[[P O L L S]] * If the White House is hoping for some sign of a turnaround in George W. Bush’s public approval, it’s going to have to keep holding its breath. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll confirms what other surveys have found: the prez’s standing is now at an all-time low. Only 40 percent of respondents to this new poll approve of Bush’s performance--a 6 percent drop since July. Thirty-seven percent endorse the prez’s handling of the Iraq debacle, while 58 percent disapprove. And 55 percent of those polled say that troop levels in Iraq should be reduced, while only 36 percent want them to stay as they are.
One of the worst findings for Bush: “After [Hurricane] Katrina, 75 percent now believe the United States is not adequately prepared for a nuclear, biological or chemical attack. That’s an increase since June 2002, nine months after Sept. 11, when 66 percent believed this.” (Hey, wasn’t Dubya supposed to be making the country safer, not less safe?) Forty-five percent of Americans agree that spending on Bush’s Iraq war should be reduced in order to pay for Katrina relief. Other favored sources of such revenue: repeal tax cuts (27 percent), cut federal spending in other areas (12 percent), increase the national deficit (8 percent), and raise income taxes (7 percent).
READ MORE: “Katrina Synthesis: Bush’s Job Rating,” by Mark Blumenthal (Mystery Pollster).