Slip-sliding Away

I frequently discuss Bush’s slipping support in the polls. Normally, however, I ignore individual polls and rely on aggregate results of numerous major polls collected and published by Polkatz. Over the last few days, however, there have been several polls released that are just too tempting to pass up.

First, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll, conducted 31 Oct to 2 Nov in all states except Alaska and Hawaii and areas heavily damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Wilma by telephone interviews of 1,006 individuals asked, “[o]verall, do you approve, disapprove or have mixed feelings about the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?” The results show approval down from 39% a month ago:

  • Approve 37%
  • Disapprove 59%
  • Mixed feelings 3%
  • 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.”
    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.

    Not to be outdone, an ABC News—Washington Post poll of 1,202 adults, conducted from 30 Oct to 2 Nov found:

  • Bush is honest and trustworthy: 40%.
  • Handling of ethics in government: 67% negative
  • Disapproved of Bush’s overall job performance: 60%
  • Approve of overall job performance: 39%
  • The CIA leak case indicates broader ethical problems in the administration: 52%
  • Karl Rove should resign: 59%
  • The Bush administration intentionally misled the public in making its case for war: 55%
  • The war in Iraq was not worth fighting: 60%
  • The casualties level in the Iraq war is unacceptable: 73%
  • Bush’s handling of the economy: 61% negative
  • Economy is in bad shape: 65%
  • Nation is on the “wrong track”: 68%
  • Wow! It has been a long time since we have seen an Administration viewed more negatively on so many fronts.

    A CBS poll, of 936 adults from 30 Oct to 1 Nov shows that

    President Bush’s job approval has reached the lowest level yet. Only 35 percent approve of the job he’s doing.

    Congress is rated even lower. Only 34 percent approve of its work.

    Vice President Cheney has never been as popular as the president, but his favorable rating is down nine points this year to just 19 percent.

    There is much more to this fascinating CBS poll here.

    In some ways, the most interesting finding comes from a Zogby poll of 1200 people from 29 Oct to 2 Nov. Counter Punch reports:

    An astonishing 53 percent of Americans in a new poll released today by Zogby International now support impeachment of President George W. Bush if it can be shown that he lied to get the US into a war with Iraq.

    Equally stunning, the poll, which was commissioned by the organization After Downing Street, shows that even among so-called independents, support for impeachment is 50 percent, and among Republicans, it has reached 29 percent or more than one in four.

    Admittedly, this poll was commissioned by an anti-Bush group, however Zogby is a highly respected pollster. Here is a comparison of three polls about impeachment conducted since late last June (source).


    Zogby (LV)
    Net Change
    Support Impeachment 53% 50% 42% +11%
    Oppose Impeachment 42% 44% 50% -8%
    Impeachment Margin +11% +6% -8% +19%

    The swing since last June is remarkable!

    The future of this Administration is strongly dependent on (1) the outcome of Libby’s case, (2) the number and type of future indictments in Fitzgerald’s investigation, and (3) the Congressional findings about pre-war intelligence. If Americans find compelling evidence that Bush or Cheney lied the U.S. into this war, politics is going to get interesting. Naturally, the 2006 elections can both drive an impeachment, or may be heavily affected by how (n0n-)responsive the House of Representatives is to such calls.

    In the end, I believe there is little chance for an impeachment. Instead, we have three more years for people to regret their collective will.

    We can view this as a three year long “teachable moment.”

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