Opinion: With only 46 days left, Americans start re-liking George W. Bush


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It makes sense if you think about it. But who’s investing a lot of thought nowadays in President George W. Bush?

Not many. But the folks over at the Gallup Poll have found historically that American voters tend to start re-liking their outgoing presidents -- even after dumping them -- once the end of their term is in sight.


As The Ticket reported here (with a photo) yesterday, the Bushes have already purchased a home in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of north Dallas.

Bush has set a recent record for unpopularity with a favorability rating of only 24%.

Now, with less than seven weeks to go until Barack Obama’s inauguration out of Bush’s 416 weeks in office, his popularity has jumped to 28%. Still not that great.

But it’ll probably go higher before he stands in the cold in front of the Capitol late on the morning of Jan. 20 and watches someone else take over the burdens of office.

‘It is common for presidents who are about to leave the White House to receive a bump in their job approval ratings between election day and Inauguration Day,’’ Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones writes.

‘Of the eight post-World War II presidents who left office after serving two terms, declining to seek an additional term or being defeated for reelection, six saw increased job approval ratings in their final two-plus months in office.’

The last three presidents and four of the last five saw significant rises in their ratings, sometimes starting with the very first poll conducted after the election.


When in late October of 1992 Bush’s father first realized he was certainly going to lose to Bill Clinton the next month, Bush’s approval rating was 34%. Right after the election rejection, his approval jumped to 43% and ended at 56% when he stood in the cold on those same Capitol front steps. Small consolation perhaps, but interesting.

Our good friend Mark Silva has some more historical lame-duck numbers over here in the Swamp.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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