Monday, December 11, 2006

Bush Approval: CBS/NYT at 31%, Trend at 33.2%

With the addition of the CBS/NYT poll out today (approval 31%, disapproval 63%) the President's approval trend has fallen below the previous low of 33.7, to a new low of 33.2%.

While the CBS/NYT poll is in line with recent polls by Harris, Zogby and Newsweek, it is a good deal below other recent polls by Fox and CNN. The trend line is sensitive to the most recent polls, especially when trending down like this, so some caution is in order.

The worst news in the CBS/NYT poll is that approval among Republicans has fallen considerably, to 65%. Strong Republican support has been the crucial element keeping approval in the upper 30% range. If losses there continue, there could be a substantial drop in approval. Iraq approval appears to have especially suffered in this way. Approval of Bush's handling of Iraq has fallen from 29% to 21% since 11/14, and among Republicans the President's Iraq approval rating has fallen from 70% to 47%, an astonishing drop. This is in the immediate aftermath of the Iraq Study Group report, and strong negative reaction among the most conservative elements of the party. Perhaps the ultimate White House response will appease these critics, though at what price in support among other Republicans?