Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Time for a Management Change

[[R A T I N G S]] * While George W. Bush takes to the lectern, hoping to convince Americans that the three-year-old “pre-emptive war” in Iraq is going well, despite daily evidence of escalating violence and disorder in that country, a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll finds respondents saying--by a 48 percent to 40 percent margin--that Democrats could do a better job of managing the Iraq conflict than congressional Republicans have. As Taegan Goddard notes in his Political Wire blog, “These were the best numbers for congressional Democrats since the poll began two years ago.” When asked which party they will be supporting in the November midterm elections, 55 percent of those quesitoned say they’ll side with the Dems, while only 39 percent plan to vote GOP.

Bush doesn’t fare much better than his Republican congressional colleagues when it comes to public support for his efforts in the Middle East. Asked whether the prez has a clear plan for Iraq, 67 percent of respondents say he does not, while only 32 percent believe he does. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed now contend that the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Saddam Hussein’s homeland was a mistake.

This same poll shows the scandalized Bush with a paltry 36 percent job approval rating, “the lowest mark of his presidency in a Gallup poll, falling a percentage point below the 37 percent approval he scored in November.”

... AND DOWN HE GOES: Meanwhile, a new CBS News poll has Americans giving Bush only a 34 percent approval rating for his performance in the Oval Office. It’s getting so that Dubya’s unpopularity isn’t even news anymore.

IS THERE A BOTTOM TO THIS?: It seems the prez’s marks aren’t done slipping. A brand-new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds that Bush’s “approval rating has hit a new low and his image for honesty and effectiveness has been damaged.” In the aftermath of the Dubai Ports debacle, only 33 percent of respondents to the Pew survey say they have a favorable view of the prez’s job performance, and only 40 percent consider him trustworthy. Fifty-six percent of respondents say Bush is “out of touch” with what’s going on in the government (even more than the 47 percent who thought the same thing about Ronald Reagan two decades back), and 48 percent of Americans, when asked to apply a single word to the prez, choose “incompetent,” “idiot,” or “liar.”

There’s just no good way to spin that one.

READ MORE:Conservatives Who Denounced Previous CBS Poll Now Mum on Latest Poll Showing Same Results” (Media Matters); “Only the GOP Can Save Us,” by Garrison Keillor (Salon); “Kerry on the Democrats’ Message for 2008” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer).

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