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. Bruce Allen

    He's the worst 'thing' to happen to America in my lifetime. The only surprise to me is that he still polls that hi. Just goes to show that 29% of Americans are clueless.


    May 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. TONI

    I personally feel that anyone who voted for him the second time, should lose their right to vote! The first time was bad enough, but there are no excuses for YOUR second vote people! All I have to say to all my friends and co workers who did support him all these years, is I told you so! This man has had the ,its myway or the highway attitude since he got into office. He has been the most divisive President in History. He has single handedly destroyed our relations with the world. He has LIED directly to the American People, and his cabinet. I feel he should be impeached by all his practices, but am glad we didnt waste the countries time doing it as we did B. Clinton. I am happy that hes leaving and feel he should be prosecuted along with C. Rove and all the rest of his crooked adminstration Cheny especially! Once out of office we can prosecute all of them, and there will be noone to PARDON them!!! Good ridens.

    May 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Sam

    S. Mick must be retarded. Or one of the 28%. Or both. What an imbecile.

    May 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. Paul in Seattle

    I knew back in '00 that we were in for a rough time the second he won. But at the same time, George W. Bush has faced an onslaught of major challenges his entire presidency. This should also be noted. I'm sure the difficulty rating of his presidency is ranked as one of the highest in modern history. I feel for him as a person, but am highly disappointed in his interpersonal skills and his lack of grace in dealing with foreign governments.

    May 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. BK

    Why didn't you mention that Bill Clinton had a 60% approval rating when he left office. Oh yea I forgot CNN promotes Obama and trashes Clinton. For the last 3 days CNN has had people on for Obama. Larry King had on the lady Flavia she would not even let anyone else talk. She went on and on attacking Clinton. I hope they never let her on CNN again. Then Larry King had Micheal Moore on last night to attack Clinton. Then they put Michelle Obama on and she never answered andything, except to say Obama gave a good race speech. That interview was a waste of time. So who is CNN going to interview today to attack Clinton? Jack Cafferty attacks her everyday. CNN has turned into nothing more than a network for Obama.

    May 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. wwf

    How can it be Obama bias? It is true! Another one leaves the Clinton dynasty!

    May 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. NOLA Lady

    lol.. the only word that came to mind when I saw the headline was.. DUH!

    May 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. madison

    Well, do tell.
    What on earth does anyone think we have been complaining about since this man showed up on the scene!

    May 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Tom

    Yes – Sometimes he is not the sharpest –
    BUT – America has been safe with no attacks during his time

    May 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Andy Stein

    Wow, who could have had the foresight to see this guy would go down in history as one of the worst Presidents of modern times? ... Oh yeah, a lot of people. And somehow, we managed to re-elect this jerk. Maybe we got what we deserved.

    May 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Rob in Canada

    ...and yet, this is his second term.

    May 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. An American

    Mission Accomplished

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Larry B

    My question has always been: Who are the idiots that still support this guy? Their so-called patriotism is condemning this country to eventual self destruction.

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. Billy G in Las Vegas

    a 71% public disapprove? gee, I wonder why?

    my question is, who are these "29%" people that approve of this complete disaster of a President? must be Wall Street Bankers, Hedge Fund Managers and Corporate Executives doing business with Communist China.

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Darv Jemming

    Those 28% must have their heads in the Sand!

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. rose elkins

    Popularity is costly, more so than unpopularity. Give me a president who is willing to be unpopular with the liberals and I will know he is on the right track.

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. hrp

    So where the hell were the 71% who now disapprove of him when it mattered? Like last election. He didn't get my vote in 2000 or 2004 but I've paid the price of this presidency because most of you 'disapproovers' didn't seem to know what I knew without a doubt 7 1/2 years ago. Bush will always be bad news.

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Larry, GA

    Sorry, America! I willingly voted for this man in 2004. Please forgive me.

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. why

    why are you people talking about obama and clinton and the article is about G Bush?

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Ilene

    Duh...just shows that my opinion of my fellow Americans is that people are not good judges of character. Proof....look at all the people that are voting for Hillary. All those people that voted for Bush need to have their voting rights stripped.

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Mike from Westchester

    The war, the economy, the deficit, foreign policy, energy policy, the environment, global warming, the rich got richer and everyone else got the shaft.

    Alienated our allies, emboldened our enemys, and everytime he opens his mouth on the world stage, most Americans (and much of the rest of the world) cringe.

    How is it possible we elected him twice? (Hey, it wasn't me!)

    Let's not get fooled again and make a decision based on "who we would rather have a beer with", windsurfing, swift boat campaigns, or flag pins. I have lots of wonderful beer buddies – but they shouldn't be in the White House, unless they're taking a tour.

    Please vote for vision, intellegence, integrity, and judgment.

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Terry K

    It took eight years and two terms for the people in this country to find this out? I don't know who's dumber, Bush or the American people.........

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. frank O

    The bigger and most scary question is: who are the 28% who approve W? They are amongst us, probably split as McCain and Hillary supporters.

    May 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. Scott Glenn, Wa

    As soon as Obama is elected to office America will finally see and be a part of actually accomplishing some missions.

    May 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. dave

    s mick

    let me have some of what you are smoking

    May 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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