Poll: Voters Torn On Whether George W. Bush Kept America Safe

Former President George W. Bush speaks in support of his brother, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush,at a campaign rally on February 15, 2016 in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Columbia, SC

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s statements about President George W. Bush and the Iraq war, which drew boos from the audience during Saturday night’s GOP primary debate, may not affect his support in the Palmetto state’s primary, according to a new Morning Consult poll.

According to the poll, 34 percent of the respondents said President George W. Bush kept us safer. However, 35 percent of the respondents thought he kept Americans less safe.

Twenty percent of respondents didn’t think President George W. Bush’s policies had any real impact.

The survey found:

“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.”

“Iran is taking over Iraq with the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Obviously it was a mistake. So George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We shoulda never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East,” Trump said during the debate on Saturday night about Bush and the Iraq war. “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”

Morning Consult also found Trump dropped three percentage points nationally, but still holds a strong lead in the GOP field heading into the South Carolina primary on Saturday and the Nevada caucuses on Tuesday next week.

According to the poll, Hillary Clinton is holding steady in her race against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The poll was conducted online with 1,763 registered voters from Feb. 15th to Feb. 16th. The survey has a plus or minus two percent margin of error.