The Wheels Come Off
The polls cascade down on Bush from all sides. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll paints the portrait of a president who would be bounced if this were a parliamentary government, as only 2 in 10 want Bush to set policy for the country. An AP/AOL poll by Ipsos shows 67% disapproval for Bush’s surge plan.
When President Bush delivers his next-to-last State of the Union address Tuesday night, he will confront this reality, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans appear to have given up on success in Iraq and also on his presidency.
In addition, the poll finds that nearly another two-thirds believe he shouldn’t move ahead with his troop increase to Iraq, if Congress passes a non-binding resolution opposing it. And it shows that just two in 10 want Bush taking the lead role in setting policy for the country.
“Essentially, the president is really in the cellar of public opinion,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this poll with Republican Bill McInturff. “As he faces the audience for his State of the Union, he’s going to find a mood dramatically different to the mood that greeted him at his second inaugural.”
Perhaps more significant, a whopping 65 percent believe that Bush is facing a longer-term setback from which he’s unlikely to recover. That’s compared with 25 percent who think he’s facing just a short-term setback, and 7 percent who believe he’s facing no setback at all.
And while this was happening, three GOP senators introduced a congressional resolution against Bush’s surge plan.