George W. Bush's life, legacy
June 11th, 2013
04:56 PM ET
2 years ago

Poll: You're starting to remember Bush fondly

(CNN) - For the first time since 2005, more Americans have a favorable view of former President George W. Bush than an unfavorable view.

According to a new Gallup poll released Tuesday, 49% have a positive opinion of the two-term Republican president, while 46% feel the opposite.

The survey was conducted entirely before reports emerged last week of U.S. government surveillance programs, some of which began under the Bush administration.

As time goes by, presidents generally see their numbers improve the longer they are out of office. Gallup numbers show presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton all had favorable ratings over 60% when last measured.

Read more: Most former presidents look better through history's eyes

Bush has largely stayed out of the limelight since leaving the White House, but he gained a more public profile in April and May with the opening of his presidential library in Dallas.

The new Gallup poll results mark a stark contrast from January 2009, when the 43rd president left office with a favorable rating of 40% and an unfavorable rating of 59%. Two months later, the gap widened to 35% favorable and 63% unfavorable.

Since mid-2010, his favorable ratings have hovered around the mid-40s, while his unfavorable rating gradually decreased to 46% from 53%.

Read more: Bush 43: 'History will ultimately judge ... I'm a content man'

Breaking it down further, Bush has seen improvement among independents and both political parties. Twenty-four percent of Democrats view him in a positive light, according to the new survey, compared to 10% in January 2009. Republicans saw a 14 percentage point jump, with 84% now having a positive opinion of Bush.

The biggest increase came among independents. While 29% gave him a favorable rating in 2009, that number now stands at 46%.

The Gallup results fall in line with a CNN/ORC International Poll released in late April, shortly before Bush's library dedication ceremony. Those results indicated the number of people who believed Bush's presidency was a failure had significantly dropped (by 13 percentage points) since he left office.

Gallup surveyed 1,529 adults by telephone from June 1 to June 4. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: George W. Bush • Polls
soundoff (1,768 Responses)
  1. lolo

    Noone but the GOP/TP Klan.

    June 11, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. just sayin

    that's what 5 years of your successor being a total failure will do for your ratings.

    June 11, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Anthony in California

    September 11th 2001.
    Katrina.
    Tax breaks for the rich – Unfunded
    Iraq War – Unfunded
    Afghanistan War – Unfunded
    Let's Osama escape from Bora Bora.

    Nope.. havent forgotten.

    June 11, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Fortunately for Bush, Obama prevented the complete destruction of America.

    June 11, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Bush favored more than Obama is.

    Interesting.

    June 11, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. it must be said

    You mean George Bush still isn't President? I mean almost all of his policies are still in place, or expanded. He must still be in office. We are in the 4th term of the Bush presidency based on all of the policies in place. Heck, Obama even re-signed the Patriot Act into law after it expired. Now we have the Obama Patriot Act. I wonder if he ever sent Bush a thank you card for stealing and re-using all of his policies?

    June 11, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    The LIES you tell CNN.

    June 11, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Chuck Anaheim, Cs

    Who knew that legalizing marijuana in Co and Wa would have such an effect.

    June 11, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. billfit

    Even the leftist commies are starting to like him a bit. Thanks to Obingo.

    June 11, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Give Barry A Cigarette

    Tampa Tim–keep drinking the kool-aid, bro!

    June 11, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. billfit

    Even the left ist com m ies are starting to like him a bit. Thanks to Obingo.

    June 11, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Tim

    Ok everyone we are breaking the rules GW bush is president again....there happy? NO well no pleasing you then. Americans will never be happy and always will tear down anyone who tries to stand up for better or worse

    June 11, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. Marshall Dillon

    There's still parts of America where he can still get arrested aren't there?

    June 11, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. IvotedforObama

    I see the GOP's brainwashing has finally worked. I know 4500 American families whose kids died for nothing don't like him.

    June 11, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. anonymous

    Tampa Tim
    Fortunately for Bush, Obama prevented the complete destruction of America.
    ---

    Given all of the Obama scandals and continued high unemployment rate 4.5 years later, Obama has prevented NOTHING. He has accelerated it.

    June 11, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. chet

    Miss him I do, and I would rather miss the guy we have right now though! Talk about the destruction of America – Obama has created the greatest decline in America's culture EVER!

    June 11, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. Jeff Bough

    Yeah......? If I painted puppies, my approval rating would also raise.

    June 11, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Keksi

    No,I am not starting to like Bush.

    June 11, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. billfit

    Even the lef t ist co m mies are starting to like him a bit. Thanks to O bingo.

    June 11, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. dick Delson

    He was, and still is, a MORON

    June 11, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Props

    This only proves that most American's have the memory akin to your basic household dog.

    June 11, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. just me

    Smh, we really are a nation of amnesiacs. Worst president ever

    June 11, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. WRONG

    Umm, No. I am not remembering him fondly, unless by fondly you mean a war criminal that should be behind bars along with the rest of his criminal administration. There is precisely zero fondness for shrub. got that CNN? zero.

    June 11, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Anonymouse

    Only idiots believe that. All the media comments are made by paid koch trolls, therfore not reflective of the general opinion of the populace. Obamma is one of the most popular presidents ever regardless of the partisan rhetoric.

    June 11, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. Tim

    GW Bush was a moron at least obama can talk without that pompous smirk

    June 11, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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