Thursday, September 08, 2005

Approval of President Bush's Handling of Katrina Situation

Trend in approval of President Bush's handling of Katrina situation. Posted by Picasa

President Bush has suffered from falling approval of his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Initially, support was as high as 54% on August 31. It has fallen subsequently as news coverage has presented the government's response in a consistently negative light. The President's trips to New Orleans and Mississippi, plus his assurances that the early performance was "not acceptable" and would be improved appear to have stopped the slide in his approval rating. Since September 4 the downward trend appears to have been replaced with a steady level of approval at about 38%, with some polls a bit higher and others a bit lower.

SurveyUSA has done daily tracking of reaction to Katrina. See for an excellent discussion of the methodology used by SurveyUSA. (They use automated surveys, rather than human interviewers, a practice which most pollsters frown upon.) It is clear from the graph, however, that the SurveyUSA results are quite consistent with the polls by conventional polling organizations. Capturing the dynamics of opinion of President Bush is a particularly valuable contribution of the SurveyUSA polls.

As for the effect of Katrina on overall approval of the job President Bush is doing, stay tuned as more polls arrive.