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Bush now at 31% Approve, 65% Disapprove


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[h2]Bush approval rating hits new low[/h2]

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-08-bush-approval_x.htm

 

By Susan Page, USA TODAY

Monday, May 8th

 

WASHINGTON — President Bush's approval rating has slumped to 31% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the lowest of his presidency and a warning sign for Republicans in the November elections.

 

The survey of 1,013 adults, taken Friday through Sunday, shows Bush's standing down by 3 percentage points in a single week. His disapproval rating also reached a record: 65%. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.

 

"It is a challenging political environment," acknowledges Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, "but we are confident that ultimately voters in November will recognize that a Democrat Congress would simply not be equipped to ensure either economic or national security for our nation."

 

Bush's fall is being fueled by erosion among support from conservatives and Republicans. In the poll, 52% of conservatives and 68% of Republicans approved of the job he is doing. Both are record lows among those groups.

 

Moderates gave him an approval rating of 28%, liberals of 7%.

 

"You hear people say he has a hard core that will never desert him, and that has been the case for most of the administration," says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin who studies presidential approval ratings. "But for the last few months, we started to see that hard core seriously erode in support."

 

Only four presidents have scored lower approval ratings since the Gallup Poll began regularly measuring it in the mid-1940s: Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and the first George Bush. When Nixon, Carter and the elder Bush sank below 35%, they never again registered above 40%.

 

Truman twice sank into the low 30s and then rose into the 60s, but the third time his rating fell, it stayed below 40% as well.

 

"Historically it's been pretty devastating to presidents at this level," Franklin says. Even Republican members of Congress are "now so worried about their electoral fortunes in November that he has less leverage with them than he normally would with his own party controlling Congress."

Posted 5/8/2006 12:58 PM ET

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And I wonder why...

 

 

Bush told the following to a German newspaper yesterday:

 

Bush told weekly Bild am Sonntag when asked about his high point since becoming president in January 2001.

 

"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake."

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I think the 31% are the true-blue, died-in-the-wool, hard core religious conservatives that form Bush's vaunted "base." That's been the Republican problem all along. Their base isn't big enough to carry an election by itself. That's why they have to cobble together these "sell-your-soul-to-the-devil" coalitions with wildly disparate groups in order to win. Bush rapidly seems to be losing the "classic" Republicans who are economic conservatives but social moderates who believe the government has no place in their private lives. That leaves the social/religious conservatives who don't seem to have the sense to vote their pocketbooks. Most of them aren't well-to-do, so some of them are starting to flake away as reality hits them at the gas pumps and the supermarkets and they're starting to feel badly squeezed. I suspect the numbers will continue dropping for a while -- there's no obvious good news on the horizon for Bush. Quite the contrary. But those who want to see the Republicans lose control of Congress can't just rely on the polls. They're going to have to contribute generously to Democratic candidates and work like hell to get Democratic supporters to the polls in November. In spite of everything, it's not gonna be easy, so if you want to see change in America, start doing your part NOW!

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And this just in from the New York Times! It matches the poll reported in USA Today. Is it really possible that Americans are finally coming out of their long, fatal slumber?

 

May 9, 2006

Bush's Public Approval at New Low Point

 

By ADAM NAGOURNEY and MEGAN THEE

Americans have a bleaker view of the country's direction than at any time in more than two decades, and sharp disapproval of President Bush's handling of gasoline prices has combined with intensified unhappiness about Iraq to create a grim political environment for the White House and Congressional Republicans, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

 

Mr. Bush's approval rating for his management of foreign policy, Iraq and the economy have fallen to the lowest levels of his presidency. He drew poor marks on the specific issues that have been at the top of the national agenda in recent months — in particular, immigration and gas prices — underscoring the difficulty the administration faces in reversing its political fortunes.

 

Just 13 percent approved of Mr. Bush's handling of rising gas prices. Only one-quarter said they approved of his handling of immigration, as Congressional Republicans struggle to come up with a compromise to deal with the influx of illegal immigrants into the country.

 

The poll showed a continued decline in support for the war, the issue that has most eaten into Mr. Bush's public support. The percentage of respondents who said going to war in Iraq was the correct decision slipped to a new low of 39 percent, down from 47 percent in January. Two-thirds said they have little or no confidence that Mr. Bush will be able to successfully end the war there.

 

Mr. Bush's political strength continues to dissipate. About two-thirds of voters said that Mr. Bush does not share their priorities, up from just over half right before his reelection in 2004. About two thirds said and that the country is in worse shape than it was when he came to power six years ago. Forty-two percent of respondents say they consider Mr. Bush a strong leader, a drop of 11 points since January.

 

Mr. Bush's overall job approval rating hit another new low, 31 percent, tying the low point of his father, George H. W. Bush, in July 1992, four months before the elder Mr. Bush lost his bid for a second term to Bill Clinton. That is the third lowest approval rating of any president in 50 years; only Richard M. Nixon and Jimmy Carter were viewed less favorably.

 

Mr. Bush is even losing support in what has been his base: 51 percent of conservatives and 69 percent of Republicans now approve of the way Mr. Bush is handling his job. In both cases, those figures represent a substantial drop in support from four months ago.

 

"We should have stayed out of Iraq until we knew more about it," Bernice Davis, a Republican from Missouri who said she now disapproves of Mr. Bush's performance, said in a follow-up interview today. "The economy is going to pot. Gas prices are escalating. I just voted for Bush because he's a Republican, even though I disapproved of the war. If I could go back, I would not vote for him."

 

The Times/CBS News poll contained few if any bright notes for Mr. Bush and the Republican Party; it reflected a starkly pessimistic view of the country by Americans and, six months before the midterm election, offered a harsh assessment of the policies and performance of the president and Congress.

 

Although the composition of Congressional districts will make it hard for the Democrats to recapture control of Capitol Hill in the fall, the poll suggested that the trend is moving in their direction. Just 23 percent said they approve of the job Congress is doing, down from 29 percent in January. That is about the same level of support for Congress as in the fall of 1994, when Republicans seized control of the House.

 

Americans said that Democrats would do a better job dealing with Iraq, gas prices, immigration, taxes, prescription drug and civil liberties. Fifty percent said Democrats come closer than Republicans in sharing their moral values. A majority said Republican members of Congress were more likely to be financially corrupt than a Democratic member of Congress, suggesting that Democrats might be making headway in their efforts to portray Republicans as having created a "culture of corruption" in Washington.

 

By a margin of better than two to one, Democrats were seen as having more new ideas than Republicans. And half of respondents, the highest yet, said it was better when different parties control the two branches of government, reflecting one of the major arguments being laid out by Congressional Democrats in their bid to win back the House or Senate.

 

Americans said that Republicans would do a better job at maintaining a stronger military than Democrats. But the Republicans now have only a slight edge on fighting terrorism, an issue that has helped account for the party's political dominance the attacks of Sept. 11.

 

The nationwide telephone poll, of 1,241 adults, was conducted from May 4 to May 8. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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