WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Former President George W. Bush received favorable polling numbers for the first time in a decade – surpassing the 49 percent favorability given to current President Barack Obama.

April 2005 was the last time Bush pushed into positive polling territory, but the most recent CNN/ORC poll finds that more than half (52 percent) of Americans see Bush favorably. By comparison, President Obama is seen favorably by 49 percent of Americans and unfavorably by another 49 percent.

The CNN/ORC poll interviewed 1,025 adult Americans via telephone between May 29 and May 31, 2015.
Bush has seen a steady rise in approval polling since leaving office, a time in which just one-third (33 percent) of Americans viewed Bush favorably from a February 2009 survey.

Just over half of Americans (53 percent) say they disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the economy, while 46 percent say they approve. A solid majority (63 percent) of those polled said they disapprove of the way Obama is dealing with Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, while just one-third say the approve.

And in terms of “race relations,” half of Americans say they approve of the job the president is doing, while 47 percent say they disapprove.

President Obama saw the largest disapproval rating in his handling of government surveillance of U.S. citizens, where two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans disapprove of the job he’s doing, compared to less than one-third who approve.

Among living U.S. presidents, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton are viewed the most favorably, with 64 percent responding favorably to both.

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