Poll: Voters Split on Whether Bush Kept Us Safe

Did George W. Bush keep us safe during his two terms as president? A new Morning Consult survey shows voters are divided on the topic.

In our new national poll, 34 percent of respondents said Bush’s policies kept us safer, while 35 percent said he kept us less safe. Twenty percent of voters said they didn’t think his policies made any impact.

See full toplines here, and full crosstabs here.

Among military households, 43 percent of respondents said the president kept us safe, while 33 percent said he did not.

And along partisan lines, 57 percent of Republicans said Bush kept us safer, compared to only 19 percent of Democrats. Independents were split on the question: 30 percent said Bush’s policies kept us safe and 32 percent said we were less safe because of them.

 SaferLess SafeNo ImpactDon't Know/No Opinion
Military Household43%33%17%7%
Non-military Household32%35%21%12%

The question has garnered attention since the contentious back and forth on Feb. 13 between billionaire Donald Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at the GOP debate in Greenville, S.C.

Trump was booed audibly for implying that George W. Bush didn’t keep us safe because of the Sept. 11 attacks, and our polling shows his supporters are much more likely to agree with him than other candidates. Twenty-two percent of Trump supporters say Bush’s policies kept us less safe, compared with just six percent of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s supporters and eight percent of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s supporters.

 SaferLess SafeNo ImpactDon't Know/No Opinion
Trump Supporters50%22%18%9%
Rubio supporters76%6%13%5%
Cruz supporters67%8%18%7%
Carson supporters69%10%8%13%

We also asked voters if knowing that the former president is a close and trusted advisor to Jeb Bush would make them more or less likely to back him in the race. Twenty-seven percent of Trump supporters said it makes them less likely to vote for Bush, compared to 20 percent of Rubio supporters and 16 percent of Cruz supporters.

 More LikelyLess LikelyNo ImpactDon't Know/No Opinion
Trump supporters21%27%48%4%
Rubio supporters22%20%57%1%
Cruz supporters20%16%62%2%
Carson supporters29%14%53%4%

The Morning Consult survey polled 1,763 registered voters on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, for a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.


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