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. jon

    wow – a shocker

    May 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Ian

    That mission accomplished banner is hilarious. The really funny part is that he and the congress just keep doing what they're doing and no one cares enough to do anything about it. Instead they'll come to the CNN ticker and think they've done their part.

    Good work everyone.

    May 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Mark Sachse

    Really? Is this a shock to anybody? Now would be a good time to remove the "W" sticker from your Hummer.

    May 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Xavier, St. Louis, MO

    He has to be the worst US president ever!

    May 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. The Truth

    I get a kick out of the man, but he sucks as a president. Case and point, stop the popular voting for name brands. Sen. Obama is clearly the best candidate; embrace real change.

    May 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Drew in Newburyport, MA

    To use a recent VP Cheney quote "So?". President Bush doesn't care because he's convinced that history will judge him otherwise. Don't look for any change in any of his failed policies because he believes that in the end they are right.

    May 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. wymer chatelain

    Thank the lord, we don't have much longer with Bush.. Although not possible, another 4 years of this and we would be a third world country.

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. mike e. cooney

    Yes,it is a terrible thing to free 43 million citizens of this planet from death,torture,and tyrrany as he did in Afganistan and Iraq.Plus, America just completed 51 straight months of positive economic growth,an AMERICAN HISTORICAL RECORD since 1776!! That also,is a terrible thing! Most Americans are sheep,I would state that 85% are,and who in GODS name wants to be a sheep!?

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. James T

    Bushes response: "So? I couldn't care less".

    "Didn't you see that with Katrina?
    Didn't you see that with the war?
    Didn't you see that with tax breaks for my friends and not you?
    Didn't you see that with my failing to care about overseeing the mortgage crisis?

    When are you peasants going to realize, I never have cared what you think about me"?

    "None of you many anything to me".

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    He is good, but lack strategy and he focused much outside policy in which and at the sametime loose lives for unmatch and unaccomplished result.

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. John Adams

    Is it possible for Bush to get 100% disapproval rating before they shoot him out of a cannon next January

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Sesay, former Clinton backer

    Wow, this is rediculous. He probably doesn't care now since he is leaving anyway.

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Wow.......

    I wonder if this is the legacy he was looking to leave behind when he ran for president. But what I really want to know is where are all the idiots who voted for the dummy and put him in office in the first place!!!! Now everyone wants to complain about how craptastic a president he is yet he won the popular vote! I knew from the beginning he was ridiculous!

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Juliemn

    And congress is at 70, not that I support Bush, but tell it like it is.Since dems took over congress,thanks to the far-left Nancy and friends, what did you expect!

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Bubba

    JuST like u libruls, George Bush is your presnit, maybe u want Osama hahah – stupid dem DUmmies.

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Michael

    Not that I'm defending him, but he started off well and has come to a very bad ending.

    History isn't looking upon G.W. Bush with much favor anyhow, maybe his campgain was doomed from the start?

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. Iska Alter

    If George Bush is the most unpopular president in modern history (a fact I do not doubt), why is it that the Democrats in Congress seem so afraid of offending him? Given his incompetence, why must the "opposition" party (please note the ironic quotation marks), aid and abet his inadequacy?

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Adam, Houston, TX

    With all of the crimes and ineptitude his administration has brought upon our nation, I'm surprised anyone still approves of this idiot.

    May 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Larry in Michigan

    I just paid $104 dollars to fill up my truck. It sits in the driveway of my home that is worth 10% less than what it was a year ago.

    So no, I don't like Bush either because his "leadership" is the main reason we're in this situation.

    Wake up everyone! Talking about Rev. Wright is a distraction. Let's start talking about issues and solving problems!

    May 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    What a surprise that a partisan CNN poll would find that?

    May 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Kimberly, Alabama

    That's what you get for stealing an election!

    May 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Sesay, former Clinton backer

    Wow, this is rediculous. He probably doesn't care now since he is leaving anyway.

    May 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. Shane

    He should be in Jail.

    May 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. george

    and why isnt anybody actively pursuing impeachment procedures? this guy (the pres) deserves to be in prison. hes a war-criminal a liar, and a thief who has backrupt this country and our foreseeable future.

    May 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. @americans

    this is old news!

    we are just waiting come January '09 so we can start our lives afresh with a democrat in the WH!

    OBAMA '08!

    May 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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