The Gallup Poll Shows that Obama’s Favorability Has Dipped Well Below Bush and Carter

PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Americans view all former presidents more positively than negatively

Americans view each of the four former living presidents more positively than negatively, while giving Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush higher favorable ratings than George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. Current President Barack Obama has a net-negative favorable rating.

Americans' Favorable Ratings of Living U.S. Presidents

The younger Bush’s current favorable rating is likely lower than other former presidents’ ratings because his term, marked by job approval ratings well below 40% during his final two years in office, is the freshest in Americans’ minds.

Though Carter left office with similarly poor job approval ratings, his lower favorable ratings today are mostly attributable to one in six Americans not having an opinion of him. That includes 36% of those younger than 30, all of whom were born after Carter left office in 1981. The only other time Gallup measured opinions of Carter with this question format, in 2007, 69% rated him favorably, 27% unfavorably, and 4% had no opinion.

The data are based on a June 5-8, 2014, Gallup poll and represent Americans’ current opinions of the four former living presidents and the current president. The elder Bush recently turned 90, and Carter will do so later this year, making them among the longest living former presidents.

In addition to these personal favorable ratings, Gallup has previously measured Americans’ views of how each president’s term will be judged by history and retrospective job approval ratings of former presidents. Clinton and the elder Bush also fared better than Carter and the younger Bush on those metrics.

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Source: | Jeffrey M. Jones

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