Now that his son is out of office, former President George H. W. Bush’s approval rating has rebounded dramatically, a new Gallup Poll says. The 41st president’s rating soared to 76 percent in 1999, but dropped by 20 percentage points in the later years of George W. Bush’s term. The elder Bush is back up to 64 percent now, in fourth place among nine former chief executives going back to John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy remains in first place, with an 85 percent approval rating, followed by Ronald Reagan (74 percent) and Bill Clinton (69 percent). Following Bush 41 are Gerald Ford (61 percent), Jimmy Carter (52 percent), Lyndon Johnson (49 percent), George W. Bush (47 percent) and Richard Nixon (29 percent).
The 47 percent approval rating is actually a step up for Bush 43, whose last Gallup rating while in office was 34 percent. (Telephone survey of 1,037 adults; MOE +/- 4 percentage points.)