerateDem

    What i want to know is who are the 27% who still approve of the job this Buffoon is doing?

    May 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. zina

    And this is why I cannot understand why some want a 3rd Bush term. Let's support the dem nominee whoever it is!!

    O8ama

    May 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Debbie

    When the media covers Hillary's Magnequench lie, she will be below George Bush's numbers.

    May 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. leon levin

    I would never have guessed !!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Jason

    Bush doesn't care. His family has money, and he's a 2-time sitting president. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. We voted him in... twice. SHAME ON AMERICA!

    May 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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