46 days left, Bush approval ratings climb
Andrew McLemore
Published: Saturday December 6, 2008

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After dismal approval ratings for more than a year, some Americans are finally cutting President Bush some slack.

The approval rating of Bush jumped to 28 percent and is expected to continue increasing during the president's final weeks in office.

That's only a 4 percent increase from the 43rd president's record low of 24 percent, but pollsters predict Bush will enjoy renewed support that is common for outgoing presidents.

"The last three presidents, and four of the last five who departed at the end of a term, saw significant rises in their ratings. Some of these increases were evident beginning with the first poll conducted after the election," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones writes.

The Gallup polling service has found that Americans tend to warm up to presidents between Election Day and the inauguration of their successor.

"Of the eight post-World War II presidents who left office after serving two terms, declining to seek an additional term or being defeated for reelection, six saw increased job approval ratings in their final two-plus months in office," according to Gallup.

One of the most significant increases in public support was for Bush's own father.

Only 34 percent of Americans surveyed approved of the job that the 41st president was doing in October 1992, shortly before Bill Clinton defeated him.

But when Bush, Sr. stood in the cold on the Capitol front steps as Clinton was inaugurated, his approval leaped to 56 percent, "a remarkable increase of 22 percentage points."

It remains to be seen if Bush can receive the same spike in approval that his father did, when the 43rd president stands on the same steps with President-elect Barack Obama.