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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Can There Be Too Many Bad Bush Numbers?

DR doesn’t think so either. So feast your peepers on these, fresh from the same Newsweek poll cited above.
First, Bush’s overall approval rating is down to 51 percent, heading for the sub-50 territory first reached by the Winston Group poll reported last week. And we have a bit of a milestone in terms of his re-elect number in this poll. For the first time, we have 50 percent saying they would not like to see Bush re-elected to another term as president (44 percent say they would).
Then, consider his approval ratings in other areas. He gets a dreadful 38 percent approval on the economy, with 57 percent disapproval. Incredibly, his rating on taxes is not all that much better, with 42 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval. Imagine that, on taxes!
His rating on health care is also abysmal, with 37 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval. And his ratings on education and the environment, two domestic issues where his ratings have been at least mediocre are heading into in the danger zone. His education rating is 46 percent approval with 43 percent disapproval, for only a +3 margin, down from +14 in late July. And his environmental rating now has higher disapproval (44 percent) than approval (43 percent). Yet in late July, approval of his job on the environment was still running 9 points ahead of disapproval.
And then there’s foreign policy. Consistent with recent polls, his rating in this area in general is now just 48 percent and his rating on Iraq in particular is now net negative with 46 percent approval and 47 percent disapproval.
Not that Bush still doesn’t have areas of strength, of course. His rating on “policies to prevent and minimize terrorism at home” is still a robust 66 percent and hasn’t fallen much since late July. Considering how little the Bush administration has actually done on the homeland security front, a rating this high is pretty amazing–and indicates an area where Democrats need to get to work and develop a critique that bites out of the abundant raw material.