Wednesday :: Apr 6, 2005

Gallup Says Bush Failing on Social Security - 50% Now Think Bush Lied About Iraq


by Steve

The latest Gallup Poll done for CNN and USA Today was released late last night and hit the media this morning, and with some surprise, the wire copies made an issue about a possible second-term public disenchantment with Bush.

The other issue that the coverage and Gallup focused on in their releases was the fact that after over a month of scripted appearances in front of Stepford crowds of adoring supporters, Bush continues to lose ground on selling privatization. His approval ratings after a month of effort have now fallen to 35% approve, 57% disapprove, and 61% now think private accounts are a bad idea. The poll shows that Democrats are not paying a price for not offering a solution of their own, as 40% of respondents say that they blame Bush and the GOP Congress for not moving fast enough to fix Social Security, while only 32% blame the Democrats in Congress.

And it won’t get any better when after initially saying that he wanted Congress to step out in front and come up with a solution, Bush now sees that his own members of Congress have stepped away from his plan and are quite happy to let the Administration do all the talking, divesting his own GOP leadership of any involvement in selling privatization. Furthermore, a leading Senate Democrat now says privatization is dead, and another Senate Democrat whom Bush had been courting to cross over says he has repeatedly asked the White House for a more detailed plan, but has never gotten a response. So while the White House is taking over from their own members of Congress the job of selling privatization to Stepford crowds, they can’t seem to find the time for offering a detailed plan to Democrats.

Aside from the bad news that Gallup had for Bush on Social Security, the poll also highlighted Bush’s declining poll numbers for his handling of everything, from the economy (approval now down to 41%), Terri Schiavo (approval at only 34%), and Iraq (back down to 43%). The results for Iraq and the economy are major surprises for me, because Bush can claim cautious success there with the announcement today that agreements have finally been reached on the makeup of most of the top leadership for the new government; and the continual crowing by the Administration that the economy is just fine. Obviously, the public doesn’t buy the happy talk on the economy, and has already made their mind up on Iraq, regardless of new developments.

The poll also showed how much the GOP suffered for its manipulation of the Schiavo case, when 55% of respondents said the GOP was using the federal government to interfere with the private lives of most Americans. To its credit, USAT ran a separate story on this. Only 40% of the same respondents thought the Democrats were, a startling turnaround after years of conservative drivel alleging that the "libruls" wanted government to run everyone’s life. Also, 39% of those polled though the religious right had too much influence over both Bush and the GOP Congress.

But also reported in the poll, and noted by USAT was the startling finding that for the first time, 50% of those polled think Bush lied to get us into Iraq.

And then after you digest the implications of that finding, think about this fact: this latest Gallup poll was based on a sample that resumed a four-point GOP advantage over Democrats:

CNN/USAT/Gallup Poll
April 1-2, 2005
Sample Party ID Composition

GOP: 35.1%
Ind: 33.1%
Dem: 31.3%

If integrity finally emerges as a vulnerability for Bush, at the same time that consumer confidence starts nose-diving over stagnant wages and rising gas prices, how far behind are approval ratings in the low 40’s?

Don't think for a moment that there isn't a connection between Bush's falling numbers on Social Security and his 50% "he lied" number on Iraq.

Steve :: 10:54 AM :: Comments (34) :: Digg It!