George W. Bush’s favorable rating lowest of any living president, poll shows

President George W. Bush had a low favorable rating when he left office, and he's still not popular, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday. In fact, he's the only living president with a favorable rating that's under 50 percent.

The polls shows that 43% of people questioned had a favorable opinion of Bush, with 54% saying they had an unfavorable view. That's the same favorable rating Bush had in 2010 in CNN polling, but it is up from his mid-30's favorable rating during 2009.

How might this play out in this year's presidential election? "Don't be surprised if the Obama campaign mentions the name of George W. Bush at every opportunity, and don't be surprised if that strategy works," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

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When respondents were asked whether they are better or worse off than they were four years ago, they split, 44 percent to 43 percent. But when asked if they are better or worse off than they were "when Bush was president," 47 percent say they are better off compared to 41 percent who say they are worse off, the poll found.

Here's how the other living president's stack up: Bill Clinton, a 66 percent favorable rating and a 31 percent unfavorable; George H.W. Bush, a 59 percent favorable rating and 34 percent unfavorable; and Jimmy Carter, 54 percent favorable and 30 percent unfavorable.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone from May 29-31. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.