That was quick. We didn’t have to wait for my prediction that Bush would drop below 30% approval rating in a major national poll to come true:
President Bush’s job-approval rating has fallen to its lowest mark of his presidency, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. Of 1,003 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll, 29% think Mr. Bush is doing an “excellent or pretty good” job as president, down from 35% in April and significantly lower than 43% in January.
Yow. For those of you with a WSJ Online subscription, here’s the link to the full article. In the full article we find that even among conservatives, his popularity is under the 50% mark — 46%, in fact. 10% of liberals think he’s doing a good job, which makes me think: really? That many? Republicans in Congress get a 20% approval rating, but as the Democrats only get a 23% rating, that’s nothing for them to gloat about.
The over/under in this poll is 3%, so Bush’s actual approval rating could be as high as 32% and as low as 26%. I’d note this poll was taken between May 5th and 8th, which means that the NSA phone thing (which I thought would be the proximate cause of his below 30% submersion) wasn’t even on the radar.
I have to tell you I’m pretty much agog. Back in November, when Bush was clocking a 35% approval rating, I opined that “there’s probably 33% of Americans who would rather chew on jagged glass than to show disloyalty to a sitting Republican president,” that’s about as low as he was going to go. Guess I was wrong. Now, well, I can’t even imagine. If 29% is possible, what about 25%? At this point, is it really that far off? Nixon hit 24%, if I recall correctly, just before he resigned. Surely — and I say this with all sincerity — surely Bush could not come within a polling error of that number. I honestly find it unthinkable.
Let me repeat now what I said in November:
You’ll note, however, that I did not say that I was happy that Bush has such a God-awful rating. I’m not. Having a weak and deeply unpopular president makes us vulnerable as a nation, particularly when we are engaged in a war… I don’t like Bush, and I wish he weren’t president; nevertheless he is my president, and my country is ill-served at home and abroad by his weaknesses, both real and perceived. Noting that this is a mess of his own making is cold comfort indeed. Bush may have made this bed, but we all have to lie in it.
Still true, alas.
Seriously, now: How low do you think Bush will go? I’ve pretty much given up guessing. You tell me.