George W. Bush's life, legacy
June 11th, 2013
04:56 PM ET
1 year 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. Bat-Bat

    Not missing Bush one single bit.

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Thinkergal

    Bush was just mediocre enough brains-wise that he would have done ok if he had better advisors. That criminal gang around will burn in hell for what they did to America.

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. HAHA

    Bush and Obama both failed us all.

    And both will be remembered as failures who broke their promises.

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. gahh

    Bush was the closest this country ever came to a Dictatorship. He makes Obama look like a boy scout. Bush is the one who started the spying, on Americans with his Patriot Act. Then there's the trillions he wasted in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and the 45 hundred dead soldiers, in Iraq. The Democrats lied to us, when they said Bush was to be impeached. Bush definitely used his alcohol soaked, drugged out warped Brain, in everything he did.
    As much as Bush hates poor people, it's a wonder he didn't pass a law for all poor people, to be shot.

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Lando Griffin

    He's good at draft dodging.

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  6. Froggerpapaone

    Nope still not a fan. This is a fall out from policies created as a knee jerk reaction to the war on terrorism. Remember there were no WMDs Saddam wasn't the guy we were looking for and Iraq wasn't our war. But it became that and is that still today.

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. nydaelia

    No.. We don't LIKE him, we like MAKING FUN of him. Huge difference. We may say his name with a smile, but it's not because we are happy with him. He was still a horrible president... But he's a simpleton... How else should we look at him?

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. Complete ignorance

    That poll must have been taken in Texas or some other red state. He was absolutely the worst President EVER!!! I wonder where America would be hadn't the Supreme Court made him President versus the American people?

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. Edd0

    Bush and Obama serve the same master. I miss Bush the same way I miss Obama.

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Mancy Grace

    The American people also believe that "about five thousand" Iraqis have been killed in the war. News flash: it's a LOT more than that.

    The American people think it's OK to have a national security apparatus that monitors our every communication, in spite of a constitutional guarantee to privacy.

    The American people think education is only for the very wealthy, and the very wealthy sneer at "intellectual elites".

    Oh yes, the sky is green, water is dry, and we live in a free country with liberty and justice for all.

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. jay howard

    George Bush is a moron who destroyed America as if he were employed by al Qaeda.

    He lost 4 wars, blew 10 trillion dollars and killed or wounded 40,000 US troops losing it. He did nothing about NK's atom bomb. He stood by idly when Russia invaded Georgia, even after promising to help them. He fired 9 US attorney's general for refusing to carry out his political enemies hit list or for having the audacity to investigate Republican criminals. He put a gay prostitute in the White House Press Corps and when then "Mission Accomplished" thing blew up in his face he blamed it on the sailors of the Abe Lincoln, throwing them under the bus. He even mocked US soldiers dying in the desert by pretending to look for WMD under his desk while real soldiers were getting killed and wounded doing it for real. He raised the allowable levels of mercury, arsenic, lead and bromides allowed in the air and water and told everyone the air around the WTC bomb site was ok – even though he never tested it and it turned out to be toxic. I could go on and on and on. He was a failure who took a 1 trillion dollar surplus and turned it into a multitrillion dollar debt. He destroyed my country.

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. CharlieR

    How can you NOT prefer a man who, though apparently not overly bright, never once portrayed a president who found ot what was going in in his administration when he read about it in the newspaper. Never once did succumb to blaming others, or saying the government was "...just to big...". Obama makes the Teflon President (remember him) look like a neophite. Those who say Obama is incompetent are fools. He says what he is going to do (to us), and does it, and gets away with it. I'll take W over this guy any day. I'd buy a used car from W, but this guy would not get me into a new showroom!

    June 11, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. bspurloc

    obvious CNN propaganda only 1000 polled probably all from texas.
    george wmd bush and his library of lies can never change history of his failures

    June 11, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. Brenda

    He was cute, but I don't miss him AT ALL.

    June 11, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. judith

    God Almighty! This moron and his venal Vice-President lied us into a trillion dollar war. How can anybody even stomach thinking about him.

    June 11, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. CZ

    Why would I miss him now? We are still in his 4th term aren't we?

    June 11, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. JZ

    Too funny. No wonder we are so messed up....we can't stay on track for anything.....we need to seed our clouds with Ritalin.

    June 11, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. GOP

    He caused 911 and the bankruptcy of USA.

    June 11, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. lcleejr

    forever to be known as a compulsive liar

    June 11, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. markiejoe

    Oh my god, you've got to be joking.

    The only thing Dubya had going for him, besides being the most uncouth President we've ever had, was being the least intelligent.

    June 11, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. DE

    He drove the economy into the ditch and he drastically lowered America's integrity in the world with his bullying foreign policy making us the laughing stock of the world.

    June 11, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. johnawesomesauce

    i dont like bush, and im far from missing him. your poll is wrong

    June 11, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. Mke

    What Obama lacks in competence, he makes up for in frequent flyer miles.

    June 11, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. Jane Galt

    Sounds like some people need to be reminded what this bastard did to this country and what his actions continue to do. Prosecute Bush and Cheney as war criminals!!! They BOTH should be incarcerated for life!

    June 11, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  25. zaphed

    The quintessential american royalty PITAS specimen. No dont miss that crap.

    June 11, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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