Friday, April 15, 2005

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By Will Lester
Denver Post
04-09-05

The public's dissatisfaction with President Bush and Congress is growing, with ratings dropping amid record-high gas prices, war in Iraq, the Social Security debate and the emotional Terri Schiavo case.

The Republican president's job approval is at 44 percent, with 54 percent disapproving. Only 37 percent have a favorable opinion of the work being done by the GOP-led Congress, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.

Bush's job approval was at 49 percent in January, the same month in which he was sworn in for a second term, while Congress' was at 41 percent.

The president was asked Friday about his falling ratings in some polls, and he claimed indifference.

"Some of them were going up the other day," he responded as he flew back from Rome on Air Force One. "You can find them going up and you can find them going down. You can pretty much find out what you want in polls is my point."

Asked about Bush's decline with the public, Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio pointed to uphill efforts to change Social Security, the Schiavo case and "economic jitters" heightened by rising oil prices.

Republicans in Congress and the president moved quickly during the Easter recess to approve legislation intended to prolong the life of Schiavo, the brain- damaged Florida woman who died after her feeding tube was disconnected.

Democrats, whose public standing is pretty close to the Republicans' these days, are pondering how to capitalize on the general dissatisfaction among Americans toward Washington.

"I think the Democrats have to be clearer about offering alternatives, not just the critique," said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. "People already know what the problems are; they want to know the solutions."

Thomas Johnston, a Democratic retiree from Mooresville, N.C., often doesn't agree with the positions taken by national Democrats. But he thinks being overly cautious hurts them.
"I think they're trying to ride the fence, and that doesn't work," Johnston said. "Say what you believe and stick with it."

The number supporting Bush's handling of some domestic issues dipped between March and April, to 42 percent for the economy and 38 percent for issues such as education and health care, according to the poll, conducted for AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Support for the president's approach to his top domestic priority, Social Security, remained at 36 percent, while 58 percent oppose it.

"The public hasn't bought into the idea of private accounts and the necessity of them," said Charles Franklin, a political scientist who studies public opinion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The poll of 1,001 adults was taken April 4-6 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

5 Comments:

Blogger J. Marquis said...

Great graphic!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Jet said...

It's funny how those approvals keep slipping, yet the presumption they have a "mandate" never budges. Talk about selective information gathering. These folks wrote the book on it.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Conservatives won't listen to any polls they don't like. If they don't like the results, either the questions were biased or the results were wrong. You just can't trust that godless liberal media.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

Why should they care as long as Diebold and ES&S are taking care of their hold on power and no one is bothering to challenge any of it? Polls are only relevant if you are living in a democracy.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Should our leaders lead, or follow polls? If we live in a democracy, we don't need a Congress or President. We could all vote on what we want to do, and have an administration follow our directions. Since we live in a republic, not a democracy, we elect representatives to make decisions for us.

So, should these leaders follow the polls, or should they lead? Just remember, when FDR took us into WWII, it wasn't a popular action...

8:16 PM  

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