Bush Slumps to a New Low -- It's All About Iraq

Majorities overall disapprove of Bush's work on seven out of nine specific issues tested in this poll, soaring to a high of 76 percent disapproval for his handling of gasoline prices. His only positive ratings are for handling the United States' response to terrorism (53 percent, long the almost single-note source of his support) and protecting privacy rights in terrorism investigations (52 percent).

Bush's Handling of
the Issues
 ApproveDisapprove
Terrorism 53% 43%
Privacy Rights 52 45
Taxes 42 54
Ethics 39 54
Economy  38  60
Immigration  34  56
Overall job 33 65
Iraq 32 66
Deficit 27 67
Gas Prices 20 76

Other presidents have fared worse than Bush's current ratings: Harry Truman saw 22 percent in 1952, Richard Nixon 23 percent in 1974 and Jimmy Carter 28 percent in 1979 in Gallup polls. But historically, as first noted last fall, Bush's approval rating across his career most closely resembles Lyndon B. Johnson's as the country became enmeshed in Vietnam. Johnson's approval rating in Gallup polls fell from 75 percent on average in 1964 to 43 percent in 1967 and 1968. Bush, for his part, has gone from an average of 73 percent approval in 2001 and 2002 to an average 40 percent so far this year. The trend lines are strikingly similar.

Bush vs. LBJ
Average Approval
 
LBJ -- 1964 75%
LBJ -- 1965  66%
LBJ -- 1966 51%
LBJ -- 1967-68  43%
Bush -- 2001-2 73%
Bush -- 2003 62%
Bush -- 2004  50%
Bush -- 2005  46%
Bush -- 2006 to date 40%

METHODOLOGY -- This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone May 11-15, 2006, among a random national sample of 1,103 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. (The results on immigration were fielded May 12-14 among 508 adults; the error margin for that sample is 4.5 points.) Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

To see the complete results of this poll, click here.

To see previous ABC News polls, click here.

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