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. An American

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

    Really, did you forget about 9/11?

    May 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Xanadude of Velen

    I can't believe he has any approval rating at all.

    May 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. kathy


    May 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Think America

    Take a look at the end result of what fear tactics will do. Most people knew he had done a poor job by 2004, and they voted for him anyway. Way to go America, just keep repeating stupid mistakes until....well until you have to pay $4.00 a gallon for gas. What's the next stupid mistake you can make–oh, I know vote in John McSame, then we can pay $8.00 a gallon for gas to keep three wars going.

    Brilliant move.

    Bush owes every family that lost a love one an apology. Those brave men and women gave up their lives for this nutcase. He should be ashamed of himself. What an idiot.

    May 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Allan

    I wonder why after all he has done for this country.
    1. Invaded 2 countries that were no threat to us.
    2.Took us from paying down the national debt to more that doubling it.
    3 .Made us the most hated country in the world
    4. Gas prices, which he said he would hold down with his conections, are now highest in history and going up.
    5. If he had lied about sex he would be impeached. Instead he and his "cronies" should be tried for war crimes.
    6. I could go on and on but you know the rest.

    May 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Carrie

    Bush has said that history will vindicate him, but he's no more correct on that then he has been on anything else.

    His administration has destroyed much of the evidence, so we may never know just how bad of a presidency his was and how much his administration broke the law, but his legacy will be one of absolute failure.

    May 1, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Bobby

    Jeremiah Wright can't come close to the damage this man has done. He was given free reign to destroy the country and squander our good will and reputation abroad. This is why the republicans are trying to keep us distracted from talking about real issues this time. They can't win on real issues so they're manufacturing silly ones to keep us less focused.

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Danny

    A proud moment for the country and the Presidency... I'm so sorry America that I actually voted for Bush the first time and gave him a leg up. I'm at least partially responsible for this arrogant, cupable, unconscionable, buffoon's ascent to the White House and subsequent destruction of everything from peoples' (our Military and Afghan and Iraqi civilians and members of the few allies we have left) lives to the economy. Bush isolationism applies equally to his country-people as well as to the people of the world, if you don't agree with him, he does everything in his power to isolate and/or ostracize you and your message. I'm sorry America!

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Steveinaz

    These polls are not as accurate as some might think. Democrats are typically more politically active than republicans and thus willing to answer questions from a polling person who calls them at home. Republicans typically are not as politically active, thus the term conservative, as democrates and would probly hang up on a person who calls them at home to participate in a poll. This is why there are always suprises during presedential elections, ecause republicans are not so active during the primary portion of elections. They come out during the final elections. This is a problem for republicans, which need to get more active in politics. If it were not for Iraq Bush would probly do better in these polls, but since democrats are typically against any kind of war the poll shows much lower rating for Bush.

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. John W., Milwaukee, WI

    We have a long history – some 200 years+ – of electiing some of the most idiotic, not qualified for dog-catcher people to the highest office in our country... and, so we are surprised that the village idiot from TX is yet another one?

    Wait until Michelle & Barack hit the White House!

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. dave

    tom- did you forget about 9/11

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Chris in NH

    I sincerely hope that NO ONE is surprised. The man has driven this country to the brink of disaster. "Our long national nightmare" will end on 1/20/2009.

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Af.

    Tom... he was in office during September 11th. What the hell are you talking about?

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Nathan,

    He's also the dumbest.

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Rick

    Osama Bin Laden’s Legacy:

    The final death toll of the attack upon the World Trade Centre on September 11th, 2001……2,752

    George W. Bush’s Legacy:

    There have been 4,366 coalition deaths - 4,058 Americans in Iraq War

    Draw Your Own Conclusions.

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. Herman in LA


    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. pj4521

    The best thing w could do to boost his approval rating is DIE! It would be a double boost if he took cheney with him.

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Ranger7

    IT'S TIME TO RESIGN!! ...His lies are catching him!!'s time to pay your dues BUSH!!!

    May 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Dianne

    I wonder if he really cares what people think? He's been dancing and directing orchestras while most of America is struggling with high gas and food pricing. Seems like a definite "I don't care" attitude to me!

    May 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Well ........DUH.... what else is new? Bush has bankrupted our nation, killed thousands of innocent Iraqis, AND thousands of our own young people in this insane war with Iraq! That is and will be his legacy the war with Iraq in which thousand of our troops died in vain. The Iraqi people never asked for us to liberate them, did not ask for democracy, Bush and his cronies want the OIL and so that's why our national debt has soared to $10 TRILLION AND COUNTING!

    How can anyone vote for Hillary or McCain when they VOTED FOR THE WAR???????????? How does this make any sense?

    Both Hillary and McCain showed us their LACK of judgement and their LACK of wisdom!

    People claim that Sen. Obama's staying with the church in Chicago shows a lack of judgement........ BUT REALLY ITS Hillary and McCain whose LACK OF JUDGEMENT has COST us LIVES and the debt we are drowning in!

    Please Indiana and North Carolina...... put an end to this madness! VOTE OBAMA!

    May 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. K. S. Minneapolis,MN

    I guess that bumper sticker was right. "Somewhere in Texas there's a village missing it's idiot"! What a "Bush league" presidency. Uuugghh!!

    May 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Kevin

    All right... Due to morbid curiosity, I had to try googling "worst ever" after that one comment... Sure enough!

    I would laugh more about it did I not languish the current state of our country or regret the fact that I elected him... twice. I probably didn't have good judgment in 2002, either, if you take my meaning.

    May 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. Griff

    George Bush Jnr!!! You're My Hero....

    May 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. katharine ryan New York New York

    well, I personally think he is great, a really brave guy who got a very raw deal right away in his Presidency. I think the public is shallow, forgetful, and ungrateful. He did the best he good.

    May 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. Lee Dill

    What a frackin' moron!!! Let's have the election ASAP, so we can rid of this IDIOT. – Lee Dill, Constellation Eergy

    May 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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