Monday, August 14, 2006

Bush Approval: CBS at 36, post plane plot

A CBS News poll conducted 8/11-13/06 finds approval of President Bush unchanged at 36%, with disapproval at 57%, up two points since the last CBS poll 7/21-25. The CBS poll comes in below the trend estimate, and combined with recent low ratings from Fox, Harris and AP, helps to produce a slight negative trend in approval. With the CBS result the approval trend estimate stands at 37.2%.

The Newsweek poll also conducted after the British disrupted a plot against US-bound airplanes found approval at 38%. With luck we'll see a couple more polls this week to help stabilize the estimate of the effect of the renewed threat of terrorism.

The CBS poll found no change in approval of the President's handling of terrorism: 51% approve and 43% disapprove, unchanged from 51/42 in July. Newsweek found 55% approval of handling terrorism, with 40% disapproval.

Perhaps the most important result from the poll for those considering the fall elections is the President's approval rating by party and comparing overall job with terrorism. The key there is among independents: 29% approve of his overall job performance, but 50% approve of his handling of terrorism. Disapprovals are 62% overall but only 43% for terrorism. The Republican emphasis on this issue as a key to congressional elections has a clear basis in the data here. Whether these relatively strong approval rating among independents can be translated into congressional votes is another matter. But the contrast between overall and terrorism approval is particularly striking here.

CBS found a noticable jump in the percentage saying terrorism was the most important problem facing the country, to 17% from 7% in their July poll. The war in Iraq continued to lead the list at 28%, up from 23%. The economy and jobs finished third in the MIP list at 11%, unchanged since June.

(See the "Basic Trends" section for the long-term trend in President Bush's handling of terrorism.)

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