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If the Economy’s Improving, It’s Still Not Helping Bush Much

Two just-released polls confirm that the recent good economic news hasn’t helped Bush’s standing with the public much. The latest Ipsos/Cook Political Report poll has the right direction/wrong track question at 38 percent right direction/56 percent wrong track, exactly where this measure was in the last half of September and early October.

Bush’s overall approval rating in the Ipsos poll is at 50 percent, the lowest rating they’ve recorded for him since 9/11. Even his approval rating on the economy has snapped back to net negative (46 percent approval/51 percent disapproval) after reaching the break-even point in early November. And, for the first time in this poll, the number who would “definitely vote to re-elect Bush as President” is identical with the number who would “definitely vote for someone else” (37 percent to 37 percent). (Another 25 percent say they would “consider voting for someone else”.)

The latest Time/CNN poll has a different re-elect question, but also has Bush at a post-9/11 low. In this poll 47 percent say they would be very likely or somewhat likely to vote for him for re-election, compared to 48 percent who say they would be very or somewhat unlikely to vote for him. Significantly, more people say they would be very unlikely to vote for him (38 percent) than say they would be very likely to support him (32 percent).

This poll also shows how the public’s personal bond with Bush is continuing to erode. Just 44 percent now say he is a leader they can trust (down from 56 percent in March), compared to 54 percent who say they have some doubts and reservations. Note that political independents have an even more jaundiced view: only 38 percent say they can trust him, while 61 percent have doubts.

In addition, by 48 percent to 39 percent, the public thinks Bush has been too partisan in office; by 53 percent to 43 percent, they think he has been too quick to interject his own moral and religious beliefs into politics; by 54 percent to 44 percent, they think he is out of touch with ordinary Americans; and by 58 percent to 37 percent, they think he has favored policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Hmmm. Sounds like the public’s starting to catch on.



or anyone for that matter - is there a reliable poll out there that is asking seniors and people over 50yo regarding the new medicare legislation? i would like to know if bush can count on a bump from seniors for this or do most people see it as another oportunity for the admin to give a special interest handout to the hmo/health insurance companies.

as always ruy, it is encouraging to see the numbers out there starting to lean in our favor. thanks for the analysis.

The only reason things have picked up, is because we all see light at the end of this long horrible Bush tunnel we have been staring into for 3 years. Looking forward to 2004 and nearly killing myself for my candidate of choice to move out the current resident of 1600 Pennsyvania Avenue.

Seriously, we can't stand another four years living this kind of life in America: fear, depression, dysfunctional government. (I was going to say leadership, but with Bush that's an oxymoron!)

It's time to get this country moving forward in a positive direction with someone who has a plan, and a brain.

I second Paul's request. I just had an argument with a guy who thinks the Medicare bill is going to push FLorida out of reach for the Dem candidate in 2004. I tend to think that it gives a bit of an edge to the Dem candidate, especially if that candidate is someone who can credibly attack Bush on the issue, and make the case that the bill is both ineffective and expensive, when an effective and (relatively) inexpensive alternative was available. A candidate like Dean (a former doctor who has a strong and credible record on healthcare and fiscal discipline in Vermont) could make that argument very well, and I think it would be attractive to seniors.

Any thoughts? Any solid poll numbers, or is it still too early?

From where I sit the economy is definitely picking up, but far too many people are out of work. That isn't going to change between now and next November.

Of course, any improvement will be attributed to "the tax cuts are working!"

Ever Dem politician everywere should be talking about the HUGE BUSH TAX HIKES, not the Bush Tax "Cuts" that we are all stupified into talking about. Each Tax Cut is results in HIGHER DEFICITS which add to the DEBT which accrues INTEREST. That interest never would have never occured had we not slashed our tax base to ribbons. It is only going to be paid off with the BUSH BIRTH TAX where every child born is more in debt than the one born just before.

Get that message across, and a few bumps of improved quarterly returns just won't matter.