- Jul 31, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Summary of Findings
President George W. Bush's poll numbers are going from bad to worse. His job approval rating has fallen to another new low, as has public satisfaction with national conditions, which now stands at just 29%. And for the first time since taking office in 2001, a plurality of Americans believe that George W. Bush will be viewed as an unsuccessful president.
About four-in-ten (41%) say that, in the long run, Bush will be an unsuccessful president, up from 27% in January and the highest percentage expressing that view since he took office. About a quarter (26%) believe Bush will be successful * down 10 points since January * while 30% say it is too early to tell.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 6-10 among 1,500 adults, finds the president beset by problems on multiple fronts. The president's overall job approval rating has slipped to 38%. And on a number of issues, ranging from the federal budget deficit to relations with U.S. allies, majorities or pluralities say that Bush's policies have made things worse, not better.
In advance of Iraq's Oct. 15 constitutional referendum, public opinion on the war has taken a negative turn. For the first time since the war began, a majority of Americans (53%) say the U.S. military effort there is not going well. Half of Americans now say the decision to use military force in Iraq was wrong, up from 44% last month. Support for keeping U.S. forces in Iraq, which had remained stable over the past year, also has declined. As many Americans now say the U.S. should bring its troops home as soon as possible as favor keeping the troops there until Iraq is stable (48% vs. 47%).
While the presidential election is still more than three years off, Bush's problems are fueling a widespread desire for change. By a sizable margin (69%-25%), more Americans say that as they look ahead to the next election, they would prefer to see a president who offers different policies from the Bush administration rather than one offering programs similar to the Bush administration's. By comparison, as the Clinton administration was nearing the end of its tenure in June 2000, far fewer people expressed a desire for a change of course (52%).
Similarly, more people now believe that Bush will be viewed as an unsuccessful president than said that about President Clinton at any point in his administration. In October 1994, a low point of Clinton's presidency and just a month before the Republicans gained control of Congress, roughly a third (35%) believed Clinton would go down as an unsuccessful president, compared with 41% who say that about Bush currently. However, more people also think Bush will ultimately be successful than expressed that opinion about Clinton in October 1994 (26% vs. 14%).
WASHINGTON - The building blocks of
President Bush's career — his credibility and image as a strong and competent leader — have been severely undercut by self-inflicted wounds, leading close allies to fret about his presidency. They say he's lost his way.
These senior Republicans, including past and current White House advisers, say they believe the president can find his way back into people's hearts but extreme measures need to be taken. Shake up his staff, unveil fresh policies, travel the country and be more accountable for his mistakes — these and other solutions are being discussed at the highest levels of the GOP.
But first this question: How did this happen?
Bush built an image as a straight-talking politician as governor of Texas and a candidate for president. Running to replace the Clinton administration in 2000, he raised his right hand at nearly every campaign event and swore to uphold the dignity and honor of the presidency.
The vow was not just a reference to the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. It was a nod at every ethical question that ever hovered over
President Clinton, any blurring of what Bush viewed as a clear bright line between right and wrong.
"In my administration, we will ask not only what is legal but what is right, not just what the lawyers allow but what the public deserves," Bush said Oct. 26, 2000.
Five years later, senior White House adviser I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was accused of covering up his involvement in the
CIA leak case, an investigation that raises questions about the role played by Bush confidant Karl Rove and Vice President
Dick Cheney to discredit an
Iraq war critic.
The case cuts at the president's hard-earned credibility.
In June 2004, Bush said he stood by his pledge to "fire anybody" in his administration shown to have leaked Valerie Plame's name. His press secretary, after checking with Libby and Karl, assured the public that neither man had anything to do with the leak.
It turns out they both were involved, though Rove has not been charged and neither man has been charged with breaking the law against revealing the identity of an undercover agent.
The president's own supporters call that a Clintonesque distinction that violates the spirit of Bush's pledge from 2000. Some say Bush should publicly chastise Libby and Rove while insisting on a public accounting of Cheney's role.
A White House official privately put it this way: Bush has to step up somehow and be accountable.
How can Bush change this? Many are suggesting a shake up in the white house, new blood and new ideas can turn him around. I completely agree, he needs to seperate himself from those involved in the Plame scandal and bring in fresh blood. Trying to make new issues to overshadow the old ones isn't going to work.
How many think a pull out in Iraq will happen around the '08 election and a small pull out may happen around the '06 election?