Politics & Policy

New Poll Finds George W. Bush More Popular Than Obama

President Bush in 2002. (Mike Theiler/AFP/Getty)

According to a new poll released on Wednesday, President George W. Bush is viewed in a positive light for the first time in over a decade.

52 percent of those polled by CNN/ORC from May 29-31 view the 43rd president favorably versus forty-nine percent who still view him unfavorably. President Obama doesn’t fare as well as Bush: His favorable and unfavorable are each at 49 percent.

The survey provides polling on Bush’s favorability from CNN, USA Today, and Gallup dating back to 1999, and finds that this is his highest favorable rating since shortly after he won a second term in the White House in 2004.

When asked about their opinion on living Presidents, Americans overwhelming approve of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, both of whom garnered a 64 percent favorability rating. President Jimmy Carter came in third with 56 percent favorability, followed by George W. Bush and Obama.

This is quite a turnaround for the younger Bush, who had a mere 33 percent favorability rating shortly after he left office in 2009.

This is quite a turnaround for the younger Bush, who had a mere 33 percent favorability rating shortly after he left office in 2009. After taking a break from the limelight, Bush has become more active in recent years. In May 2013, the George W. Bush Library and Museum opened in Dallas, Texas, where Bush has been a visible local presence. Last November, he released 41: A Portrait of My Father which became a New York Times best seller.

Although he hasn’t formally announced yet, Bush’s brother, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, is expected to join the growing field of Republicans running for president later this summer. In recent weeks, the 43rd president hasn’t been shy about expressing support for his brother’s ambitions. “I hope Jeb runs,” Bush said to CNN. “I think he would be a great president. I have no clue what’s on his mind and we will talk when he’s ready. I noticed he’s moving around the country quite a bit.”

#related#Some view the close connection the Bush brothers have as something that could damage Jeb Bush’s presidential prospects, but this new poll might prove the opposite. While Jeb will undoubtedly face some difficulty in forging his own path out of his family’s shadow, his proximity to two presidents viewed positively by the majority of the public could end up helping his campaign if he runs.

— Julia Porterfield is an intern at National Review, editor-in-chief of Red Millennial, and a junior at Regent University.

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