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. Joe from Indiana

    Well, get ready for Bush No. 2 ===> McCain. That's what will happen if we keep our focus on things that don't really matter in the campaign trail. Who cares about what Reverend Wright said. I need to be a able to pay my bills, put food on the table, take my cousin out of Iraq. That's what I care about.

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. some guy

    bought time we realized this

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Beth

    What truly astounds me is that there are still one on three or four people who think he is doing a good job.

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Duh

    Wow, didn't see THIS one coming...*dripping with sarcasm*

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Bill

    I can't wait to celebrate America's new holiday on Jan 9th 2009. Bush Liberation Day....

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. seymore, pa


    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Scott Glenn, Wa

    Really no one likes GWB, now what are we going to do?

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Mike

    I quick poll of my household and co-workers validates the results of this poll. I will never understand how so many people could cast a vote for someone so unqualified for the presidency. I hope we are all smarter this November.

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. Kenneth

    Why isn't his disaproval rating 100% ?

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. NickNas

    He has had that rateing for many of us LONG before he "Won" the first time. If there were ANY Justice in this world ALL of those who voted for this CLOWN should have to publicly appologize to the rest of us who tried to tell them all along that THIS is EXACTLY what would happen.

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Yes we can!

    mccain is mcbush......democratics will win this fall!

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. Af.

    This is why I don't understand why so many people are voting for McCain. Are people that stupid?

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. That Jay guy from Canada

    Yeah, and we don't want no 'Bush Lite' with John McCain...

    G08BAMA !

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. Mike

    He would be beat by Obama if Obama gets in. People will see Obama was just a big blowed up balloon and nothing more.

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Obama for Emperor of the World

    You'LL come down to Texas and visit his new Library at Baylor U. – You-hear!

    Obviously, Dubya didn't pay attention to Maw and Paw when they told him to wear his cowboy hat in the hot Texas sun – obviously boiled his brains.

    On the other hand – you have got to admire Karl Rove – the architect- who got him elected as Governor of Texas and then President for 2 terms.

    He has certainly set some HIGH standards for Obama to meet – hopefully Barry won't disappoint!

    May 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Dusacre

    Time for another republican president. We need more of the same!

    May 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Mike J.

    I am absolutely shocked at this! This poll has to be inaccurate. There can't be 28 percent out there that actually approve of this president!!!! I think this must be an "operation chaos conspiracy"!!! Mission Accomplished.

    May 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Ken from Michigan

    Bush's probable response: So?

    He's laughing all way to the bank as his American people suffer. What a system of injustice.

    May 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. Nanc, MN

    The only place this ma is a legend is in his mind, well, maybe Cheney's too.

    May 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. Anthony of New Orleans

    Of course no one will tell the emperor he has no clothes and you get the feeling he wouldn't care if you did. He thinks he's had his "moment of accountability" and whatever he does to the country is of little consequence. Less than a year left and counting til Barack or John takes over and I can't wait.

    May 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Bitter PA


    can we be surprised?

    He's always been a failure and always will be.

    Put a monkey in the WhiteHouse you get monkey work out of the Whitehouse!

    May 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Ben

    Excellent. Too bad he won't resign, though.

    May 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Rick

    Lowest rating, worst president, most unpopular.
    Ya think???

    May 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. J. Sully, New York


    May 1, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Mish

    That is no surprise at all! I just want to know who the 28% are that think he is doing a good job. This man and his administration have single-handedly set our country back for decades and it will take a significant amount of time to be fixed.

    May 1, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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