Bush Disaproval Highest on Record

A majority of Americans now strongly disapprove of George W. Bush’s performance as president, the highest number in the history of the Gallup poll.

Fifty percent of Americans now say they strongly disapprove of President George W. Bush’s performance as president. This marks the highest percentage of Americans strongly disapproving of his performance since Bush came into office. Although Gallup has not measured the intensity of job approval regularly over the years, this “strongly disapprove” number is among the highest Gallup has measured for presidents, going back to Lyndon Johnson.

All in all, the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted Nov. 2-4, shows that Bush’s overall job approval rating is at 31%, with a 64% disapproval rating. This job approval rating is within two points of the lowest of the Bush administration — 29% — recorded last July.

Considering that Johnson didn’t bother to run for re-election because his numbers were so bad, that Richard Nixon was forced to resign, and Bill Clinton was impeached, this is quite a dubious achievement.

Still, as Gallup acknowledges, variations in the polling methodology over the years makes these comparisons somewhat suspect. And Richard Nixon’s equivalent rating was within the margin of error of Bush’s.

While these numbers say quite a bit about Bush — and especially the war in Iraq — they may say more about the level of polarization we’ve achieved in our politics:

Among the 75% of Republicans who say they approve of Bush’s performance as president, 42% approve strongly, while 33% approve moderately. That 42% strong approval among members of his own party is by historical standards quite respectable. Presidents Reagan and Clinton had similar readings among members of their own party, while Carter, Ford, Nixon, and Johnson all had significantly lower intensity of support. In some cases, the latter group of presidents were in situations in which less than 30% of members of their own party said they strongly approved.

Essentially, then, Republicans generally approve of the president, moderates think he’s doing a poor job, and Democrats really, really hate him.

via Taegan Goddard

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Triumph says:

    While these numbers say quite a bit about Bush — and especially the war in Iraq — they may say more about the level of polarization we’ve achieved in our politics:

    More specifically they speak to the fact that the population of the US has bought into the ideology of the terrorists.

    Much like in Pakistan, where activist judges and feminists are undermining stability, the same thing is happening here in the US.

    Hopefully, Bush will follow the lead of his close ally, Gen. Musharaf, and assert executive domination in order to maintain liberty.

    Bush has said it many times: he is a defender of freedom. If you don’t approve of him, then you disapprove of freedom. If you are an enemy of freedom, then you are a terrorist.

    As the Great Decider said: You are either with us or against us. Judging from this poll, the vast majority of the American people are against us–and themselves.

  2. Derrick says:

    James,

    Essentially, then, Republicans generally approve of the president, moderates hate him, and Democrats really, really hate him.

    Fixed, based on a near 50% strong disapproval from independents.

  3. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Latest poll shows convicted perjurer popular. Honest man disapproved of. Go figure.

  4. I think I love you, Triumph.

  5. John says:

    Break that down and you’ll find his highest numbers in the dumbest states.