Gallup Says Bush Is In Trouble Over Iraq
Think there's a lot riding on Bush's speech Tuesday in front of a Stepford crowd at Fort Bragg, wherein he will blame others for Iraq?
There is. According to a Gallup poll out late Monday night for CNN and the USAT, Bush's support on Iraq has tumbled since February, the bottom has fallen out on Social Security, and he has sunk to his lowest levels ever in job approval (45%) in a Gallup poll, and has risen to his highest disapproval level ever at 53%.
And this is happening on the same day that the Downing Street Memo finally gets a 40-paragraph Page One treatment in Tuesday's Post.
Update: The internals are out from Gallup.
This poll had only slightly fewer Republicans in it (32.8%) than Democrats (34%), and almost the same number of Independents (32.1%) as Republicans. So with virtually no Democratic bias in this poll, Bush’s disapproval numbers still crept upward from where they were three weeks ago when there was a small 2.2 point advantage for the GOP in the Gallup poll of June 6-8, where Bush had a 47% approve/49% disapprove rating.
And there is a lot riding on this speech, given the numbers in the poll:
Perhaps even more telling is that an increasing number of Americans believe that Bush does not have a clear plan for how to deal with the situation in Iraq. Currently, 61% say he does not, up from 50% who expressed that opinion in January of this year. Only 37% say he does have a clear plan.
Despite the Bush administration's claim that the war in Iraq is part of the larger war against terrorism, the public is evenly divided on that matter. Forty-seven percent agree, but 50% believe the war is "an entirely separate military action."
Given these pessimistic assessments, it is not surprising that Bush's current approval rating on the war is among the lowest the president has received -- 40% approve and 58% disapprove. In early February, amid coverage of the Iraqi elections, public approval of Bush on the issue was evenly divided, but since then the public has become more critical.
The poll also shows that over the past several months, Americans are increasingly pessimistic that the United States and its allies are winning the war. Just 34% say they are, while 14% say the insurgents are winning, and 50% say neither side is.
At the same time, many Americans have had second thoughts about whether the original decision to launch the war against Iraq was justified -- today, 53% say it was a mistake, while 46% disagree.
Those of us who have watched Bush a good deal can probably figure out the script today:
1. Things are going better than the media or our critics say it is;
2. Iraq is Exhibit A in the War on Terra;
3. Anyone who calls into question the mission is trashing the sacrifice made by the troops;
4. We will not withdraw until the job is done (whatever that is);
5. None of this mess is my fault.
Place your bets kiddies. What else will he say?