Fifty-one percent of Democrats have a favorable view of former President George W. Bush, a surprising new Economist/YouGov poll has found. Among people who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, 54 percent have a favorable view of America's 43rd president.
Last week, Bush spoke out against "discourse degraded by casual cruelty" in a speech many interpreted to be a thinly-veiled knock on President Trump. A spokesman for Bush denied that the president was the target of the speech.
Still, liberals overall have a much rosier opinion of Bush now than they had eight years ago. Gallup found that in January 2009, a mere 6 percent of Democrats approved of Bush. As Paul Waldman writes for The Week: "[T]his story also demonstrates … that you can be a decent person, which Bush certainly is — friendly, engaging, even kind — and do terribly indecent things, like lie repeatedly to the public to get them to support a disastrous war that winds up killing thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for no good reason."
Among Republicans surveyed by The Economist/YouGov, 76 percent had a favorable view of Bush while 64 percent of people who voted for Trump had the same opinion. The poll reached 1,500 American adults between Oct. 22-24. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent.