Two years ago, Slate columnist Bruce Reed suggested that George W. Bush’s disapproval rating among Americans might someday match that of his Republican’t predecessor, Richard M. Nixon. Well, it seems that prediction has finally come true.
The latest USA Today/Gallup Poll shows the prez’s disapproval rating at 66 percent--the same public-disapproval rating that the Watergate-scandalized Nixon scored in the week before he resigned from office back in 1974. As Chris Bowers observes at Open Left, “this figure also puts Bush only 1% away from the all-time highest disapproval, set by Harry Truman in early January, 1952.” No recent U.S. president can top Bush’s low. George H.W. Bush’s highest disapproval rating in the Gallup Poll was 60 percent, Jimmy Carter’s was 59 percent, Ronald Reagan’s was 56 percent, and Bill Clinton’s was only 50 percent.
Although the USA Today story about the survey fails to mention this new comparison between Bush and Nixon, it does note that the current prez’s approval rating in the Gallup Poll has “reached a new low”: 29 percent. The paper adds that 62 percent of Americans surveyed “say the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, the first time that number has topped 60%.” No wonder there’s talk on Capitol Hill of troop reductions.
READ MORE: “Bush’s the One,” by Bruce Reed (Slate).