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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Another day, another awful poll for the President

Boy, when it rains...
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll might sound like a broken record, but the tune grows louder as congressional midterm elections get closer and closer: President Bush is once again facing the lowest job approval rating of his presidency, the lowest percentage of Americans who believe the country is headed in the right direction, and an electorate that greatly prefers a Democratic-controlled Congress over a Republican-controlled one.

Yet the poll also shows something else that goes beyond the November midterm elections: A strong majority believes Bush is experiencing a long-term setback from which he’s unlikely to recover. “He’s losing his grip on governance,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican Bill McInturff. “It’s now a sense that we’ve seen the best that he’s going to produce as president of the United States.”
According to the poll, only 37 percent approve of Bush’s job performance — his lowest mark ever in the survey. That’s a two-point drop since the last NBC/Journal poll, and a one-point decline from his previous low of 38 percent last November. In addition, just 26 percent believe the nation is headed in the right direction, a tie from the previous Bush administration low, which also occurred in November.

What’s more, 58 percent believe Bush is facing a long-term setback from which he’s unlikely to improve. Twenty-six percent think he’s experiencing only a short-term setback, and 11 percent say he’s dealing with no setback at all.


Looking ahead to the midterm elections in November, the poll shows that 50 percent prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress versus 37 percent who want it controlled by Republicans. McInturff says it’s a “problematic environment” for the Republicans. “You are working harder as a Republican [candidate] because you are pushing uphill.”