Three and a half years after leaving office, a survey Thursday shows that former President George W Bush remains unpopular among a majority of Americans — the only living president with an under 50 percent approval rating. Only 43 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Bush, compared with 54 percent who had an unfavorable view, according to a CNN/ORC poll. The 43rd president’s approval rating has improved somewhat since he left office, however — in 2009, his approval rating was in the mid-30s. When Americans are asked whether they are better off than they were four years ago, 44 percent of Americans say they are better off. But when asked if they are better off than they were four years ago “when Bush was president,” this figure increases to 47 percent. Bush’s popularity — or lack thereof — may have lasting political resonance. Several of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s potential running mates can be linked to the 43rd president, who served two terms, from 2001 to 2009. For example, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman was the director of Office of Management and Budget from 2006 to 2007; Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels held the same position from 2001 to 2003.