It's been six years since he left the nation's highest office with two Middle East wars, a slumping economy and dismal approval ratings as his legacy. But perhaps absence really does make the heart grow fonder — George W. Bush polled more favorably than President Obama in a new CNN/ORC poll, marking the first time in slightly over a decade that Americans view the former president favorably.
The CNN/ORC poll found that 52 percent of those surveyed expressed a favorable view of Bush, compared with 43 percent who still viewed him unfavorably. Meanwhile, those surveyed were evenly split on President Obama's favorability: 49 percent viewed him favorably and 49 did not.
According to the poll, the 43rd president's favorability went up 11 points among men, 10 points among Republicans and 8 points among suburbanites. He also saw a 10-point increase among those with household incomes under $50,000 and a nine-point increase among adults under age 50.
The last time Bush's favorability was positively polled was in 2005, early in his second term in the Oval Office. When Bush left office in 2009, his approval ratings were some of the lowest of any president's in modern history. Last year, his favorability hovered at 46 percent, noted CNN.
Among living presidents, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton are viewed most favorably at 64 percent each. Jimmy Carter trails behind at 56 percent.
[Cover image via Alex Wong/Getty Images News]