While he's down across the board, Bush's biggest losses have been among moderate Republicans -- 57 percent of them now approve of his job performance, compared with a career average of 84 percent. His approval rating is just 40 percent, even in the red states he won in 2004; in John Kerry's blue states, it's 25 percent.
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
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
|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.
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