Monday, December 20, 2004

Kindly Hold Our Crown While We Bang Our Head Against the Wall 

Aren't these the same people who voted seven weeks ago?
Americans have grown more sour on the situation in Iraq, driving down the president's ratings on the war and on terrorism more broadly, and fostering majority support for the ouster of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Fifty-six percent, a new high, now say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, and fewer than half think the United States is making significant progress restoring civil order there. Most call Iraq unready for the election scheduled for late next month, doubt the integrity of the election process and lack confidence it'll produce a stable government . . . .

There are political implications: Fifty-seven percent disapprove of President Bush's work on the situation, a point shy of his worst rating on Iraq, set during the Abu Ghraib scandal last spring. His approval for handling terrorism overall — his best issue — has dropped to 53 percent, near its low, 50 percent in June.

As for Rumsfeld, just 35 percent approve of his work — half of what it was just before the fall of Baghdad — and 52 percent say Bush should replace him . . . .

Intensity of sentiment is another problem for Bush: Just 27 percent approve "strongly" of his work overall, the fewest since Sept. 11, 2001, while more, 38 percent, strongly disapprove. That's the biggest margin toward strong disapproval (+11) of his presidency.
The full questionnaire and results are available in .PDF format here.

UPDATE (via Zemblan patriot K.Z.): According to CNN, Bush's 49% approval rating makes him "the first incumbent president to have an approval rating below 50 percent one month after winning re-election."

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