Thursday, April 06, 2006

New Fox poll, approval continues decline to 36%

A new poll from Fox (4/4-5/06) finds approval of President Bush's handling of his job at 36% with disapproval at 53. This ties the record low for Fox taken 11/8-9/05, just before the White House launched a vigorous defense of the President's policies. That offensive raised approval to 44% in the Fox poll of 2/7-8/06, from which it has now fallen by 8 points.

I wrote last night about the dearth of recent polling. Fox perhaps is the first of a string of new polls we'll get by the middle of next week that will clarify what has been happening to President Bush's approval rating. I argued here that approval appeared to be continuing to decline. Frank Newport of Gallup argued that the decline had halted by early March. We've not had enough data to answer that but half dozen new polls in the coming week should help settle the issue.

In the graph above I've added Fox to the graph from yesterday's post. The three percentage point decline since Fox's previous poll of 3/14-15/06 is just shy of statistical significance, but combined with the evidence from Time and the somewhat older poll from Greenberg, it seems the decline in approval did continue through the end of March.

That said, the new data are continuing to "bend" my local regression model up from the linear decline (the green line in the figure). This suggests that while approval has continued down, it has been doing so at a slower rate than we saw in February and the first half of March.

The decline in Fox's approval poll was concentrated among independents, who fell from 36% approval in the 3/14-15/06 poll to 30% approval in the 4/4-5/06 poll. Republican support held steady at 74% while Democrats remained unmoved at 8% approval.

UPDATE 4/11: There are a number of new polls. See the Table of Contents here for them all.