Enough said about the attitude of Americans towards our esteemed administration. Notice that this is not my opinion, nor is it me being an expert on anything (for those who like to accuse me of that), these are the results of poll research.
Bush Public Support at Lowest Level Yet
By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - President Bush's public support has eroded to its lowest level yet, with the Iraq war dragging on, a top White House aide facing felony charges and the White House rushing to replace a failed Supreme Court nominee.
Concerned that the president has lost his footing, some Republicans have suggested Bush should shake up his staff.
A new AP-Ipsos poll found the president's approval rating was at 37 percent, compared with 39 percent a month ago. About 59 percent of those surveyed said they disapproved.
The intensity of disapproval is the strongest to date, with 42 percent now saying they "strongly disapprove" of how Bush is handling his job _ twice as many as the 20 percent who said they "strongly approve."
"This is the poorest excuse for a president this country has ever had," said Max Hollinberger, a businessman from Stanwood, Wash., who leans Democratic. He cited "the economy, going to war in Iraq for no reason, the way we can get to the tsunami victims before Katrina victims _ the whole business."
A year after his re-election, Bush's second term has been marred by rising U.S. casualties in Iraq, a failed attempt to restructure Social Security, Hurricane Katrina missteps, rising fuel costs and his forced withdrawal of the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers.
In a case involving the public naming of a covert CIA operative married to an Iraq war critic, Vice President Dick Cheney's former aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, pleaded not guilty on Thursday in federal court to charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to investigators. The case casts a continuing cloud over Cheney and keeps Bush's closest adviser, Karl Rove, in legal jeopardy.
Republicans are starting to worry about the 2006 elections and hope Bush can reverse his slide.
Several senior Republicans who are close to the White House and Rove say there has been a lot of talk inside and outside the White House about the need for him to leave, but they're picking up no indication from him or his associates that it's going to happen _ at least anytime soon.
Neither Bush nor Rove has seemed to get the message, the Republicans say.
Democrats have kept up the attack. "The 2006 midterm elections will be our next opportunity to change the environment of corruption and incompetence in Washington," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday in a fundraising letter to Democrats. Reid has called for Rove's resignation and a "thorough house cleaning" at the White House.
In the AP-Ipsos poll, nearly one in five Republicans disapproved of Bush's handling of his job, compared with nearly nine in 10 Democrats. Nearly seven in 10 independents disapproved.
Four in five Republicans still back the president.
"I think he's done a wonderful job," said Gloria Bloecher, a Republican from Sherman, Texas. "He's done wonderful things for the economy. He rescued people who needed help in Iraq _ it was the Christian thing to do. I still trust his people and the people he picks for the Supreme Court."
The president has lost support from some key groups of constituents over the past year. He's dropped 16 points in his approval rating with men in that time, 18 points with people who have a high school education or less, 16 points among Southerners and 13 points among Republicans.
The poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 31-Nov. 2 among 1,006 adults nationwide. The margin on sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Congress isn't faring much better. In early October, 35 percent of poll respondents approved of the job being done on Capitol Hill, down from 44 percent in February.
In December 2004, soon after Bush's re-election, 51 percent approved of his handling of his job, while 47 disapproved, and 28 disapproved strongly.
"I'm surprised it's not even worse," GOP consultant Rich Galen said of Bush's latest poll numbers. He cited three months of unrelenting bad news that have Republicans "beginning to scratch their heads."
Away from Washington, Republican leaders seemed concerned about Bush's drift downward in the polls and about Iraq, where the 2,000th U.S. military death was recently recorded, and less troubled about the CIA-leak case and the controversy surrounding Rove and Libby.
"I think the war in Iraq being on the front page every day has taken its toll," said Van Poole, former Florida GOP chairman and now a Tallahassee lobbyist, who expects Bush to bounce back. "Americans are impatient. Whatever our job is, Americans want us to get it done."