Daily Tracking Poll: Bush Effect Impedes McCain; Fewer Than Half See 'New Direction'

BUSH – A final note on Bush shows the depths of his problems. Among all Americans just 24 percent approve of his job performance, a point from his low earlier this month and 2 points from the lowest in ABC/Post polls and Gallup polls before them since 1938, set by Harry Truman in 1952. Bush is at career-low approval in his own party, 55 percent among Republicans; a new low among independents, 18 percent approval; and has just 7 percent approval among Democrats, 2 points from his worst.

Bush's 18 percent approval rating in the political center, among independents, is striking; his father's career low among independents was 35 percent, Bill Clinton's 40 percent and Ronald Reagan's 45 percent.

Bush's unpopularity is associated with a decline in Republican allegiance in recent years – a factor in this year's election. In 2004, Democrats and Republicans each accounted for 37 percent of voters. In this poll, Democrats account for 36 percent of likely voters, Republicans, 29 percent.

METHODOLOGY:Interviews for this ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll were conducted by telephone Oct. 26-29, 2008, among a random national sample of 1,327 likely voters, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a 2.5-point error margin for the full sample. Question 9 was asked Oct. 28-29 among 673 likely voters; that result has a 4-point error margin. Question 35 was asked Oct. 29 among 430 adults; that result has a 4.5-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, PA.

Click here for PDF with charts and questions.

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