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. Nic

    memory loss happens even to the youngest among us!

    June 11, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. truthteller

    That same 49% believe Duck Dynasty deserves an Oscar

    June 11, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. QS

    Proving yet again that nearly half of the population isn't and never was paying attention!

    June 11, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Natalie

    Who owns the media...Murdock? Oh, that's why!

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

    LMFAO! What a ridiculous headline – it should say, "morons in this country are starting to like Bush again....for some unknown reason!"

    June 11, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. jinx9to88

    Well what do you expect when the poll is taken in Texas.

    June 11, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. bankrupt1

    More bogus surveys done by front orgs.

    June 11, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Don't drink the koolaid!

    I've been missing him. OBummer has done nothing but drive America into the ground 50 X's faster than any prior president. OBummer go back to your muslim roots!!!!!!!!!!!! Nobody wants you here.

    June 11, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Bill

    Starting to like BUSH? NO WAY.

    June 11, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. NameJoe

    Can anyone say time for a 3rd party?

    June 11, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Pratt

    No I'm not. He should be put on trail and if found guilty of war crimes.....executed.

    June 11, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Carl

    Sure, now start to pander to the Conservatives, CNN. We know you, however, and will never forget what you did to the 2012 election with Candy Crowely.

    June 11, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. william Poole

    I don't know anyone in any hood in the USA who even like Bush. the only one's who even like him, are the police, judges, military, cop lovers, child molesters and men who love to beat up women. Bush is gay, he would shot in any hood he walks into alone, that's for a fact. I don't know why anyone would ever listen to CNN's poll. there are millions and millions living in the hood who have nothing.

    June 11, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. bankrupt1

    well...i think we have always liked him. seems more like he was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. (w i mean. maybe hw too. don't know about his grandpa.)

    June 11, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Incredible

    Amnesic Americans!

    June 11, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. MENon

    HAHAHA Right... Oh yeah wasn't Romney up in the polls too?

    June 11, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. us_1776

    WHAT !?

    Are you insane?

    NOBODY is remembering Bush fondly.

    .

    June 11, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Ben

    Bush was a much better president than the current food stamp president. Obama should be impeach.

    June 11, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. kennyzales

    Just about everything that's wrong with this country...then and NOW...is Bush's fault.

    June 11, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. bankrupt1

    they don't look very healthy. but maybe you wouldn't be. if you have that life.

    June 11, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I prefer Obama, but I liked many things about Bush when he was in office. Many who were polled have forgotten what Bush did, and some do not even realize that there were two presidents named Bush–and still they vote.

    June 11, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Big_D

    What story did they hide this poll in, I never saw it? I would think Bush will be the worst president in history.

    June 11, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Schmoogalicious

    A FAVORABLE opinion of Dubya? Americans apparently have the shortest memories on the planet.

    June 11, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Norm

    What was the IQ of the average person polled?

    June 11, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. Truth Hurts

    That's what happens when Bush is replaced by the most corrupt president in our history; bar none.
    More scandals, more lies, less transpaency, an atrocious record on the economy. Liberal lies being exposed finally everywhere

    June 11, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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