June 21, 2007

Bush’s popularity: lower than Carter, nears Nixon

Filed under: politics — ubikcan @ 4:08 pm


It’s hard to imagine that this president could sink any lower in the polls. Practically every poll however shows Bush continuing to sink in popularity. Now Bush’s “popularity” is lower than that of Carter at his nadir and is rapidly approaching that of Nixon–a president whose crimes forced him out of office.

A rough guide to the electorate is that about 33% of the country are Republicans and about the same number Democrat (I mean the base, not those who vote; in the last election almost 40 million people voted for the Democratic party, a gain of about 5.5 percent compared to 2004 and about five million more votes than for the Republican party).

You have to work hard to lose your base, but Bush, now at 26% is doing so.

While I’m glad the country realizes this, there is a danger. Just as the GOP wishes to pin the political fallout of the inevitable withdrawal on the Dems, so right-wing commentators are now establishing distance between themselves and Bush.

This could achieve a neat political goal for them. First of course, the rats leaving the sinking ship. But the rates or the GOP are leaving Bush in clever way: they are claiming he’s not a true conservative after all (this came up recently with regard to the immigration debate and has been blogged about by Glenn Greenwald). By saying this, or claiming it, the right-wing can isolate dissatisfaction with their policies on Bush as a person, rather than their policies.

More cleverly in my opinion, they are trying to say that Bush over-reached and that the presidency needs to be reigned in. This is clearly preparatory for the possibility of an incoming Democratic president (this is not my analysis, rather either Greenwald or Digby pointed it out).

If a Dem wins the White House the GOP can say that he or she needs to be reigned in and curtailed, and the largely conservative press in this country will echo that view. Whether they will succeed is another matter.

While we do need to be careful about uncritically noting Bush’s unpopularity, this time, there’s the netroots to overcome and our ability to get out competing and critical viewpoints.



  1. I think the base is distancing themselves from him bc they don’t believe in what he’s trying to accomplish. No one likes his stance on the immigration issue, and he’s turned the war in Iraq into something political instead of something military. Even with all this, and all the stories you hear about his horrible approval ratings, he is still near double that of the Democratically controlled Congress. The big story should be that Congress’ approval rating has fallen to 14%.

    86% disapproves of what you are doing is just a tail tell sign that our elected officials are putting forth their agendas instead of listening to the people. Presidential races are always close, and always bring out the largest amount of votes. I think America is disgusted with both parties, so it’s really going to matter who each party selects and how they can polarize the voters.

    Comment by al66888 — June 21, 2007 @ 4:22 pm

  2. Shame on you, you sound like a “concern troll.” The “plague on both your houses” is a cop-out and a cover-up for the low GOP ratings.

    Congressional popularity is hard to measure (obviously since it’s both GOP and Dem) but fluctuates wildly. Nevertheless Americans overwhelmingly want a Democratic-led Congress (52-36):

    “Regardless of how you might plan to vote in your own district, which party would you like to see in control of Congress after the congressional elections in 2008: the Democrats or the Republicans?” If other/unsure: “Well, which way do you lean — more toward the Democrats or the Republicans?” Options rotated

    Democrats Republicans Other (vol.) Unsure
    52 36 4 7

    Independents break 47-27, so it looks like it’s goodnight for the GOP.

    Comment by ubikcan — June 21, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

  3. I wouldn’t count on the independents going dem this year. I am an independent having left the dems behind in’98 and will again be voting third parties as I have been for a decade. I hear more and more people say they are moving away from BOTH the dems and repubs. I say about time!

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

    Comment by ClapSo — June 21, 2007 @ 6:57 pm

  4. Shame on me ubikcan? Shame on you for being so politically one-sided that you cannot seperate the two. Only the GOP (which I’m not a member of) is suffering low rating? Do some research and stop letting the MSM use you as a puppet

    Who has a lower rating, Bush or Reid? A republican controlled executive branch or a democratic controlled legislative branch? Here’s one that may be funny to you- who has the lower ratings- Bush or the Newspapers that constantly talk about Bush’s approval ratiing? I’ll give you a hint, the President has more consumer confidence than the papers and the papers have editorial control over their own image.

    And don’t get too caught up on ‘democratic’ lead. America wants a moderate to conservative lead. That is why, the democrats ran all middle to right leaning democrats in the 06 elections. (remember what happened to lib candidates like Ned Lamont) And it’s the reason the democrats can’t pass anything in congress is because their ultra liberal leaders butt heads with the blue dogs that America voted in. Besides, there has never been a time in history where either party has held the 8 full years of a President, so history said that this would be a Democratic win.

    And, I tend to lean more towards the way ClapSo does. I don’t care whether you’re a D or a R, I care about your core values and record. And that is why I couldn’t vote for a Republican in the last congressional election, bc they deserved to lose. Over 80% of Americans are against this immigration bill and yet there are very few D’s voting against it. (is this where I add the cliche- bye bye Donkeys?). They’ve been calling for the callopse of the GOP since I can remember, and last time I checked 3 of the last 4 presidents have been Republicans. Neither party is going anywhere unless the R’s don’t get back to their conservative principles and the D’s don’t start to move away from their lune base.

    How dare I? That’s funny. Next time, don’t just spout off numbers, do some research into the numbers.

    Comment by al66888 — June 22, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  5. Why should I care what the largely conservative mainstream press is rated? They helped make this presidency and they can jolly well go down with it. Editorially conservative papers such as WaPo, WSJ, and the NYT (which supported the invasion of Iraq) are now seeing the results of their choices.

    A concern troll is someone who pretends to be concerned about their political opponents. At least in this comment you don’t do that anymore but revert to your talking points: the “lune (sic) base” of the Democrats.

    What happened to Ned Lamont?? Oh you mean apart from the fact that he won the Democratic Senate nomination over a long-term and powerful (if useless) Senator on the back of a people’s movement? He did not win through to the Senate, partly because of a spoiler role by a fake GOP candidate and partly because of GOP campaigning (Susan Collins, who is getting the favor returned to her by Lieberman). In the next election, who does not honestly believe that Dems will win more Senate seats making Lieberman irrelevant? Next question.

    Your attempt to identify the liberal progressive movement as fringe has already been swept away in Digby’s speech:

    “But there’s no disagreement among us that the modern conservative movement of Newt and Grover and Karl and Rush has proven to be a dangerous cultural and political cancer on the body politic.

    “You will not find anyone amongst us who believes that the Bush administration’s executive power grab and flagrant partisan use of the federal government is anything less than an assault on the Constitution.

    “We stand together against the dissolution of habeas corpus, and the atrocities of Abu Grahib and Guantanamo.

    “And we all agree that Islamic terrorism is a threat, but one that we cannot meet with military power alone.

    “And yes, a vast majority of us were against this mindless invasion of Iraq from the beginning, or at least saw the writing on the wall long before Peggy Noonan discovered that George W. Bush wasn’t the second coming of Winston Churchill.

    “Sadly, we also all agree that the mainstream media is part of the problem. Democracy sufferes when not being held accountable by a vigorous press.”

    It is this lack of accountability that makes the MSM so unattractive–as Glenn Greenwald has eloquently documented many times. His recent expose of Richard Cohen in WaPo for example–a supposed “liberal”–is priceless.

    Commenting on Digby’s speech Greenwal rightly notes:

    “That is a rather comprehensive list of the defining views of what is commonly referred to as the “liberal blogosphere” or “the progressive blogosphere” or the “netroots.” Is there a single one of those views which can remotely be described as fringe, radical, extreme, out of the mainstream, or even rigidly ideological?”

    Heh-indeed. The whole article is worth reading.

    Look, you may be opposed to the Democrats in Congress but one valid interpretation of their low performance is that they’re not getting the things done that they were elected to do. Part of that is typical GOP obstructionism (vide the bill passed yesterday on fuel standards which the GOP managed to water down at the request of the auto industry), but part is also due to Dem’s being weak-willed on challenging Bush. Americans want to pull out of Iraq, they want to end illegal wiretaps on Americans, and they want stem cell research. Dems need to get back in touch here.

    I’m glad you agree my numbers are correct. Perhaps you could address the substance of the post which identifies how conservatives–having made Bush–are now leaving him once his true popularity is reached (26%? 23%?) and claiming he was “never” conservative?

    Comment by ubikcan — June 22, 2007 @ 11:01 am

  6. largely conservative press? What country do you get your news from? And you did not just call that liberal bastian the NY Times a conservative paper did you? 75% of all media leans left.

    Your points are so hilarious, you are the stereo-typical kool-aid drinking leftist. I guess you don’t understand politics as evident by your Ned Lamont comment. Fist you say he won the Senate nomination on the ‘back of the people’ Wrong! Only those who claim political affiliation (which by the way- for the D’s in CT it is somewhere around 11% of the population) vote in a primary. When it came ‘back to the people’ the people said NO to Lemont and his liberal policies. Next question? lol Instead of answering more questions, try studying the electoral process.

    You need to stop praying at the altar of Digby. Who cares what he thinks, he’s a hard core leftist and you want me to go to him to figure out what’s wrong and right with the conservative movement. And of course he talks about the mindless invasion of Iraq and W, but fails to mention how all of the D Seantors including the one who appears to be leading the polls for the D presidential nomination, all voted for it.

    I agree that their low poll numbers have to do with not getting things done. By unlike you, I’m not ideologically tied to a party, but rather a set of ideals. Just as the R’s low approval rating in Congress was due to their failures. But to blame it on GOP obstructionism is just laughable. It’s typical, ‘we don’t do anything wrong, it must be someone else’s fault’ thinking.

    American’s don’t want to pull out of Iraq, they want to win, and for the soldiers to then come home. They are sick and tired of politicians (from both sides) fighting the war (like vietnam) and not soldiers. And you should really take a look at the NSA program, but it is not spying on Americans, but rather on calls originating from outside the US. A similar plan thwarted the terrorists in Britain that were going to get on planes and blow them up over the Atlantic.

    Your numbers are correct, your analysis is way off. And once again, you finish you argument showing your ignorance. It’s not that they said he wasn’t a conservative, but rather that he abandoned his conservative principles.

    Comment by al66888 — June 22, 2007 @ 12:51 pm

  7. In regards to your far left blabbering about stem cell research, most Americans are not in favor of destroying human eggs for stem cell research. What you failed to mention is the president will not pass Stem Cell Research Bill that involves testing embryonic stem cells or the destruction of human eggs. So you statement about most Americans being for stem research is very misleading.


    Comment by Tbah73 — June 22, 2007 @ 3:48 pm

  8. Wrong.

    USA today/Gallup poll, 4/13-15/07:

    “As you may know, President Bush has said he will veto a bill to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Do you think Bush should or should not veto this bill?”

    Should: 31%

    Should Not: 64%

    Unsure: 5%

    Is your conclusion from this that most Americans are against it an example of Karl Rove Republican math??

    Next troll!

    (ps why is it that these trolls think that coming to a left-progressive blog and screaming “far left” is going to make me fall down quivering? Such schoolyard taunts are nonsensical on the face of it.)

    Comment by ubikcan — June 22, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

  9. We come here for a laugh- there’s nothing funnier than an angry liberal. Calling names in one sentence and then speaking of how his party is the party of compassion in the next. It’s great. Thanks for all you do.

    And, just to let you know, I kind of on the fence with the whole stem cell thing. I don’t think they should be created for tests, but for what I’ve read these are ones that would have been destroyed from fertility clinics. I have to do more research before I can weigh in. My thought is, if you want to end the creation and destruction of embryos, it would be the fertility clinic and not the stem cell scientist you would want to go after. I could be wrong, I haven’t researched it enough.

    PS- was that US Today poll taken by all conservatives that read that huge conservative paper? If your audience is biased one way, how can your polls reflect anything else?

    Comment by al66888 — June 24, 2007 @ 10:11 pm

  10. Hello,

    Perhaps you’re not familiar with how polls are taken. It is not a poll of the newspaper’s readers but a poll undertaken by the newspaper for publication. You will note it says that this is a USA Today/Gallup poll. That means that Gallup–a polling company–undertook the poll for the newspaper.

    Still, if you don’t like that poll you can follow the link I provided to the polling web site and see other ones on stem cell research. They all indicate a strong preference for such research and an opposition to the GOP position on this; results that are firm over several years.

    Here is a selection. By the way, Americans also strongly favor abortion rights!

    Stem Cell Research

    CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. May 4-6, 2007. N=1,028 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.


    “Do you think the federal government should or should not fund research that would use newly created stem cells obtained from human embryos?”


    Should Should Not Unsure
    % % %

    53 41 6

    54 39 7

    51 41 8

    USA Today/Gallup Poll. April 13-15, 2007. N=1,007 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.


    “As you may know, the federal government currently provides very limited funding for medical research that uses stem cells obtained from human embryos. Which would you prefer the government to do: place no restrictions on government funding of stem cell research, ease the current restrictions to allow more stem cell research, keep the current restrictions in place, or should the government not fund stem cell research at all?” Options rotated

    Restrictions Ease
    Restrictions Current
    Restrictions No Funding
    At All Unsure
    % % % % %

    22 38 20 16 4

    11 42 24 19 4

    14 41 24 14 7


    “As you may know, President Bush has said he will veto a bill to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Do you think Bush should or should not veto this bill?”

    Should Should Not Unsure
    % % %

    31 64 5

    ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Jan. 16-19, 2007. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3. Fieldwork by TNS.


    “Do you support or oppose embryonic stem cell research?”

    Support Oppose Unsure
    % % %

    61 31 8

    59 33 8

    63 28 9


    “Do you support or oppose loosening the current restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?”

    Support Oppose Unsure
    % % %

    55 38 7

    Associated Press-AOL News Poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. Dec. 19-21, 2006. N=1,004 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.


    “Should the government ease the restrictions on use of federal money to research embryonic stem cells, or not?”

    Should Should Not Unsure








    Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Oct. 26-27, 2006. N=1,002 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults). RV = registered voters


    “Do you favor or oppose using federal tax dollars to fund medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos?”

    Favor Oppose Unsure
    % % %
    ALL adults 50 37 13
    Republicans 34 54 12
    Democrats 62 27 11
    Independents 54 34 12


    48 40 12
    10/14-15/04 RV 50 36 14

    Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Aug. 24-25, 2006. N=1,002 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.


    “. . . Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling federal funding for stem cell research?”

    Approve Disapprove Unsure
    % % %

    31 52 17


    “As you may know, scientists may have recently discovered a method to potentially obtain stem cells from human embryos WITHOUT destroying the embryo. Some people feel that this discovery should cause the Bush Administration to change its position on stem cell research and support government funding for it. Others think that this new method does not resolve all the ethical issues and that the Bush Administration should not change its position. Which comes closer to your view?”

    Change Should Not
    Change Unsure
    % % %

    50 35 15

    NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). July 21-24, 2006. N=1,010 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.


    “Do you favor or oppose expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, which is the practice of conducting scientific research on cells extracted from human embryos in an attempt to find cures or treatments for diseases?”

    Favor Oppose Unsure
    % % %
    7/21-24/06 68 27 5


    “Recently, President Bush vetoed the bill which would have expanded federal funding for stem cell research. Do you favor or oppose his decision not to expand funding for this?”

    Favor Oppose Unsure
    % % %
    7/21-24/06 31 63 6


    “If your member of Congress voted in favor of expanding federal funding for stem cell research, would this make you more likely to vote for him or her in this November’s election, less likely to vote for him or her, or would it make no difference to you either way?”

    More Likely Less Likely No
    Difference Unsure
    % % % %
    7/21-24/06 33 19 44 4

    USA Today/Gallup Poll. July 21-23, 2006. N=1,005 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.


    “As you may know, earlier this week, President Bush vetoed a bill that would have expanded federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Do you approve or disapprove of his decision to veto this bill?”

    Approve Disapprove Unsure
    % % %

    36 58 6


    “Would you say President Bush vetoed this bill mostly on the basis of personal moral beliefs or mostly in an attempt to gain political advantage?” Options rotated

    Beliefs Politics Unsure
    % % %

    61 32 7

    CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Aug. 5-7, 2005. N=1,004 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.


    “Do you think the federal government should or should not fund research that would use newly created stem cells obtained from human embryos?”

    Should Should Not Unsure
    % % %
    8/5-7/05 56 40 4

    CBS News Poll. July 13-14, 2005. N=632 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4 (for all adults).


    “Do you approve or disapprove of medical research using embryonic stem cells?”

    Approve Disapprove Unsure
    % % %
    ALL 56 30 14

    46 42 12

    Comment by ubikcan — June 25, 2007 @ 8:16 am

  11. First, let me call BS to you whole most American’s support abortion. Take a look at those poll numbers.


    Stricter Limits




    Anywhere from 58-60% of Americans want stricter rules or for it to be outlawed all together.

    Here’s Gallups numbers

    Always Legal
    Sometimes Legal
    Always Illegal



    68-73% think it should only be legal sometimes (which include those that think it should only be legal in cases of rape and incest) or that it should always be illegal.

    Somehow, I can’t see how 55-73% of Americans would like to see some chages as MOST Americans support abortion.

    Also, the number of people that identify themselves as pro life is always increasing. The latest numbers has it around 45% of Americans which is up from 36% in 1975. So if anytyhing, the shift is leaning towards pro life. http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=27628

    Now, as to your polling data, it really doesn’t support much. If anything, it shows you how close it really is in terms of views.

    The first one shows 53/41/6 with +/- 3. So this could be 50/44 with 6% unsure. That’s a 3% difference, that’s next to nothing.

    I’m not gonig to go through all of them, but look at how in questions 2 and 3, they are very leading. President Bush has a low approval rating, and there are certain people that would go against him no matter what. I like how the lead with….As you may know, President Bush….. Just ask the question, you’ve tainted the outcome by giving Bush’s view before asking the question. The question should simply be, should he veto it or not.

    Comment by al66888 — June 25, 2007 @ 9:42 am

  12. lol!
    Please address the issue.

    I’m not gonig to go through all of them

    I’m sure. They’re not in your favor after all.

    The first one shows 53/41/6 with +/- 3. So this could be 50/44 with 6% unsure. That’s a 3% difference, that’s next to nothing.

    The polls are consistent over several years. This data has been given to you several times and I would ask that you please assimilate it and address it without complaining that the questions are unfair. Perhaps the polls in November 2006 were also phrased unfairly against the GOP? 🙂

    Yes, abortion is a divisive issue, but again, in poll after poll, Americans reject getting rid of it (as do nearly all countries around the world).

    As noted on TAPPED recently

    The fact of the matter is that in every poll that asks about Roe, only between 25 and 30 percent of the public says it should be overturned (see here for details). That’s why in ten years on the national stage, including two presidential campaigns, George W. Bush has never actually come out and said he wants to see Roe overturned. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true. He talks about the “culture of life,” he talks about being pro-life, he sends dog-whistle cues to his base (for instance, by mentioning Dred Scott, the decision upholding slavery, which pro-lifers equate with Roe), but whenever he’s been asked the question directly, he dodges it, because he knows that two-thirds of the public disagrees with him.

    If you wish to discuss these things please take it elsewhere as this blog is not about this.

    Comment by ubikcan — June 25, 2007 @ 10:57 am

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