A new Morning Consult poll found that 57 percent of registered Republicans believe former President George W. Bush kept the country safe.
By contrast, just 19 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of independents believe Bush’s policies kept the U.S. safe. The overall numbers show that voters are divided on the question.
Donald Trump criticized the former president in Saturday’s debate for not protecting the country during his time in office. Trump’s scrutiny comes as Bush has reentered the campaign trail to support his brother, Jeb Bush, in his presidential hopes.
The results of the poll show that over 34 percent of people thought Bush kept the country safe, while 35 percent said he did not.
The poll then measured how support for Bush was distributed among fans of four Republican candidates. The poll asked Trump, [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore], [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] and Ben Carson supporters whether they believed Bush’s policies kept the country safe.
The responses showed that the percentage of Trump supporters who said the country was safe under Bush’s presidency was significantly lower than the percent who said the country was safe under Bush, and supported Rubio, Cruz or Carson.
Twenty-two percent of Trump respondents said the country was less safe under Bush while just 6 percent of Rubio supporters, 8 percent of Cruz supporters and 10 percent of Carson supporters said the same.
Trump supporters’ responses echo statements that Trump made in the last Republican debate where he said, “The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush.” Trump claimed Bush, “didn’t listen to the advice of his CIA.”
The poll also asked respondents if they would be more or less likely to support Jeb Bush if his brother served as a “close and trusted advisor.” The majority of respondents stated that this would have no impact on their support for Jeb.
However, when distributed among candidates, 27 percent of Trump supporters said they would be less likely to support Jeb if his brother was a “close and trusted advisor.”
Other candidates’ supporters did not care about the former president’s roll as much: 20 percent of Rubio supporters, 16 percent of Cruz supporters and 14 percent of Carson supporters said they would be less likely to vote for Jeb if Bush was an adviser.
Overall, Trump enthusiasts were far less supportive of George Bush’s past policies and his influence over Jeb, than supporters of other candidates.
The survey, which was conducted by Morning Consult on Monday and Tuesday, polled 1,763 registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.