The approval rating of former President George W. Bush now matches that of President Barack Obama, a Washington Post / ABC News poll found.
Bush is approved by 47 percent of registered voters and disapproved by 50 percent, the poll showed. That is the same approval rating as Obama.
The poll was released days before Thursday’s scheduled opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas.
Bush left office with an approval rating of 33 percent and a disapproval rating of 66 percent in the Post-ABC poll.
His post-presidency has been marked by a reluctance to involve himself in partisan politics or appear in the national spotlight, which may be responsible for the rise in his numbers.
A closer look at the poll shows an increase in public approval of Bush’s handling of the economy.
Bush has often drawn attention to the fact that presidential reputations are continually in flux, a point echoed by professional historians.
“The worse a president’s reputation when he leaves office, the better chance there is for revision,” University of Texas history professor H.W. Brands told the Post. “Every so often there’s a new generation of historians, and they have to come along and challenge the conventional wisdom.”
The role Bush’s painting may have played in his improved numbers is not known.