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. memyselfI

    Yeah I totally miss the guy who started all of this crap!

    June 11, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. Coug9

    Amazing how a terrible President currently serving in office makes the last President look that much better!

    June 11, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. TomGI

    This is baloney generated by his reinvention PR firm. Gallup is a tool, credibility = 0.0

    June 11, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Babs29

    Not missing Bush yet....... let you know when I want another wrong war, another Wall Street/financial disaster, another doofus as president.

    June 11, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. Anbesaw

    really!Then I may have a fond memory of Lucifer too!!!!

    June 11, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. Pete from Spotsy

    Ah yes, Galllup. The same unimpeachable source that predicted a Romney victory.

    June 11, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  7. Trombonebiker

    The only people who could like him are people who don't know or understand what he did. He was the single worst president in the history of the USA. Wars and deficits: That was his legacy.

    June 11, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. Willy Nilly

    I have a very good memory and my opinion hasn't changed a whit since Bush left office. As long as I'm alive I'll be helping others to remember too.

    June 11, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  9. sanjosemike

    I think this is funny. The liberal-left media (actually most media) worshipped Obama so much it was actually embarrassing. They did everything they could to get him elected. They sent Obama a message: "You can do anything and we will never complain or investigate you."

    Now they are getting sorry they sent Obama that message.

    But it's too late.


    June 11, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Sam A.

    I think the average American would miss a bout with Syphillis more than we'd miss this meandering catastrophe.

    Stay lost in that sump hole in Texas and please don't ever return.

    June 11, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. steve

    The reason Obama is so popular is because stupid mindless voters and millions of takers need only lip service.

    June 11, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. PDXSerric

    BWahahahaah! Who did they poll, exactly? Starting to remember Bush fondly? The WORST president in history? I think not... this reeks of political profiling for 2016... nothing more...

    June 11, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. Norm

    The best thing about George W. is that he made his decisions based on his values, and his values are generally those of mainstream america. And he in many ways was an ordinary guy who happened to be President. The biggest positive of his Presidency is that he prevented any further terrorist attacks on American soil after 9/11. The biggest negative is that he and his team/his government were so distracted by Iraq that they didn't see the financial crisis coming. People slam him too much. He and his team made mistakes. I am not convinced that those same mistaktes would not have been made by a different team under the same circumstances, for the most part.

    June 11, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. valjan

    I cannot believe it . americans elected that monkey,not once but twice and i think they would elect him again.
    americans are so laughable

    June 11, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. Bill

    No. You took us in to 2-unnessary wars and are responsible for the patriot act.

    Former Conservative republican.

    June 11, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Louisiana

    Warming to Bush? Missing Bush? Absolutely NOT!

    His legacies are War, Debt and the 2008-whenever recession.

    June 11, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. Craig

    Ha, ha, ha. Calculate all the money Bush spent on 2 wars (Iraq & Afghanistan), and then toss in all those lives lost on both sides in both wars...and you won't be missing anything about this guy including all his lies, ruination of the economy, America losing it's AAA credit rating, people losing their houses, bankruptcies, shady deals with insurance companies, that crook Dick Cheney, homophobia, and everything else this guy did that was reflective of where his brain is stuck.....1955. Good ridence to bad rubbish.

    June 11, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. sanjosemike

    This is actually funny. The liberal-left media (actually most media) worshipped Obama so much that it was embarrassing. They sent him a message: "You can do anything you want and we will never criticize or investigate you."

    Now they are sorry. But it's too late


    June 11, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. JT

    The war in the Middle East is the biggest sore spot I have. But Obama has turned out being a bad leader. I wish he would address the nation and explain himself on many of these issues. Maybe he feels like we don't deserve to know anything. Let's see how history remembers Obama's legacy

    June 11, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  20. Denverdriver

    More fond of Bush? Not even close. Bush ought to be hanged as a war criminal for causing the needless deaths of at least a hundred thousand people. He is directly responsible for the chaos that now exists in Iraq and much of the rest of the Middle East.

    June 11, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. Sammy

    Those would be the racist Americans who wouldn't mind a guy with the IQ of a baboon being their president as long as he's white.

    June 11, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. Raymond A. Thompson

    I had forgotten how much I dislike the CNN comment process - my innocuous comment has been 'awaiting moderation' for ninety minutes! Sloppy system - sloppy reporting - sloppy website. It is sad, since CNN was once THE source for news. No longer ...

    June 11, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  23. sumguy

    Really?????? This idiot and his cronies are directly responsible for the mid-guided war on terror (Iraq/Afghanistan still are not stable), turning a budget surplus into the largest deficit ever ( I dont hear anybody sat "deficits don't matter" today), and lets not forget the numerous administration sleaze (Tom Delay, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove). Really?????? Next your gonna warm up to the Fascist's......

    June 11, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  24. Wade stem

    He was the Best and soon you will all see

    June 11, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Joe

    Not a chance! He's cause for all that ails us!

    June 11, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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