A new Public Policy Poll shows President Obama with a two-point favorability edge over Republican rival . . . George W. Bush.
Americans are now pretty evenly divided about whether they would rather have Barack Obama or George W. Bush in the White House. 48% prefer Obama while 46% say they would rather have the old President back.
Bush had atrocious approval ratings for his final few years in office, particularly because he lost a lot of support from Republicans and conservative leaning independents. Those folks may not have liked him but they now say they would rather have him back than Obama. 87% of GOP voters now say they would prefer Bush, a number a good deal higher than Bush’s approval rating within his party toward the tail end of his Presidency. Democrats predictably go for Obama by an 86/10 margin, and independents lean toward him as well by a 49/37 spread.
As PPP’s Tom Jensen goes on to argue, the relative parity between Obama and Bush suggest it may not be the wisest course of action for the Democrats to make the former president the focus of the fall elections.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, a new Rasmussen poll shows the president in a dead-heat with Ron Paul in a hypothetical 2012 match-up. Obama leads Paul 42-41 overall, but Paul enjoys a whopping 47% to 28% edge among unaffiliated voters.