Saturday, July 12

Poll Numbers Crater: The Sequel

Memo to Karl Rove: War is NOT a guarantee that Americans will rally around the president, so knock it off. The latest Newsweek poll echoes the WaPo/ABC poll three posts down:

Forty-five percent of Americans say the Bush Administration misinterpreted intelligence reports that proved Iraq was hiding banned chemical or biological weapons before the war, says a new Newsweek poll. And while a significantly smaller number—38 percent—believe the administration purposely misled the public, President Bush’s approval ratings have declined significantly in recent months, the poll shows.

While 55 percent of those polled say they approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president, his ratings have fallen 6 points from the end of May, 16 points from mid-April when Baghdad first fell to American soldiers, and nearly 30 points from the weeks immediately following the September 11 attacks.

Americans are increasingly skeptical about the military operations in Iraq, as well. The number who say they are very confident that the United States can create a stable democratic Iraqi government is now just 15 percent; 39 percent are someone confident. Those numbers were 21 percent and 42 percent, respectively, at the beginning of May. In that same time frame, Bush’s approval ratings with respect to Iraq have fallen to 53 percent from 69 percent.