20 April, 2006

Perusing The Polls: FOX News Poll Puts Bush Approval At Lowest Level Yet; Approval Of Congress Also On The Skids

FOX News released a poll today that put President Bush's approval rating at 33%, the lowest level of his presidency. That's down from 36% just two weeks ago and 39% a month ago. Also for the first-time Bush is sub-70% with Republicans. Only 66% of Republicans polled by FOX say they approved of the president's job performance. A total of 48% of those who disapproved of Bush's performance mentioned Iraq as the chief reason, while 24% say he is doing a bad job in general and 11% say they just don't like him.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is keeping Bush company down in the 30s. His approval rating was 35% in the poll. Americans are evenly split on whether Rumsfeld should remain in his position.

Bush and Rumsfeld's number don't look so bad compared to those of Congress as a body. Only 25% of voters approve of the work Congress has been doing of late.

Click here for a complete breakout of the FOX poll numbers.


A Pew Research Center poll backs up the FOX numbers on the public's dissatisfaction with Congress. Some 53% of those polled by Pew say they would like to see "most" members of Congress defeated this fall, and 28% said they'd like to see their own representative thrown out, which is a high number for that metric.

Of those polled 51% said they hope Congress is controlled by the Democrats when all is said and done in November, compared with 41% who would rather see the GOP remain in control. Some 51% of independents favor Democrats, while 31% of independents favor the GOP.

Pew's poll summary said the numbers are reminscent of 1994, when a politcal tidal wave wiped out the Democrats.

The public's strong appetite for change in Washington is seen both in the majority of voters who say they would like to see most members of Congress defeated in November (53%), and in the sizable minority who wants to see their representative turned out in the midterms (28%). Both measures reflect anti-incumbent sentiment not seen since late in the historic 1994 campaign, just before Republicans gained control of Congress. In recent elections, far fewer voters evinced a desire for change: in October 2002, just 38% said they did not want to see most members reelected and 19% said that about their own representative.


Quinnipiac University's latest poll for Florida is also out today. The local angle here is that Sen. Hillary Clinton and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani -as has been the case for a few months- lead the presidential preference polls for their respective parties in Florida by wide margins. Giuliani leads John McCain 42% to 26%, while Clinton leads John Edwards 43% to 16%. Guiliani would take Florida in a head-to-head battle with Clinton, 52% to 41%.


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