President Bush basks in high approval ratings, but when potential voters are pressed about giving him a second term, the numbers drop, a reflection of worries about the struggling economy and a general wait-and-see attitude so far ahead of the election.
Bush's overall approval ratings have remained at 60 percent or higher in most polls since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
But now that the electorate is turning to thinking about Bush's handling of the economy and wondering who the Democrats will nominate, the president's re-elect numbers are at 50 percent or lower in several polls.
In a recent CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll, 50 percent said they would vote for Bush and 38 percent backed the unknown Democratic candidate, with the rest undecided. Those numbers aren't very different from those garnered by Bush's father in June 1991....
The current poll also found that 37 percent of Democrats approve of Bush's job performance, but only a third of those Democrats who approve would vote to re-elect him. Among independents, the re-elect numbers weren't as high as the approval ratings.
Bush's re-elect numbers are even lower in the Ipsos-Cook Political Report tracking poll....