Past Presidents Predict Future Success? Bill Clinton Crushes George W. Bush In New Poll

Bill Clinton on VRA

A Pew poll examined the popularity of the two former presidents who share last names with current candidates and delivered more bad news for Republicans. Bill Clinton’s popularity remains high while more people have negative than a positive opinion of George W. Bush.

According to Pew:

Of the two most recent past presidents, Bill Clinton remains a more popular figure than George W. Bush. Today, 58% of Americans view Clinton favorably, while 38% have an unfavorable opinion. George W. Bush, by contrast, is viewed more negatively than positively (44% favorable, 52% unfavorable).


In particular, Clinton is now viewed far less favorably by Republicans and Republican leaners than he was in September 2012 (just 28% view him favorably today, down from 43%). And while about eight-in-ten (81%) Democrats and Democratic leaners view the former Democratic president favorably today, his ratings among Democrats were slightly better (88% favorable) in September 2012. George W. Bush’s ratings have been relatively stable since early 2011. Currently, nearly three-quarters (73%) of Republicans and Republican leaners, along with just 23% of Democrats and Democratic leaners have positive opinions of the former GOP president.

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush won’t be on the ballot next year, but the poll illustrates the value of a last name. If we consider the last name to be a political brand, the Clinton brand is much more popular than the Bush brand. The Bush name has been nothing but a hindrance for Jeb Bush. His recent stumbles over simple questions about the Iraq war are an example of the kind minefield that Bush is going to have to successfully navigate to win the White House.

The decline in Bill Clinton’s approval rating with Republicans can be attributed to the growing rightward partisanship in the Republican Party. The GOP is becoming more insular. Anything or anyone who is a Democrat is likely to be rejected

Bill Clinton should be a strong surrogate for his wife during the 2016 race while an appearance by George W. Bush could doom his brother’s candidacy with the general electorate. Republicans have been claiming for years that eventually the public would appreciate W. It hasn’t happened.

The memories of Bush’s lies about the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, and the Great Recession remain strong with most Americans. Jeb Bush is going to be carrying around his W. baggage for the entire campaign. Hillary Clinton has demonstrated that she is her own candidate while Jeb Bush continues to struggle with his family name.

A famous last name won’t get a candidate elected, but this poll suggests that negative memories can slow a candidate down.

27 Replies to “Past Presidents Predict Future Success? Bill Clinton Crushes George W. Bush In New Poll”

  1. Well what did the former Presidents do after leaving office?

    Clinton- worked towards positive results in the Public Sphere.

    Carter- spokesman for Habitat for Humanity.

    Reagan- got his payoff from the Japanese.

    H.W.- Bu$h- teamed with Clinton for Tsunami relief, and then helped his kids get elected.

    W. Bu$h- becomes an ‘artist’.

    Such accomplishments.

  2. This is just…LOL, I’m trying to write…LOL, but I’m laughing so…LOL hard I can’t see the keys, LOL, I’m sorry… give me a minute…LOL…

  3. I’m sure no one is surprised by this. Some might have hoped for a better outcome. Maybe in another 7 or 8 years. (NOT)

  4. “In particular, Clinton is now viewed far less favorably by Republicans and Republican leaners than he was in September 2012 (just 28% view him favorably today, down from 43%)”

    Among Rs he went from 43% favorable to 28 since September 2012, around the time they realized his wife was BENGHAZI likely running for President.

    They have Benghazi/Hillary tourettes.

  5. When Bill left office his polls were almost 70. I think around 67% favorable.

    When shrub left his polls were 34%

    Clinton was torn apart by those bastards but the country loved them their big dawg anyways.

  6. Another funny thing happened when Bill left office. His staff were pranksters and despised Bush so they took the letter W from 100 keyboards. :-)

    They also hid porn in lots scattered places.

  7. Naw, the country loved that prosperity and when Gore picked LIE-berman and run away from his record the writing was on the wall. I hope Sec. Clinton or whoever the nominee is don’t make the same mistake

  8. Defacing the White House, leaving porn around as you leave? That’s a prank? That’s those funny kids who tear up their high school and cause thousands in damage. “JUST A SENIOR PRANK.” Embarrassing.
    Another funny thing happened when Bill left office. he began to hang around with a convicted pedophile and took trips to his private island retreat stacked with underage girls. Yeah, he’s a “dawg” all right.

  9. Robert, Please leave. I don’t like you. Dj doesn’t like you. Go away. Brietbart will welcome you. If I met you on the street, I would tell you face to face but I won’t so go away. PLEASE!

  10. Naw , even though I despise him for his ignorance he doesn’t have to leave just yet. He provides comedic relief with his idiocy

  11. The Clintons didn’t do it. The reports of expensive damage was false. It was a minor prank by a couple of young staff after everyone left.

    Nobody died like in Iraq from BUSH pranks.

    They left pages torn from porn magazines of nekkid people. Not dead people.

  12. Not sure what part you disagree with. What is Naw for?

    Gore screwed up not calling for Bill to help, no doubt. I volunteered a little for his campaign but there was no enthusiasm for Gore.

    We loved Bill, still do. He was a big perk in 08 when he came out on the trail in 07.

    He had us laughing in the crowds. Fun.

    Lieberman and McCain made a nice couple…

  13. Bill has said since the day he met Hillary that she would make a better leader than he is. He often said it when he was in Arkansas, and always had to add, I am truly not saying it because she is my wife, or to pander to women voters. Hillary is just that good. Better than I am. – type things he always said.

    But he will make a wonderful FLOTUS.

  14. You need to dig deeper than just your right-wing “sources” for “news”. So I’ll let The New York Times educate you:

    “Accounts that departing Clinton administration officials destroyed office equipment and committed other acts of vandalism in the White House during the presidential transition were significantly overblown, a manager at the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said today.

    “The General Services Administration … found nothing unusual about the condition of White House offices after Clinton officials left, and Bush staff members said they had no records that indicated damage or subsequent repair work, the G.A.O. official said.”

    WRT your sleazy guilt by association innuendo, you know that Stephen Hawking & THREE NOBEL PRIZE winners also were on the island.

  15. Yep, that’s what the official reports said. It was widely covered at the time and Bush said it wasn’t a big deal. Robert is just pushing propaganda lurid not true sex stories because he is a troll for the GOP.

    “At the time, Clinton officials admitted to pranks — like removing the ”W” from computer keyboards — but denied causing major damage.”

    A couple pictures and some missing Ws

    I loved that his memos were going to be signed George Bush without the W, just like his dear old dad.

    It was a funny prank at the time. I laughed my head off, if I recall.

  16. What about the furniture that was stolen and silverware? Some was returned because we demanded it but some was not. THATS NOT A SIGN OF ANY DIGNITY. PHEWWW LOW CLASS CLINTONS

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