Poll: Americans Divided on Whether W. Kept Country Safe

President George W. Bush at the Evesham Recreation Center in 2004
Former President George W. Bush campaigned with his brother Jeb on Monday two days after front-running billionaire tycoon Donald Trump slammed the brothers with the 2017 presidential primary argument that W. made America less, not more safe, as evidenced by the Sept. 11 attacks.
new Morning Consult survey released today shows 34 percent of all 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.

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.

Do you think the policies of George W. Bush, who was president from 2001 to 2009, made the United States safer from terrorism, less safe from terrorism, or did the policies of George W. Bush not have an impact either way?

  Safer Less Safe No Impact Don’t Know
Overall       34%      35%      20%      11%
Republicans       57%      16%      17%      10%
Independents       30%      32%      24%      14%
Democrats       19%      53%      19%      9%
Military Household       43%      33%      17%      7%
Non-military Household       32%      35%      21%      12%

Trump’s supporters were much more likely to agree with him than other candidates. Twenty-two percent of Trump supporters said 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.

  Safer Less Safe No Impact Don’t Know
Trump supporters      50%      22%       18%          9%
Rubio supporters      76%      6%       13%          5%
Cruz supporters      67%      8%       18%          7%
Carson supporters      69%      10%       8%          13%

Morning Consult asked voters if knowing that George W. Bush 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.

Does knowing that former President George W. Bush is a close and trusted advisor to Jeb Bush make you more or less likely to vote for Jeb Bush for President?

  More Likely Less Likely No Impact Don’t Know
Overall      15%      34%       44%      6%
Republicans      26%      20%      51%      4%
Independents      13%      31%      47%      9%
Democrats      9%      49%      36%      6%
Trump supporters      21%      27%      48%      4%
Rubio supporters      22%      20%      57%      1%
Cruz supporters      20%      16%      62%      2%
Carson supporters      29%      14%      53%      4%
Poll: Americans Divided on Whether W. Kept Country Safe