Tuesday, May 03, 2005

New CNN/Gallup Poll Data ... Bad for Bush, Worse for Congress

President Bush's approval rating remains at 48% in the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, released on Tuesday, running about average for the past six weeks according to Gallup. In specific areas, however, Bush's ratings have decreased since the beginning of the year, and "many are at or near the low points of his presidency."

On his handling of the economy, 53% of those polled disapprove of Bush's actions, while 43% approve. This is improved slightly from a 55% disapproval rate a month ago, but still down from the almost-evenly divided state of things from last year through late February. On foreign policy, currently 45% approve and 49% disapprove of Bush's policies, but Gallup says "there has been little long-term change in the public's assessment of Bush's performance in this regard."

Bush's ratings appear quite tenuous on the issue of Iraq. On that issue, he has a 55% disapproval rating, with just 42% approving. Aside from a brief period immediately following the Iraqi elections, the disapproval rating here has been slightly but steadily increasing since Bush's reelection as the insurgency has continued to claim lives.

A 42% approval rating on Iraq looks pretty good though when compared to how many like what Bush is doing in some other areas. On Social Security, only 35% say they support Bush's plans, while 58% oppose the president. His energy policy gets similar support, 34% to 52% disapproving. And on how Bush has handled the gas prices issue? Just 27% of those polled say he's doing well in that regard (a whopping 67% disagree).

Gallup notes that "results in the current survey are based on telephone interviews with 1,006 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted April 29-May 1, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points."

The polling organization headlined its results as "Bush Ratings Remain in Doldrums." Gallup's partner CNN plays up another finding of the poll, titling its story "Most in US say Iraq war not worthwhile" (the poll also found that 57% don't believe the Iraq war was justified - that figure is up 7% since February, and at its highest level yet). USA Today also went with that angle, leading with "Support for Iraq War at lowest level."

Interestingly, the poll results [available in complete form here], bad as they are for Bush, contain even worse news for both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Asked "Do you approve of the way Republicans/Democrats in Congress are handling their job?" respondents gave Congressional Republicans a 42% approval rating (50% disapproval). Congressional Democrats fared slightly worse, with a 40-52% approval/disapproval ratio. Ouch.

Wonkette's Greg Beato handles the new numbers in typical Wonkette style, noting that while 48% approve of Bush's job performance overall, on the six specific issues, the highest individual approval rating is 45% (for foreign affairs): "So obviously Bush is handling something in a way that people absolutely love; it's just not clear what."


At 5:35 AM, Blogger EG said...

Note the poll statistics are based on 1006 adults, not likely voters. It doesn't matter if 80% of the sample loved Bush if the poll contains 75% of people who never vote. Also what was the breakdown of Democrats, Republicans and independents in the poll? I typically hate polls because their ability to obscure meaningful information, particularly about politicians.

Secondly, polls never ask the pertinent question about Congress: are you satisfied with your member of Congress? Most people have a 'throw the bums out' attitude toward Congress until the bum mentioned is their bum!

For example, I am amazed at the level of support DeLay has in his district given all the bad press. There is a core of about 30% of constituents who still cling to him. There is another 35-40% who are on the fence. He needs only to get about half of the fence sitters to win again.


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