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Obama's Approval Rating Dips Below George W. Bush's

President Barack Obama, pictured on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday, has recently seen his approval rating drop below his predecessor's current standing. Charles Dharapak

President Barack Obama's approval rating has fallen below George W. Bush's, according to recent Gallup polls.

Released Monday, one poll shows Mr. Bush's approval rating rose to 47 percent in recent weeks, which is one point higher than Mr. Obama's rating in a poll also taken this week.

Prior to his "Decision Points" memoir release in November, Bush received a 44 percent approval rating (and 53 percent unfavorable). The most recent data marks the highest rating for him since 2005, prior to Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. Bush has actually experienced one of the largest ratings ranges in Gallup history, topping the scales at 87 percent following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Bush's approval rating experienced a steady decline since 2002, dipping down to just 32 percent in April of 2008, a reflection of the recession and the continuing Iraq War.

While Mr. Bush's ratings are up, his 51 percent disapproval rating in the same poll leaves him as one of only two presidents in the last 50 years to have a higher unfavorable than favorable rating - the other being Richard Nixon.

In the latest approval rating for the sitting president, Mr. Obama received an even-split 46 percent approval and disapproval rating.

Mr. Obama's all time low, 41 percent, was reached in late October, while his highest rating of 62 percent occurred in May of 2009.

According to Politico, the reasons for the shift in approval could be the recent criticism of Mr. Obama's policies, in combination with the positive press surrounding Mr. Bush's book release and library groundbreaking.

George W. Bush has re-emerged in recent weeks in promotion of his memoir "Decision Points," appearing on Oprah and throwing the first pitch at a World Series game in Texas. A poll released Monday showed Mr. Bush's retrospective approval rating at 47 percent. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

In the same poll, John F. Kennedy remains the most popular president of the last 50 years, with an 85 percent approval rating. The poll asked participants: "from what you have heard, read, or remember about some of our past presidents, please tell me if you approve or disapprove of the way each of the following handled their job as president."

The majority of the presidents included in the poll are restrospectively more popular today than there were in office.

The poll was conducted Nov. 19-21 with a random sample of 1,037 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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