Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Bush Performance Ratings Plummet, Poll Shows.

Concerns on Iraq and Domestic Policy Underlie a Rising Political Alienation

ABC News (June 7) - The corrosive effects of the war in Iraq and a growing disconnect on political priorities have pushed George W. Bush's performance ratings -- notably on terrorism -- to among the worst of his career, casting a pall over his second term and potentially over his party's prospects ahead.

For the first time, most Americans, 55 percent, say Bush has done more to divide than to unite the country. A career-high 52 percent disapprove of his job performance overall, and, in another first, a bare majority rates him unfavorably on a personal level. Most differ with him on issues ranging from the economy and Social Security to stem-cell research and nuclear power.

Iraq is a major thorn. With discontent over U.S. casualties at a new peak, a record 58 percent say the war there was not worth fighting. Nearly two-thirds think the United States has gotten bogged down in Iraq, up 11 points since March. Forty-five percent go so far as to foresee the equivalent of another Vietnam.

Fifty-two percent, the first majority to say so, think the Iraq war has failed to improve the long-term security of the United States, its fundamental rationale. As an extension -- and perhaps most hazardously in political terms -- approval of Bush's handling of terrorism, the base of his support, has lost 11 points since January to match its low, 50 percent in June 2004 when it was pressured both by the presidential campaign and the kidnapping and slaying of American Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia.

All these underscore a broad sense of lost promise for the president: In January, 55 percent of Americans expected Bush to do a better job in his second term than in his first. Today, vastly fewer, 30 percent, say in fact he's doing so. And even though they remain staunchly supportive, the letdown in expectations is biggest in Bush's own back yard, among Republicans.


Post a Comment

<< Home