WASHINGTON, D.C. -- George W. Bush registered a 90% job approval rating shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Those attacks prompted the largest rally in support for a president in Gallup's polling history. A Sept. 7-10, 2001, Gallup poll found 51% of Americans approving of the job Bush was doing. The first poll conducted after the attacks, from Sept. 14-15, 2001, saw Bush's job approval rating surge 35 percentage points to 86%. A subsequent Sept. 21-22 poll -- conducted after Bush addressed a joint session of Congress to discuss the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks -- showed a further increase in his job approval to the record 90%.
Bush's rating surpassed the previous high in any Gallup poll by one percentage point. George H.W. Bush had an 89% job approval rating in 1991 after the U.S. won the Gulf War.
Although the younger Bush had the highest rating in any single poll, John Kennedy's average 70% job approval throughout his time in office is the best for any president since World War II.
Gallup measures presidential job approval on each survey it conducts. Explore President Joe Biden's approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.