Most Australians believe George W Bush is the worst United States president in history, a poll showed on Tuesday as the US leader headed Down Under for a state visit.
The Galaxy poll, commissioned by the Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW), found 52 per cent of Australians rated him the worst, just 32 per cent disagreed while the rest were undecided.
"Australians are not anti-American, they're anti the policies of George Bush, particularly the invasion of Iraq," said MAPW spokesman Robert Marr.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a strong supporter of Bush and his Iraq policies, was wrong to suggest that opposing the president was to oppose the country's traditional alliance with the United States, he said.
"It is not that. Australians are sensible enough to know the difference between a dud president and good Americans," Marr told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Bush was due to arrive in Sydney later on Tuesday after a surprise visit to Iraq, where he talked up progress against a bloody insurgency and said a reduction in US troops was possible.
A series of protests against his visit has been planned by the Stop Bush Coalition in Sydney, which is under tight security ahead of an Asia-Pacific summit at the weekend.
Bush will attend the first day of the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on Saturday before heading back to Washington in time for reports to Congress on progress in Iraq by top US general David Petraeus.