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. r sisk, nevada

    This is news? I am surprised his disapproval rating isn't higher. It is going to take years to recover from this disastrous administration. Clearly the worst Prez I have ever lived through.

    May 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Jenny

    Dear CNN,

    America knew this a long time ago. We hold Bush directly responsible for ruining this country over the last seven years. He needs to apologize and make amends by correcting all of his mistakes. The American people do not like him and he has damaged our reputation in the world.

    If John McSame wants to attach his star to Bush's wagon–go right ahead. His poll ratings will be down shortly before he watches Barack take the oath of office.

    Note to John: Just as GW tried to linki himself to Lincoln and George Washington, and failed, you will as well. You are nothing like Lincoln and you will never be our president.

    May 1, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Clive

    Wow! And Hillary supporters claim they will vote for McBush? Is it strange that Hillary and her supporters share the same trait? It's me or nothing!

    May 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Josh Maloney, Oakland, CA

    Even though unpopular, he still deserves a fair trial.

    May 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. SUSIE JACOBS

    I WASN'T POLLED, SO HOW CAN YOU SAY 71 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE UNHAPPY WITH HIM. NO ONE I KNOW HAS BEEN POLLED

    May 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Joseph Adewole

    Bush will even be rated better than John McCain and Hillary Clinton; l can bet my life for this...watch out

    May 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. frank

    about time we started waking up

    May 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Margerie

    The face of $4.00 a gallon gasoline. I hate him.

    May 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. shocked, I tell you

    The remaining 29 percent are more surprising than the 71 percent who rightly disapprove. President Bush's eight years will go down in history, and continue to go down in legendary proportions.

    May 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Maury Dann

    "SO?" – Dick Cheney

    Do you really think these guys care what the public thinks? This is the least accountable administration in modern American history. Years from now people will wonder how Bush/Cheney actually got to "serve" (the idea that these guys are public servants is laughable) for 8 years instead of being booted out of office or impeached and convicted.

    May 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Pam

    We need a poll to tell us that?

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

    Is it possibly because the media has made him out to be a bafoon, and everyone else jumped on the band wagon?

    Nothing he has done has made me more ashamed than how the Clintons act.

    They are dark hearted, dishonest people. It bothers me that others either refuse to see it, or worse, they see it too, and simply do not care.

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Mark Anthony

    Well at least he's winner at something, ha ha ha.

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. carmen

    This is why McCain can't win.– once Hillary steps aside and Obama can concentrate on his real opponent, that is.

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. craig

    If you ask the republicain party he's doing a great job! I see now theres an ad out that is saying how the the Dems. are since taking over congress in 06 quote gas is up to $3.50 a gallon like its their fault, if you remember it was $.99 a gallon the month before Bush took office thats almost a 400% increase since we've had him but its the dems.

    This poll is correct, as Hillary said in 03 he'll go down in history as the worst pers. in our history.....Good Call Hillary

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. DD, New York

    You know those presidential wall charts that are made of really really thin paper than you can purchase when you go to federal landmark attractions. You know...the ones that have a picutre of every president from George Washington down to the current one, it lists the president's name and years in office? Well, I was seriously getting one and crossing out GWB's picture and writing "NG" underneath.

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Chris from San Antonio

    Polls don't matter to Bush.
    He'll follow the will of the people whether you like it or not.

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Steve C

    This administration has managed to trash our economy and has failed in every foreign policy area. This Iraq war blunder will haunt us for years, much like Vietnam. Absolutely the worst administration in my 53 years of living, and that was some tough competition to beat. Mission accomplished indeed.

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Sita Reddy

    He needs to do some thing about the Gas prices, and thr raising food prises.

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Really? Twenty-nine percent approve of the job he's done?

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Karin

    Not a surprise at all. Unpopular war, slipping economy, civil rights violations, high gas prices...the list goes on. Tell me something we ALL don't know.

    Interesting, that his approval rating is at 28%. Higher than both Nixon and Truman? That seems nearly impossible, but then again people said it was impossible for him to win re-election in 2004.

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. HH

    And if he was running again you would have morons vote for him.

    May 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Chuck, Oregonians for Obama

    Is anyone surprised by this?

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. Adam in INdy

    This is what happens when you vote for a "likable Good Guy"

    HILLARY 08!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. AK

    Barely newsworthy. Isn't it obvious enough?

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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