May 1st, 2008
02:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Bush most unpopular in modern history

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Theresa, Ohio

    And we worry about Wright and bitterness.

    Focus on the issues people. Better days are to come but ONLY if we make a better judgement NOW.

    Obama 2008

    May 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. AMG

    If Obama becomes president you will see what even lower approval rating means.....

    May 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. R

    he's the WORST ever!

    May 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. The Corp

    At least Bush has nads you liberal fools.

    May 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. DJ in TX

    Doesn't really matter at this point. He's on his way out. President bush is a good man at heart, but his policies and some decisions were way off. NO president can actually change the economy as it is not controlled by government except indirectly with our without regulations. The war is HIS legacy as he had direct control on that.

    As a Democrat, I'm tired of all the Bush bashing (or any President bashing). Even though I totally disagree with his policies, I would still shake his hand and give the respect the Office of the President deserves.

    May 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. frank, las vegas

    President Bush is a good man no matter how upopular he may be. The press should focus more on how to evolve a bi-partisan solution our problems than attacking his personality!

    May 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. Venus

    This is GREAT!

    This is the banner that Mc Bush will have to deal with!

    Go Obama!

    May 1, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. wwf

    Yet 70% of the Republicans think he has done a good job. Talk about being out of touch with the rest of the country. Just think this man is upset with congress and still cannot understand why the economy is the way it is. Now McCain says his and Clinton's gas tax is just a small short fix. That is not what he was saying a coupld of days ago.

    May 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Ca Native

    Way to draw out the Bush Haters CNN. I guess you're trying to change the subject OFF Obama and his Black Liberation Theology approach to life/politics??

    May 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. cameica

    Ah thats sad. Hard to be black and think independantly. I'm sure he was under a ton of pressure. Shame on Obama.

    May 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Daryl from Seattle

    Take into account how much our population has increased since Truman or Nixon and it's official, Bush is the WORST president EVER!

    May 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Jerome


    May 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Allan

    Yet another great accomplishment for the Decider.

    May 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. AZM

    Well at least he's the best at something... lol

    May 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Danny

    I agree with the poll because he have no experienced when he be came
    a President, so now same as Obama he going to do same as his cousin

    May 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. Brandon

    Finally all of America realizes what half of this country knew in 2004. Thanks a lot idiots who voted for Bush... You may have sunk our country with your ignorant social issues based voting and gullible inclination to be distracted from whats important.... and you didn't even get your gay marriage admendment. Now the same idiots are falling for Hillary Clinton's distractions and conservative social issues push.. Maybe its time to listen to the smart people

    May 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. Dana

    Really....I'm shocked!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Niel, NY

    ....yet we voted him for a second term.

    Shame on us.

    May 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. Deb

    I think if we hadn't dodged the Obama bullet-he would break this record and been known as the VERY worst ever!

    We need a President who has the strength to fight for ALL the American People in our Great Nation!

    We are looking forward to years of Peace, Prosperity and a balanced budget!

    Hillary 08

    May 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Pam

    And McCain agreed with him on over 80% of his decisions........scarey!!

    May 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Independent

    Wow. I really want to know who those 28 percent are who said that Bush is doing a good job. So sad that US is now known for the incompetence of its leaders....

    May 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. proud army and navy mom

    not at all surprised. can we call out all the idiots that voted for him as well. also, even more importantly is who are the 28% that still approves. can some email their names to me please? i have some choice words for them.

    May 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |

    i voted for the other guy. in the election before that, i voted for the other guy. i voted for bill the first time i voted. overall, i'd say i've made some good choices on who to vote for. i am voting for obama this year.

    May 1, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. Jason from Chicago

    Surprise! Surprise! Can I get some caffetti in the comments section please?

    May 1, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Whiskey


    May 1, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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