Exit Poll Results Show Disapproval of Bush

Exit poll results indicate that 58 percent of voters today disapprove of the way President Bush is handling his job.

Forty-two percent approve. That's down from a 53 percent approval in 2004, and 67 percent just before the 2002 midterm elections.

Forty-three percent "strongly" disapprove of the president's work, more than double the number of strong approvers.

Intensity of sentiment for and against, by contrast, was about equal in 2004: 33 percent strongly approved of the president's performance, and 35 percent strongly disapproved. In 2002, strong approvers dominated, quite a contrast from today.

The war in Iraq is a serious concern.

In exit poll results, 57 percent of voters disapprove of the war, while 41 percent approve. Approval of the war was higher, 51 percent, in the 2004 election. And 41 percent now "strongly" disapprove of the war, up from 32 percent two years ago.

Related to concerns about the war in Iraq, voters are more apt today to say the country's seriously off on the wrong track than to say it's going in the right direction.

The last time this view was more negative than positive was in 1994, when Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.

The president, at least to some extent, is looking like a drag on his party this election. Exit poll results showed that voters by a 15-point margin were more apt to say they're voting to show opposition to Bush rather than to show him support.

Thirty-seven percent are voting to show opposition to the president. That compares with 21 percent in 1998, during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, and 27 percent in 1994.

The Republican leadership of Congress has problems of its own. Sixty-two percent of voters said they disapproved of how Congress was handling its job; just 36 percent approve.

Voters are approaching this election with large-scale issues in mind.

Sixty-one percent say they're voting on the basis of national rather than local issues. Nearly nine in 10 voters are confident in the vote count in their state. Less than half are "very" confident of it.

Across Battleground States, Many Disapprove of Bush and Iraq War

President Bush and the war in Iraq sharply divide voters in Tennessee, a state the president won with 57 percent of the vote in 2004.

In preliminary exit poll results, nearly half of Tennessee voters say they approve of the job Bush is doing as president while just as many expressed disapproval.

Similarly, voters split about evenly between approval and disapproval of the war in Iraq.

In Virginia, nearly six in 10 voters disapprove of the job President Bush is doing as president, a strong rebuke in a state that Bush won with 54 percent of the vote just two years ago. A majority of voters also disapprove of the war in Iraq.

Virginia voters by about a 10-point margin said they were casting their ballots to show opposition to President Bush than to show him support.

More than half of Montana voters disapprove of Bush's job performance -- a substantial shift away from the president since he beat John Kerry in the state in 2004.

More than half of voters also disapprove of the war. And Montana voters by about a 10-point margin say they are casting their ballots to show opposition to Bush rather than to support him.

In Missouri, a state Bush carried in the 2004 election, more than half of voters said they disapproved of the job he was doing as president.

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