Two weeks after leaving office, New Jerseyans give George W. Bush an upside-down 25%-69% approval rating – horrible numbers, but substantially better than the 18%-78% he had in a November Quinnipiac University poll. In November, for the first time in his presidency, he was upside down (45%-48%) among Republicans. Today’s Quinnipiac poll has his GOP approvals at 58%-33%, a major shift.
The last poll had Bush’s approvals in New Jersey lower than Richard Nixon’s were in May 1974, three months before the Watergate scandal forced his resignation. Nixon was upside-down at 19%-76%. Among Republicans, Nixon was at 46%-44%.
A 1976 Rutgers-Eagleton poll asked New Jersey voters to recall their choice for President in 1972. George McGovern led Nixon 44%-39%, with the rest not recalling. Nixon carried New Jersey against McGovern by a 63%-37% margin and a plurality of 743,291 votes.