George W. Bush approval ratings: Poll shows favorable view for first time since 2005

(CNN) - A new Gallup poll shows Americans have a favorable view of former President George W. Bush for the first time since 2005.

Of those surveyed, 49 percent of people surveyed have a positive opinion of the two-term Republican president, while 46 percent feel the opposite.

The poll was conducted before reports emerged last week of government surveillance programs, some of which began under the Bush administration.

Presidents generally see their numbers improve the longer they are out of office.

Gallup numbers show former presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton all had favorable ratings of more than 60 percent when last measured.