Bush and Public Opinion

  • December 18, 2008

As George W. Bush prepares to leave the White House, the United States is in many ways dramatically different from when he took the oath of office in 2001. His first few months as president were largely unremarkable, despite the contentious 2000 election. But the horrific terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 greatly altered the course forward.

The attacks transformed American public opinion and fundamentally reshaped Bush's image. His job approval rating reached 86% by late September, according to the Pew Research Center. The public expressed broad willingness to use military force to combat terrorism. But then controversies over the build-up to war in Iraq and other Bush policies started to take their toll – at home and abroad.

Read the full report Bush and Public Opinion on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.