Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Gas and Filibusters 

The state of the mandate, from a new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend:
Satisfaction with congressional Republicans also has sagged. By 47%-36%, those polled say the country would be better off if Democrats controlled Congress. That's the best showing for Democrats since the GOP won control of both houses of Congress in 1994.

Americans express more concern about the price of gas than they do about the high-profile dispute over Democrats' filibuster of Bush's judicial nominations, the survey shows. And they are holding Republicans, who control the White House and Congress, responsible for their unease about the economy and Iraq . . . .

Bush's overall approval rating was 46%, down 4 percentage points since early May but higher than the 45% low in March. On specific issues, 40% approved of his handling of Iraq and the economy, 33% of his handling of Social Security.

Only on handling terrorism did Bush receive a net positive rating: 55% approve, 40% disapprove . . . .

There are red flags for Bush on two standard measures of a president's political health. The proportion that says he has "the personality and leadership qualities a president should have" fell to a new low of 52%. A record 57% say they disagree with him on the issues that matter the most to them.

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