Voters Say Carter Is Best of Living Ex-Presidents
For nearly one-out-of-three voters (32%), Jimmy Carter is the living ex-president who has done the best job since leaving the White House, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Carter, who served in the White House from 1977 to 1981, ranks first among the four surviving presidents. George W. Bush, who has only been out of office seven months, comes in last with nine percent (9%) support.
Bill Clinton, president from 1993 to 2001, made headlines again last week when he successfully brought two imprisoned U.S. women reporters home from North Korea. He is viewed by 29% as the ex-president who has performed best since stepping down as chief executive.
Twenty-two percent (22%) say that of George H.W. Bush, who was Ronald Reagan’s vice president and then went on to serve in the White House from 1989 to 1993.
Democrats are much more supportive of the presidents from their party than Republicans are, although Clinton is the favorite of Democratic voters over Carter by a 48% to 41% margin. The two GOP presidents get single-digit support.
Among Republicans, 35% rate the first President Bush as best, while 20% feel that way about his son. But 22% like Carter best and 13% favor Clinton.
Voters not affiliated with either party rank the ex-presidents as follows: Carter (33%), George H.W. Bush (28%), Clinton (21%) and George W. Bush (4%).
Carter, who had a troubled presidency but won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, was also the most popular of the living ex-presidents when Americans where asked in July 2007 to rate the nation’s chief executives since World War II.
Right before last August’s Democratic National Convention, 53% of Democratic voters had a Very Favorable view of Carter versus only seven percent (7%) who said their view of him was Very Unfavorable.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of all voters nationwide now have a favorable opinion of Clinton, while 40% view him unfavorably.
In the July 2007 survey, 55% of Americans had a favorable view of Clinton, while 57% gave favorable marks to the first President Bush.
Just before he left office in January, 57% of Americans said George W. Bush was one of the five worst presidents in U.S. history. Just six percent (6%) said he was one of the five best, and 34% placed him somewhere in between.
Most Americans (54%) still blame the recession that began under Bush for the nation’s economic woes, but 39% now say the policies of President Obama are to blame.