George W. Bush's Legacy Is Anything But Toxic To Republican Voters

Most GOP voters say the former president kept the country safe -- and quite a few would be willing to vote for him again.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush's debate-night defense of his brother George W. Bush's presidential legacy -- "He kept us safe" -- drew a round of applause from the audience last week, followed by waves of derision from Democrats pointing to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Most GOP voters, like the debate audience, are on the Bushes' side, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Eighty percent of Republican voters surveyed say they approve of George W. Bush's tenure as president.

Their feelings toward Bush don't quite match their admiration for Ronald Reagan -- just 29 percent "strongly approve," while 51 percent approve only somewhat. But 85 percent say that Bush did a "good" or "excellent" job of keeping the nation safe. Voters as a whole are less impressed, with the majority of Democrats and independents disapproving of his legacy.

Huffington Post

GOP voters also say by a 4-point margin, 43 percent to 39 percent, that they'd vote for George W. Bush again in 2016 if he were eligible for a third term.

Huffington Post

The member of the Bush family who's actually running for president this year, meanwhile, is drawing on average less than 9 percent in the polls, and is viewed unfavorably by nearly 40 percent of his party, many of whom see him as being too moderate.

Just 9 percent of Republican voters say Jeb Bush would do a better job as president than his brother. Thirty percent say he'd be about the same, while 34 percent say he'd be worse, with the remainder unsure.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Sept. 19-20 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls' methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov's reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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