Monday, June 27, 2005

Bush's (dis)approval ratings: The tanking of a president

Over the weekend, I mentioned that Bush's approval rating among independents now stands at 17%, one point lower than among Democrats (see here). And now there's more bad news for Dubya. According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released today (see here), Bush's approval rating stands at 45%, the lowest of his entire presidency (tied with a late-March rating). Looking at the numbers from the other side, his disapproval rating stands at 53%, the highest of his entire presidency. The eight-point gap is also the largest of his entire presidency. Bush has an approval rating over 50% on only one issue, terrorism, where his approval-disapproval rating stands at 55-41. I can only explain this by repeating that Bush has maintained support on this issue largely by alternately playing on fear and encouraging Americans to go shopping instead of paying too much attention to what he's up to (and not up to). Other disapproval-approval ratings (listed by level of disapproval):

Social Security: 64-31
Health care: 59-34
Iraq: 58-40
The economy: 55-41
Energy policy: 53-36

Those are significant numbers. I'm rarely one to pay much attention to polls, and I object to what has become the American pollocracy, but is there any denying that Bush's support among the American people is collapsing? We're talking spreads of at least 14 points on five key issues. Finally, perhaps, the American people are collectively catching on to the disaster that has been the (G.W.) Bush presidency.

It now remains to be seen both what Bush does to try to pick himself back up (I'm thinking desperate measures) and what Democrats do to try to fill the vacuum.

Update: See Kevin Drum's brief take here, along with a fascinating chart of the decline.

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