Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bush approval passes 40%, and rising.

The Gallup/USAToday poll taken 7/6-9/06 finds approval at 40%, with disapproval at 55%. This is the first time approval has been as high as 40% in the Gallup poll since Feb 9, 2006. My estimated approval trend (the blue line) also stands at over 40%: 40.009% to be specific. The last time the trend was that high was Feb 16.

The current rally in approval of President Bush has now gained 9 percentage points from the Gallup low of 31% on May 7. My trend estimate has seen a gain of just over 6 points from it's low of 33.98% on May 12. For comparison, the President lost 8.37 percentage points between January 5, 2006 and May 12. The current movement has erased about three quarters of that loss.

The current rally is also impressive for outpacing the November 11-January 5 increase which amounted to only a 3.7 percent increase over a similar length of time, based on my trend estimate.

Republican enthusiasm seems to be on the upturn as well. The President is in Wisconsin today raising money for Republican Gubernatorial candidate Mark Green (the incumbent from the 8th congressional district). One interesting question is how much Green and Bush will appear together. In recent months, the President has been welcome to visit and do fundraisers but Republican candidates have seemed reluctant to do joint campaign appearances. With the approval momentum going up, that may change. In Wisconsin we have the interesting circumstance of BOTH parties welcoming the President's visit. Democrats seem convinced that Bush's still low approval rating will hurt Republican candidates and will help them "nationalize" the race as a referendum on Bush. Republicans seem to be responding to the trend rather than the absolute level of approval and welcome the President's visit as a strength of their campaign. Part of the proof of that will be how much film appears of Rep. Green and President Bush together in the same picture. (I'm out of state at the moment, so don't know what's happening on that count.)

The White House announced this week that the President will be traveling the country for much of the summer, spending relatively little time in Crawford. It will be very interesting to see if those efforts support and sustain the current upturn in approval. If so, the fall elections look rather different than they will if approval stabilizes or starts down again.

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