Lower consumption is possible in the weeks ahead, but not mainly for the reason Bush suggested. He called for Americans this week to conserve the nation's fuel supply by buying gas only if they need it. Half of Americans think they'll be driving less in the weeks ahead, but the vast majority of them say it's not conservation that'll be motivating them -- but the price.
Finally, this poll finds greater criticism of Bush and the federal effort among non-whites than among whites; non-whites, for example, are 23 points more likely to disapprove of Bush's performance, 21 points more apt to think the deployment of National Guard troops in Iraq hindered the hurricane response, and 13 points more likely to rate the federal response negatively. Much of this, however, looks to be associated with political affiliation; non-whites are 23 points more apt than whites to be Democrats.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Sept. 2, 2005, among a random national sample of 501 adults. The results have a four-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.