George W. Bush Viewed More Favorably Than Mitt Romney
According to a new poll, former President George W. Bush is now viewed more favorably than Mitt Romney:
For all the talk about whether Mitt Romney should distance himself from George W. Bush -and the policies of the last GOP White House — a new survey showsthat the former president actually has better favorability ratings than the Republican nominee.
A Bloomberg News National Poll released Wednesday has Bush receiving a favorable rating from 46 percent of those surveyed and an unfavorable rating from 49 percent. That’s compared to Romney’s 43 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable.
Bush also fared better than Vice President Joe Biden (42 percent favorable, 45 percent unfavorable) and the Republican Party as a whole (41 percent favorable, 46 percent unfavorable).
The survey shows first and foremost that Romney is struggling in his effort to unseat President Barack Obama — a fact highlighted by several other polls conducted ahead of the first presidential debate next Wednesday.
But it also shows how Bush — following the trend of other former presidents — has seen his popularity improve since leaving the White House, when his favorable numbers in some surveys hovered around the mid-30s.
Partly, this is a reflection of the fact that Bush is getting the benefit of the same “absence makes the heart grow fonder” effect we see with the popularity of former Presidents. The longer they are out of the public eye, the more the public tends to have a slightly different view of a former President, even one who left office with historically low popularity ratings like Bush did in 2009. Combine that with the fact that, unlike Romney, Bush isn’t constantly in the public eye. Still, it also says a lot about Romney’s likability problem.