Newsweek Poll Shows Bush State-of-the-Union Speech “Bump” Downwards

The latest Newsweek poll shows something you don’t usually see: a President’s poll rating go DOWN right after their State Of The Union address:

President George W. Bush concluded his annual State of the Union address this week with the words “the State of our Union is strong … our cause in the world is right … and tonight that cause goes on.� Maybe so, but the state of the Bush administration is at its worst yet, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. The president’s approval ratings are at their lowest point in the poll’s history—30 percent—and more than half the country (58 percent) say they wish the Bush presidency were simply over, a sentiment that is almost unanimous among Democrats (86 percent), and is shared by a clear majority (59 percent) of independents and even one in five (21 percent) Republicans. Half (49 percent) of all registered voters would rather see a Democrat elected president in 2008, compared to just 28 percent who’d prefer the GOP to remain in the White House.

Most noteworthy is that this poll is pointing something out that yours-truly is finding as he travels (in California and elsewhere): there is a HUGE amount of “Bush fatigue” setting in. Many Americans have had enough, not just with the policies but the whole style of this administration. Are people pausing to take a post-polarization breath?

And there’s also a strong message in this poll for Democrats who might be balking on saying what they want to say on the war, independent minded-GOPers, GOPers up for election in 2008 — and for all members of Congress plus those in the executive branch who feel the President is the sole “decision maker” for the United States:

Public fatigue over the war in the Iraq is not reflected solely in the president’s numbers, however. Congress is criticized by nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans for not being assertive enough in challenging the Bush administration’s conduct of the war. Even a third (31 percent) of rank-and-file Republicans say the previous Congress, controlled by their party, didn’t do enough to challenge the administration on the war.

The poll also gives some match-ups for election results which generally show a Democrat would win the White House (if the vote were taken today). Those polls, in particular, can be expected to see-saw up-and-down, depending on how these candidates perform, how adept they are in outlining their positions, and what negative developments await down the road for them and how they handle them.

But the polling results on the war, the Bush administration and attitudes towards Congress should be seen as part of the “structural” aspect of the American polity. And it’s dotted with red warning flags for President Bush, his administration, the Republicans, and the Democrats. Many Americans clearly want an assertive Congress to assume the role of “the decision maker” as well.

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  • Davebo

    But the polling results on the war, the Bush administration and attitudes towards Congress should be seen as part of the structural� part of the American polity. And it’s dotted with red warning flags for President Bush, his adminsitration, the Republicans and the Democrats. Many Americans clearly want an assertive Congress to assume the role of “the decision maker� as well.

    Well I’d certainly love to see that. But unfortunately our government isn’t setup that way. Until we see a poll showing a majority of Americans wanting Congress to defund the war in order to force the President to bring the troops home Bush is definately “the decision maker”.

  • Pug

    Thomas Friedman wrote in his column Friday that the American people effectively fired George W. Bush in the last election. Now we have to watch him clean out his desk for the next two years.

    When you fire an employee, objective number one is to get them out the door. Can’t do that in this case.

  • http://stubbornfacts.us/ Tully

    Without the base sample data a one-shot poll is pretty damn worthless. Newsweek notably does not reveal their base sample data or methodology.

    Rasmussen’s ongoing rolling three-day average sampling poll can be relied on for consistency and proper methodology. It’s been done in the same fashion with the same methodology for the last five years.

    It differs.

  • http://frogsdong.blogspot.com DBK

    CBS had Bush at 28%. Maybe a poll that is consistent doesn’t reflect things accurately. This is purely anecdotal, but some of my friends are very conservative, Fox News-only people. THEY can’t stand Bush anymore. Regardless of the precise numbers in this poll or that, Bush’s unpopularity cannot be denied.

  • m

    I love it when the conversatives can’t stand their man anymore. George W is the ultimate, ideal conservative (NOT the Goldwater conservative who was happy to leave their hands off personal issues). George W. is selfish, does only what he wants, has no concern for anyone else’s opinion, pays tribute only to those in power, acts out of greed and uses religion to mask it.

    How can any ‘modern’ Republican not love the guy? Their very ideals are being put on display, product tested so to speak. Use force when you can, don’t ‘think’ too hard, thinking is for those east coast liberals, be reactionary, send kids to die for your bad call and skew the debate – when you can’t discuss just shout at the other person or call them fat and ugly (Rush does that so well). Oh yeah, and cut all Govt that has oversight, make everyting free-market/privatize/mercenary forces fighting under the USA flag (that greed thing again) and when someone disgarees with you- turn them into a subhuman so you can act in any way towards them and not feel guilt.

    So how can a Republican say that Bush is not their ideal President? What do they want, some educated, adult who can call on real life experience to make decisions? A person who didn’t have a dad to give them every advantage and keep him sober and make sure his sone never saw the shore of Vietnam? isn’t that the Republican advantage? Wealth, ease of life, Govt. pension?

  • Mike P.

    Tully, I second DBK’s empiricism. I have seen the same thing in my more conservative friends. People who defended his actions a year ago as “better than the Democrats” today would just as soon ‘fart in his general direction.’ I’ll add that my friends are, for the most part, active duty and retired military veterans.

  • Kim Ritter

    Even conservatives want an executive branch that is in touch with reality and competent- not isolated from Congress and the public. Also, Bush has enlarged the deficit,enlarged the bureaucracy, and taken a moderate view on illegal immigration- all positions which are abhorred by conservatives. Many do not consider him a true conservative. His SOTU speech reaching out to Democrats on global warming, health care and immigration will not further enamor him with his base. The last thing he did that they really liked was appointing Justice Alito to the Supreme Court!

  • Rudi

    Tully Joe had this post/poll a couple days ago.
    Wednesday, January 24, 2007
    Poll: Bush’s State Of The Union Speech Helped Him
    by Joe Gandelman

    Did you question this data?

    Now another poll says it didn’t help. The only pertinent data is the trend of his poll numbers. It is a negative sloped line from 911 (80%) to 30% today. It many have bottomed, but I doubt the slope will change(go positive) and W will ever see the high 40% numbers ever again. I believe both Clinton and Reagan had polling trends both positive and negative, ending on a positive swing, W is only on a downward slope. The train is running away and the brakeman cant stop the engine.

  • kritter

    I love the way conservatives always blame the polls instead of the subject of the polls. Nothing Bush says anymore is helping, because most Americans are tuning him out. They either don’t believe he’ll do what’s best for the country, or worse don’t believe he’s competent enough to get what he wants to get done done. I personally think he needs to make a break from Cheney. He’s dragging Bush’s numbers down even lower, when he goes on CNN and talks about “tremendous accomplishments” in Iraq. Its an insult to our intelligence.