Thursday, March 02, 2006
2 years, 8 months to go
Bush job approval at all-time low
By William Douglas
Knight Ridder News Service
WASHINGTON - President Bush's job-approval rating fell to an all-time low - 34 percent - in a poll published Tuesday. That puts him not far above Richard Nixon's Watergate-era nadir and raises questions about how effectively he can govern in his remaining years in office.
The poll, conducted nationwide by CBS News between last Wednesday and Saturday, found that 59 percent of U.S. adults disapproved of Bush's job performance. His 34 percent approval rating was the lowest since he took office in 2001, eight points lower than in January.
''Bush is in trouble,'' said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. ''One would tend to think the dip is the Dubai ports issue, which has meant a spate of bad news. But there's been a collection of bad news.''
A politically toxic mix of messes has dragged Bush down, such as his handling of Hurricane Katrina, the ill-fated Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination, the upsurge of violence in Iraq, and the deal to let a state-owned Arab company manage terminals at six U.S. ports.
Bush's approval rating is far below those registered by three of the past four two-term presidents in February of their sixth year: Dwight Eisenhower (64 percent), Ronald Reagan (63.50 percent) and Bill Clinton (57 percent). Only Nixon, at 27.5 percent in February 1974 - six months before he resigned - was less popular than Bush is now.