Pew Center Poll: Bush Approval Down To 43%, Even 53% Of GOP Supports Filibusters
(Graphic courtesy of the Pew Center)
Many of us believe that the scorched earth, “ends justifies the means” approach taken by Bush and Rove usually means that they don’t care how they win or how badly the political environment is poisoned while winning; all that matters to them is that they win regardless of how close the margin of victory. That approach may be finally harming the White House. The latest Pew Center poll, taken over the weekend, now has Bush’s approval rating falling to 43%, which is down 6% just since March.
The survey shows that Washington's springtime battles are generally not resonating. Interest in the ethics complaints against House Majority Leader Tom Delay is even lower than in the filibuster controversy. However, these fights are taking a toll on opinions of the nation's political leaders. President Bush's overall job approval rating stands at 43%, down from 49% in late March. That equals the lowest mark in Bush's presidency (43% in April 2004).
Nearly two-thirds (64%) say Republicans and Democrats in Washington have been bickering and opposing one another more than usual this year, continuing an upward trend. This is a stark contrast to the beginning of Bush's first term in office both before and after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when a significant proportion saw the parties working together more to solve problems.
Although neither party is escaping blame, the damage to the Republican Party's image may be more severe. Just 35% of Americans say they approve of the job Republican leaders in Congress are doing; 50% disapprove, up from 44% in March of this year, and 42% a year ago.
These generally unfavorable views may have political ramifications for incumbents seeking reelection in 2006. While by more than two-to-one (49%-23%), more say they approve than disapprove of their own representative in the House, this is comparable to measures of satisfaction in the summer of 1993, a year before the historic midterm elections in 1994 in which the Democratic Party lost its majority in the House.
Although as Pew notes interest in the filibuster battle and DeLay’s problems are not resonating with the public in large numbers, those that are following it closely are turning against the GOP’s position. Due to the lifetime nature of judicial appointments, 62% believe that the minority party has a right to block the appointment of nominees they are strongly against, with even 53% of the Republicans feeling this way.