George W. Bush’s Image Has Been Rehabilitated

Joe Simonson | Media Reporter

Former President George W. Bush has seen a dramatic turnaround in his approval rating since leaving office over 16 years ago with over a majority of the country now viewing him favorably.

Since leaving the White House in 2009, the 43rd President has seen his approval rating nearly double to 61 percent from 33 percent, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. Nearly a majority of all demographic groups, minus some nonwhites and individuals under 35 years old, now view Bush favorably.

With over six in 10 Americans giving Bush the thumbs-up, he now sits just slightly lower in the rankings than Barack Obama, who boasts an approval rating of 66 percent. A 2016 survey showed only 47 percent of Americans approve of Bill Clinton.

Bush’s newly found approval by the American people mostly comes from changes of opinion from self-identified Democrats — jumping up to 54 percent approval after a low of 11 percent in February 2009.

Paradoxically, Republican disapproval has tripled to 21 percent from 7 percent since 2015, arguably in part because of his veiled criticism of President Donald Trump.

CNN conducted the poll through the research firm SSRS on January 14-18 and used a sampling of 1,005 adults reached by landline or cellphone. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.7 percentage points

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