President George Bush’s polling numbers have now dipped below 30 percent in one key poll — a political milestone:
President Bushâ€™s job-approval rating has fallen to its lowest mark of his presidency, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. Of 1,003 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll, 29% think Mr. Bush is doing an â€œexcellent or pretty goodâ€? job as president, down from 35% in April and significantly lower than 43% in January.
Roughly one-quarter of U.S. adults say â€œthings in the country are going in the right direction,â€? while 69% say â€œthings have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.â€? This trend has declined every month since January, when 33% said the nation was heading in the right direction. Iraq remains a key concern for the general public, as 28% of Americans said they consider Iraq to be one of the top two most important issues the government should address, up from 23% in April. The immigration debate also prompted 16% of Americans to consider it a top issue, down from 19% last month, but still sharply higher from 4% in March.
Question: What will the new and growing controversy about the government gathering the phone records of millions of Americans do to the poll ratings?
Question II: Will these numbers mean some key Republican politicos will begin to demonstrate their Independence from the White House on various issues or feel they have to (as Karl Rove wants) circle the wagons as the campaign strategy unfolds — to paint the Democrats as being a danger to America and turn the campaign debate into a debate on the Democrats rather than the Bush administration record?