Bush gets low marks in poll as he prepares exit





President George W. Bush leaves office next week with no evidence that public opinion toward him is softening during his final days in power, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

When asked about Bush's performance over the last eight years, 22 percent of Americans said they approved. That matched Bush's job-approval rating for much of last fall, the lowest marks of his presidency. Seventy-three percent disapproved of his performance in the new poll, slightly higher than the highest figure he registered - in October - over the course of his two terms.

In contrast, Bush's four predecessors left office with approval ratings ranging from 68 percent for both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, to 54 percent for George H.W. Bush. Jimmy Carter had a 44 percent approval rating upon his departure from office.

Still, not only do Americans disapprove of the overall job Bush has done, but record numbers have an unfavorable opinion of him personally. Six in 10 of those surveyed said they view Bush negatively, while just about one-quarter view him favorably. Americans' historic negative assessment of the administration is not limited to the President - Vice President Dick Cheney's approval rating in the new poll is 13 percent, the lowest of his time in office.



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