Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Bush Approval Rating Drops to 36%... Glad To Know You're Finally On Board America, What Took You So Long?

March 13th, 2006 5:14 pm
Poll: Bush approval rating hits new low

By Mark Memmott / USA Today

President Bush's "approval rating" has sunk to a new low according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll released Monday.

The latest results show only 36% of those polled saying they "approve" of the way Bush is handling his job. Bush's previous low was 37%, set last November.

Sixty percent of those polled said they "disapprove" of Bush's performance. That matches an all-time worst rating hit last November and again two weeks ago.

Democrats have their biggest advantage since 1992 when poll respondents are asked if they favor Democratic or Republican congressional candidates. The spread: Democrats over Republicans 55% — 39%, a 16-percentage-point gap.

The public's approval rating of Bush, according to the poll, slipped below 50% last May and has been hovering just above or below 40% since October. Two weeks ago, Bush's approval rating was 38%.

The latest poll of 1,001 adults has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points and was conducted March 10-12. Its results closely resemble those reported last week in an Associated Press/Ipsos poll. That survey put Bush's approval rating at 37% — matching the AP/Ipsos poll's all-time low.

The war in Iraq appears to be the biggest factor in Bush's ratings. Public opinion on the situation there has turned sour.

Asked two years ago if they were "certain that the U.S. will win" the war with Iraq, 79% of those polled said yes. The answer last weekend: 22%.

The other side of that question has turned sharply as well. Two years ago, just 1% of those polled thought it was unlikely or certain that the U.S. would not win the war with Iraq. The latest result: 41%.

The USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll also showed:

• 57% said sending U.S. troops to Iraq was a mistake — up from 55% two weeks earlier and the highest reading since a 59% result last October.

• 67% said the president does not have "a clear plan for handling the situation in Iraq." That was an all-time high. But 68% also said Democrats in Congress do not have such a plan.

• Democrats fared better than Republicans on whether they would do a better job of handling "the situation in Iraq." The split: 48% for Democrats, 40% for Republicans.

• On the issue of terrorism, however, Republicans had a four-percentage-point advantage. They were judged better able to handle that problem by 45% of those polled.

• There could be some good news for Bush in the poll. Economic conditions were rated "very good" or "somewhat good" by 59% of those polled. That was up six percentage points from the last time that question was asked, in September 2005.

Presidents often get blamed when the economy is ailing, but they also get some credit from voters when times are good.

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