Friday, April 07, 2006

Poll: Bush, GOP hit new lows in public opinion

So how low can you go? Here is the latest Bush poll numbers off MSNBC News:

WASHINGTON - President Bush‚’s approval ratings hit a series of new lows in an AP-Ipsos poll that also shows Republicans surrendering their advantage on national security‚— grim election-year news for a party struggling to stay in power.

Democratic leaders predicted they will seize control of one or both chambers of Congress in November. Republicans said they feared the worst unless the political landscape quickly changes.

‚“These numbers are scary. We‚’ve lost every advantage we‚’ve ever had,‚” GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio said. ‚“The good news is Democrats don‚’t have much of a plan. The bad news is they may not need one.‚”

Now when you've got a GOP pollster saying the Republicans have lost every advantage they had over the Democrats, then you have to wonder just how much trouble Bush is in? And the Democrats' belief that they can seize control of one or both houses in Congress? Well, I'll believe it when I see it. Anyways, consider these numbers:

In the past two congressional elections, Republicans gained seats on the strength of Bush‚’s popularity and a perception among voters that the GOP was stronger on national security than Democrats.

Those advantages are gone, according to a survey of 1,003 adults conducted this week for The Associated Press by Ipsos, an international polling firm.

* Just 36 percent of the public approves of Bush‚’s job performance, his lowest-ever rating in AP-Ipsos polling. By contrast, the president‚’s job approval rating was 47 percent among likely voters just before Election Day 2004 and a whopping 64 percent among registered voters in October 2002.

* Only 40 percent of the public approves of Bush‚’s performance on foreign policy and the war on terror, another low-water mark for his presidency. That‚’s down 9 points from a year ago. Just before the 2002 election, 64 percent of registered voters backed Bush on terror and foreign policy.

* Just 35 percent of the public approves of BushÂ’s handling of Iraq, his lowest in AP-Ipsos polling.

Now here's Congress' poll numbers:

Just 30 percent of the public approves of the GOP-led Congress‚’ job performance, and Republicans seem to be shouldering the blame.

By a 49-33 margin, the public favors Democrats over Republicans when asked which party should control Congress.

That 16-point Democratic advantage is the largest the party has enjoyed in AP-Ipsos polling.

On an issue the GOP has dominated for decades, Republicans are now locked in a tie with Democrats ‚— 41 percent each ‚— on the question of which party people trust to protect the country. Democrats made their biggest national security gains among young men, according to the AP-Ipsos poll, which had a 3 percentage point margin of error.

The public gives Democrats a slight edge on what party would best handle Iraq, a reversal from Election Day 2004.

When 69 percent of the American public believes that the country is on the wrong track, you have got a huge problem. In fact, President Bush is getting low marks for his job performance--62 percent disapprove, while 36 percent approve--and his handling the war in Iraq--63 percent disapprove, while 35 percent approve. All of President Bush's "stay-the-course" speeches and White House PR-spin have utterly failed at convincing the American public to trust him. And now that court documents have revealed that Scooter Libby identified both President Bush and Vice President Cheney having authorized the leaking of classified information in the Valerie Plame scandal, this is going to further erode the American public's trust in President Bush. In addition, this revelation of Bush authorizing Libby to leak classified information can provide powerful ammunition for the Democrats to use in attacking the Republicans in Congress as being a "rubber-stamp" for the White House, and not performing their congressional oversight into the presidency. This type of Democratic attack could continue to weaken President Bush and the Republicans at the polls.

So here's the big question I'll ask you. How low can President Bush go? It seems that President Bush has been treading water at around 34-37 percent--depending upon which set of poll data you use (AP-Ipsos, Gallup, Fox, Zogby). What constitutes President Bush's 'base' of support--the hard core conservatives, the neocons, the Religious Right and such. Those are the folks who would support President Bush, even if he had murdered a baby, drunk its blood, and admitted to it--all on live television. Where is that base of support--28 percent? Or is it 30 percent? If things do not rapidly change within the next six months, we might just start seeing Bush's poll numbers dropping down to under 30 percent, for the first time.

Not very encouraging for a "stay-the-course" president.

No comments: