Thursday, May 22, 2003

Big drop in Bush's approval rating -- nine percentage points in five weeks:

President Bush’s approval rating, which spiked during the war in Iraq, has dropped back to prewar levels and below, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that found that the economy was by far most Americans’ biggest concern.

THE PRESIDENT still enjoys broad-based support, with 62 percent of those surveyed last Wednesday through Friday saying they approved of his performance.

That was a drop, however, when compared to Bush’s support in the same poll a month ago, when 71 percent backed the president as the U.S. invasion of Iraq dominated news coverage. And it was below levels as high as 67 percent in surveys conducted before the war.

Approval of Bush’s handling of the economy could not command even a majority. Forty-eight percent backed the president, compared with 44 percent who disapproved, a margin only slightly above the survey’s margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points....

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed, 64 percent, said there were better ways to boost the economy than tax cuts. Twenty-nine percent thought tax cuts were the answer....

Golly, I thought we were all so besotted with the man, especially after seeing him in a flight suit, that his approval rating would skyrocket. That's what we were told, wasn't it? What will be the conventional-wisdom explanation for this -- that more people would have expressed approval, but the manly sight of Bush gave them the vapors, and they still haven't recovered so they can't answer survey questions?

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