Robert Stein 1924-2014

Contact Information

If anyone has comments, questions or condolences, please feel free to send a private message to the family at robertstein@optonline.net.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bush's Nose Dive Isn't Over

Today’s new approval rating shows President Bush at an all-time low, 26 percent.

This figure, Newsweek reports, “puts Bush lower than Jimmy Carter, who sunk to his nadir of 28 percent in a Gallup poll in June 1979. In fact, the only president in the last 35 years to score lower than Bush is Richard Nixon. Nixon’s approval rating tumbled to 23 percent in January 1974, seven months before his resignation over the botched Watergate break-in.”

But Newsweek did not go back far enough. In February 1952, Harry Truman's approval rating was at 22 percent. During the last three years of his second term, the figure never went above the low thirties.

Truman, like Bush, was presiding over an unpopular war, in Korea, and, like Bush, perhaps even more so, was suffering from a perception of corruption and cronyism in his White House.

But if Bush were to take comfort in the fact that Truman is now remembered with admiration and affection, he would be deluding himself.

Rock bottom for Bush is still to come. If he runs true to form and keeps his vow to stand firm about Iraq if only Laura and Barney are behind him, it could get much worse.

This fall, as Congressional Republicans in danger of losing their seats in ’08 start to bail out by backing benchmarks and timelines, even diehard backers will find it hard not to see him as isolated and stubborn.

In that case, approval ratings in the teens may be coming.

4 comments:

Pamela J. Leavey said...

"In February 1952, Harry Truman's approval rating was at 22 percent. During the last three years of his second term, the figure never went above the low thirties."

So the question is can Bush sink lower than Truman? Thanks for the history, Robert.

Jasper Java said...

I doubt that Bush can sink much lower. Unfortunately, partisanship has calcified since the early fifties. It used to be that presidents could win landslide elections, because voters were more flexible in switching parties.

Now, regrettably, Bush could eat a baby live on television, and there would still be a hardcore lump of rabid Bush cultists who would say that the baby had it coming.

Jasper Java said...

I doubt that Bush can sink much lower. Unfortunately, partisanship has calcified since the early fifties. It used to be that presidents could win landslide elections, because voters were more flexible in switching parties.

Now, regrettably, Bush could eat a baby live on television, and there would still be a hardcore lump of rabid Bush cultists who would say that the baby had it coming.

Ron Chusid said...

We will have to wait and see how low Bush falls.

I'm not sure that he will fall that much more. The parties are far more polarized and many will give a positive approval rating to a Republican President regardless of how bad a job he is doing.

For Bush to fall in approval he needs to lose the support of Republicans, as Democrats and independents already give him low approval. At the moment Bush has lost more Republican support due to immigration, but I doubt he'll lose more support over that issue than he already has.

The Presidential election may have a bearing on this. On the one hand, seeing the Democrats campaigning might harden the party loyalty of Republicans, getting them to stand by their party and President.

On the other hand, if the Republican candidates further distance themselves from Bush, if Congresional Republicans turn against Bush's Iraq policy, or if things worsen even more, it is possible that Bush will fall to Truman's level.