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)
  1. don'tcarewhospresident

    Listen, it doesn't matter if you are a Dem or Rep its just that he has been the worst man on this planet since Jimmy Carter as far as Presidents. Bush lied from his first day in the office. He bought us humiliation over Katrina, wars in AFG. Iraq for his dad, not because of WMD's. He has drug us into everything that was bad for America but great for his pockets. HE killed all of the US publics retirement. I along with other lost our lives' investment from him. His List will never even compare to Carter even, because Carter at least tried to restore peace around the world. BUSH lined his pockets and every wealthy American, middle easterner , etc and has ruined my life financially and most Americans. I vote for who might change the world , because the US rules the world or so we think. Lets see how bad Osama destroy whatever government we have left. Ross Perrot could have done better than all of these presidents.

    June 11, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. ffnordle

    Miss you? Not yet.

    June 11, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. mim

    Hell no. I miss you like I miss rug burn.

    June 11, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. Chooch0253

    must have polled a bunch of dead people because those would be the only people brain dead enough to think Bush was anything but a toad.

    June 11, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. NameFreedom1

    President Bush wasn't the greatest President but history will tell he was much better   in office than President Obama. President Obama has the media in his pocket not mentioning which one wink wink. This 2nd term is revealing who President Obama really is and all we have to is sit back and wait and say told u so and reunite America all party's aside a United America.

    June 11, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. Organic1

    Bush was one of the very worse leaders ever released on this Earth. How can anyone with half a brain functioning think otherwise. He stole the first election and robbed us of sons and daughters all while taking the economy into the septic tank for a good rinse. I hope he burns forever in hell.

    June 11, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  7. Born in the USA

    Let's see Bush vs Obama, hmmm I'll take Bush, country no worse and country no better...

    June 11, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. Nameboo

    Proof again........we vote for who we are.......that alone is scary enough!

    June 11, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. david esmay

    What this means is that more Americans have the memory of an iguana.

    June 11, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Muhammad Haque

    Yeah! His term was better than Obama's term in any sense. Economy is worst in first term of Obama and second term as well.

    June 11, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Biff Omney

    Let the revisionist history begin...

    June 11, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. Lauradet

    "Miss you yet???" What with a SHOE?

    June 11, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. Mr Pheer

    I dont like Bush or Obama. Two sides of the same coin.

    June 11, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. CE

    about damn time people realize what is happening under our noses....

    June 11, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Are you kidding me? Bush belongs in prison for his war crimes . And also for bankrupting this country.

    June 11, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Rose Tyner

    Hee, hee! It didn't take long and it is going to get WORSE, thanks to dems/libs. Happy trails to you... until we meet again...

    June 11, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Bobby

    President Bush was the right man at the right time. What we have now is a country on the brink in so many ways and while we can all be critical of President Obama because he is the guy in office today, the real issue is and always has been ourselves. What kind of country do we want? That of our grandparents when hard work and honesty meant something or what we are quickly becoming. We need a leader like Ronald Reagan to step onto the scene and remind us who we are, what we can still be and which way to start walking.

    June 11, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. Robin Bray

    When you have no news you invent a poll. This is known as pseudo-news. Perhaps some real news should be reported. But it seems the media has been warned off the FBI killing in Miami and CNN is towing the line.without a peep on this FBI of an innocent man.

    June 11, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. Susan

    OMG you have GOT to be KIDDING me.............................

    Here's absolute proof that CNN has descended/devolved into the depths of TABLOID idiocy.............

    There's simply nothing else to be said here...


    June 11, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. Peter

    Two wars...one based on a total lie. Took 3 days longer to get help to New Orleans than Obama got help to Japan. Tried to nominate his family lawyer to the US Supreme Court. Totally ignored Clinton's intelligence on Bin Laden and allowed 9/11 to happen. Completely destroyed the world economy. What's not to love?

    June 11, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Too_Tall

    Bush wasn't perfect, but he was a confident and respectful American-values LEADER. Obama points fingers, pits Americans against Americans, devalues American tradition, plays the blame-game and slings mud. He does all he can to reward his supporters and all he can to destroy his political opponents regardless of whether it's best for our country. That stuff catches up to you. That's not leadership.

    June 11, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. chiva2k

    George W. Bush Worst precident Ever!!..

    June 11, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. Delos

    This is a Gallop poll about as much crediability as the man this story is about.

    June 11, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. Darthdemona

    Before we start getting all nostalgic, let's keep in mind that a lot of the problems that plague us today are the direct result of the Bush Administration. For example, this NSA monitoring that everyone is (rightfully) so upset about has been going on for seven years, which means it began under Bush. Am I disappointed that Obama hasn't put a stop to it? Absolutely, but let's remember to put the blame for starting it squarely where it belongs–on Bush's shoulders.

    June 11, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  25. Lou50

    well 50.6% of the American voters have a serious problem with making a responsible choice. The country is in serious trouble till that problem is fixed!

    June 11, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
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