June 11th, 2013
04:56 PM ET
10 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.

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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)

    BAHAHAHA. The only thing I miss about this half retarded dunce was the late night comedy he created simply from opening that uneducated ignorant chasm in the middle of his face.

    June 11, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. jon

    Bush did nothing his 2nd term except go on vacation, sat back and laughed...

    June 11, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Keith

    Oh how stupid people can be.

    June 11, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    My feelings about Bush Jr. haven't improved, but I do respect his dad's presidency more as the years go on. People forget that California voted for Bush, not Dukakis in '88. The Republicans still had moderates back then. Even Reagan couldn't get nominated now.

    June 11, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. bankrupt1

    well...he's cute. but remember what mom said...cute boys get into more trouble. i think she is right.

    June 11, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Plantiful

    He is still as worthless retired as when he was president. He is probably liked more since he is getting fewer Americans killed. He killed more Americans in that antagonistic war in Iraq than were killed in the original attacks in September.

    He helped in destroying our economy from which recovery will be at least a decade, inflated the budgets, helped to destroy what's left of our public education system, .... What's there to like? The man is a wanted war criminal by the World Court!

    June 11, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. So...

    Nope – not missing him at all.

    June 11, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. Zane

    Mark Twain once said, "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics."

    This Gallup poll is a prime example of the latter.

    June 11, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. bankrupt1

    seriously...these bogus polls from front orgs are just stupid.

    June 11, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. gb0432

    the active rewrite of history that the Right has been engaging in is working.

    June 11, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. me

    I like bush

    June 11, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. GQ

    Really! G. W. Bush should not lose his sleep thinking we have forgotten.

    June 11, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. Brohamulus

    Bush was the worst president of all times, of all times. He's a blithering moron, he shouldn't be allowed to sport a Yale hat.

    June 11, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. FixedNewsDangerous

    Proof that Americans really do suffer from amnesia.

    June 11, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Billy Boy

    Just another case of how screwed up our nation is. Out of sight, out of mind and forgiven. Bush left this country is such a shamble that not only will the present President be able to fix it, but it will take another 8-12 years to fix. This is a another sad day in American.

    June 11, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  16. Suzi Lane

    "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." —Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002. (So, somehow I seriously doubt this!)

    June 11, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. Asanga

    I like him very much!!

    June 11, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. dina

    As leader of the "pro-life party, he was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands. He also threw away up to 6 trillion of our taxpayer dollars in the Middle East. He got almost nothing accomplished except for ruining the economy and destroying the middle class. Yay, Bush.

    June 11, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. Lagos

    So basically, people are seeing him as the overall mediocre president that he was, with a lot of good and a lot of bad after the Messiah turned out to be a socially liberal Bush.

    June 11, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. pearls61

    Americans have short memories... proof.

    June 11, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. alpeaston

    I avoided watching TV News during his entire presidency so I would not have to see his dimwitted face. Why are we still being subjected to him? Obama on his very worst days is still light years ahead of Bush on his best days. He's a lying, dishonorable, cretin who should not have been elected to dog catcher let alone POTUS! I'll be happy the day he dies since he will finally, finally pay for the murder of each soldier who gave up their lives in his illegal wars!

    June 11, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Arick

    Obama being bad does not make Bush good. They are both terrible.

    June 11, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Juan in El Paso

    Bet Obama enjoyed seeing this headline, but I don't think he read the story.

    June 11, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. bankrupt1

    the baseball picture and happy face one are nice. him and laura both look like crap in the other one. i like the dancing one too. and kissing the king guy is pretty funny too.

    June 11, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. Alyssa

    Miss Bush? Hahahahaha!!!!! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 11, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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