Additionally, seven of nine former presidents have had higher retrospective approval ratings than their final job approval rating as president just before leaving office. That includes George W. Bush, who earned a 47% retrospective approval rating in the November 2010 poll, the only time Gallup has measured Bush retrospectively. That rating is 13 percentage points higher than Bush's 34% final job approval rating as president in January 2009, but similar to his overall job approval average of 49%.
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.