One of these things ain’t like the others:
President Bush’s approval among all Americans: 34%
President Bush’s approval among Independents: 28%
President Bush’s approval among Democrats: 6%
President Bush’s approval among Republicans: 75%
That’s a 41% gap between Republicans and the country as a whole and a 47% gap between Republicans and Independents. That’s astounding–it’s like Republicans are living in a completely different country than the rest of us.
For some historical context, if you compare Bush’s approval rating to all outgoing Presidents since World War II, Bush falls below Carter and just above Truman. In terms of his disapproval ratings, Bush is second only to Richard Nixon.
And, despite the Republican paeans to Ronald Reagan, the most popular outgoing President of the last 65 years was none other than Bill Clinton, with a net approval rating of +37 (Reagan’s was +34).
Conservatives would probably argue that Truman had lower approval ratings and managed to recover historically, but something tells me that Bush’s phenomenally-high disapproval rating will be what keeps him toward the bottom of the pack when it comes to modern presidents.