Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bush Approval: NBC/WSJ and CNN at 39%

Two new polls find approval of President Bush has fallen after a week of mostly bad news. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, taken 9/30-10/2/06 finds approval at 39% and disapproval at 56%. The CNN/ORC poll conducted 9/29-10/2/06 also puts approval at 39%, with disapproval at 59%. Both polls had registered approval at 42% in their previous readings. These polls come after a week that included debate over a new National Intelligence Estimate's conclusions on terrorism and Iraq, Bob Woodward's new book, and culminating with revelations of Rep. Mark Foley's email contacts with congressional pages. The polling was completed before the Washington Times called for House Speaker Dennis Hastert's resignation as speaker.

The new data do not yet lead to a major change in my approval trend estimate. That currently stands at 41.4%. That's a revision down from 42.0%, but the trend has not yet turned clearly down. The trend line is deliberately conservative, and usually requires 6-12 polls before considering a change of direction reliable. The three point drop in two polls, however, does suggest that President Bush may have suffered a significant reversal over the past week, after some 6 weeks of strong upward movement in approval. It is likely that more new polling will arrive soon, helping clarify how much of this move is a "blip" and how much a harbinger of a change in direction.

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