Zogby: Bush Got No Bounce from Iraq Speech

President Bush’s approval ratings remain unchanged after his address to the nation and the public remains as bitterly polarized as it was on election day.

No Bounce: Bush Job Approval Unchanged by War Speech; Question on Impeachment Shows Polarization of Nation; Americans Tired of Divisiveness in Congress—Want Bi-Partisan Solutions—New Zogby Poll (Zogby)

President Bush̢۪s televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll. And, in a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq.

The Zogby America survey of 905 likely voters, conducted from June 27 through 29, 2005, has a margin of error of +/-3.3 percentage points.

Just one week ago, President Bush’s job approval stood at a previous low of 44%—but it has now slipped another point to 43%, despite a speech to the nation intended to build support for the Administration and the ongoing Iraq War effort. The Zogby America survey includes calls made both before and after the President’s address, and the results show no discernible “bump†in his job approval, with voter approval of his job performance at 45% in the final day of polling.

Where voters live has some impact on their perceptions. The President̢۪s job rating remains relatively strong in the South, with 51% rating his performance favorably; in all other regions, those disapproving his performance are in the majority.

In a more significant sign of the weakness of the President’s numbers, more “Red State†voters—that is, voters living in the states that cast their ballots for the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004—now rate his job performance unfavorably, with 50% holding a negative impression of the President’s handling of his duties, and 48% holding a favorable view. The President also gets negative marks from one-in-four (25%) Republicans—as well as 86% of Democrats and 58% of independents. (Bush nets favorable marks from 75% of Republicans, 13% of Democrats and 40% of independents.)

While part of the president’s low ratings is clearly attributable to the daily news of casualties in Iraq, more stems from the polarized state of the electorate. Given that we appear stuck in permanent campaign mode, with both sides continuing to use over-the-top rhetoric about the other, this is not surprising. Since presidents no longer get a post-election “honeymoon” and the notion of working together for the good of the country, especially during wartime, during non-election years has become quaint, it’s no wonder that there is no healing.

The president’s numbers are low, Congress’ numbers are low, (I’m guessing the Supreme Court’s are too but that’s not captured in this poll) and people are just generally disgusted with the political system. Comparing this president’s poll numbers with those of previous presidents who lived in what appears a permanently bygone political climate and attributing them to the president himself makes little sense.

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, , , , ,
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.


  1. DC Loser says:

    This is the guy who said he was going to be a uniter when he was first elected.

  2. Fersboo says:

    This is the guy who said he was going to be a uniter when he was first elected.

    Posted by: DC Loser at July 1, 2005 07:47 Permalink

    Yeah! President Bush should just call Reid, Kennedy and Pelosi and hand over policy to them.

  3. DC Loser says:

    That’s not the point Fersboo. In 2000 he pointed to his record in Texas of working with the Democrats and said he’d do the same in the White House. I believed him back then and hoped it would make things better here. But after 9/11 it’s “you’re either with us or against us.”

  4. Fersboo says:

    The Democrats have made it quite obvious that the only way for Bush to be a uniter is to roll over and let the Democrats run the show.

  5. DC Loser,

    Two points:

    1) DC ain’t Texas in terms of partisan politcs (although in the years since Bush was governor of Texas, partisanship has become more pronounced in Texas–not because of anything linked to Bush, but because of a natural evolution of the parties). Bush was wrong in 2000 that he could take his experience in Texas and translate it into DC. There is not real incentive for the opposition party in Congress to get along with the President in the way that Bob Bullock got along with Bush in Texas.

    Indeed, while it made for good rhetoric, and Bush likely believed it, I knew at the time that it wasn’t going to work. To his credit, he did try–he reached across the aisle for No Child Left Behind and was very visible in trying to court Ted Kennedy.

    2) The “with us or against us” was aimed at countries that harbored terrorist. It was never used as a domestic politics credo.

  6. bill says:

    Some points to think about …

    Thank Clinton/Carville for inventing the never ending campaign.

    Democrats are lower in appeal than the President — guess hate doesn’t sell.

    Polls are nothing more than extensions of the leftist-MSM editorial boards, best just ignored.

    BTW: Zogby said Kerry wins.

  7. DC Loser says:

    “DC ain’t Texas in terms of partisan politcs…”

    Not yet. At least we haven’t had members of Congress escaping to Mexico to get out of a vote, and having Federal Marshals trying to drag them back.

  8. Anderson says:

    JJ, this sounds awfully like special pleading—basically, “Bush’s numbers are low because of the polarized electorate.”

    Who polarized ’em? Who took a national consensus from 9/12/2001 and acted in complete contempt thereof?

    The only reason Bush’s numbers are as *high* as they are is the “rally ’round the flag” reflex from our Iraq misadventure. And that boost is gradually tapering off as it becomes clearer & clearer that Bush cannot or will not level with the American people on the subject.

    Y’all can hate Dems all you want, but the longer you deny what a dog you have in office right now, the worse it’s going to be for you in 2008.

  9. James Joyner says:


    It’s not special pleading. Zogby himself says as much later in the article.

    I’d point out, too, that Bush just won re-election in November. Any president in this climate–it existed during the 2000 election, too, so it wasn’t a Bush creation–is going to have 45% of the country against him. The rally that came after 9/11/01 was unsustainable.

  10. Anderson says:

    So how long is this “November” thing supposed to last?

    Maybe if Karl Rove didn’t declare all liberals to be traitors, for example, we wouldn’t have as much of this “permanent campaign” and polarization?

    Polarizing the country was Rove’s express campaign strategy in 2004, and it continues to be White House policy. So I continue to disagree on cause & effect here.

    Anyway, Happy Nonpolarized 4th of July to all, wingnuts & moonbats alike!

  11. boohoo says:

    Juan Cole has linked to this page, so you’re going to get some of us in the “reality-based community” amazed that supporters of this President, who control the entire government in DC, can continue to whine and blame others for their problems. The “permanent campaign” has been a feature of U.S. politics at least since Reagan (consult Michael Deaver). The reason for the low poll ratings is that power has been used to aggressively push unpopular and in some cases (the neo-con Middle East fantasy) completely unworkable policies. The President has many friends in high places (if we polled dollars, like the market, and not votes he’d be doing better), but the only reason he maintains a strong populist base is a tradition of American militarism (and militant Protestantism). The stony silence at Fort Bragg (whatever its cause–was it just disciplined following of orders?) might show a distinct cooling of that base–after all, these are the people who are sacrificing and suffering while everyone else connects to the wars with a magnet at most.

    In sum, cut the crybaby conservative act and think seriously with others about how to get us out of/through this mess.

  12. Mojo says:

    Hey Bill,

    Thank Clinton/Carville for inventing the never ending campaign.

    Democrats are lower in appeal than the President—guess hate doesn’t sell.

    Polls are nothing more than extensions of the leftist-MSM editorial boards, best just ignored.

    BTW: Zogby said Kerry wins

    I’m a Republican. I find the Democratic message somewhat invigorating at present. Democrats are lower in appeal? According to whom? Clinton? Carville? Living in the past much? It was YOUR boy who dropped the Ball on 9/11. Let’s not forget the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing, “Bin Laden determined to strike inside the U.S.”

    I agree that polls aren’t worth the paper or ones and zeroes that they’re printed on, but come on… I see that you still believe in the myth of the “liberal media”. Tell me, good sir, if the mainstream media is so “liberal”, then why is it that they give Bushco. a pass on, oh, I don’t know… EVERYTHING?

    Wake up and smell the java my friend. You wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of history, now would you? On second thought, as long as your ideology isn’t compromised, I’d guess that you would. Just being a good German after all… I wonder what YOUR answer to the impending “Muslim Question” will be. You sir, are no more than a fucking fascist, and the sad part is, you don’t even know it!


  13. Magus says:

    Maybe if Karl Rove didn’t declare all liberals to be traitors, for example, we wouldn’t have as much of this “permanent campaign” and polarization?

    And ironically, it seems that Karl Rove might himself be guilty of treason:


    I think George H.W. Bush said it best:

    I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.