Public fed up with Bush & Congress

Like twin Jacques Cousteaus of the political world, President Bush and Congress are probing the depths of public opinion polling as voters exasperated over Iraq, immigration and other issues give them strikingly low grades.

In a remarkable span, the approval that people voice for the job Bush is doing has sunk to record lows for his presidency in the AP-Ipsos and other polls in recent weeks, dipping within sight of President Nixon’s levels during Watergate. Ominously for Republicans hoping to hold the White House and recapture Congress next year, Bush’s support has plunged among core GOP groups like evangelicals, and pivotal independent swing voters.

Congress is doing about the same. Like Bush, lawmakers are winning approval by roughly three in 10. Such levels are significantly low for a president, and poor but less unusual for Congress.

“The big thing would be the war,” said independent Richard MacDonald, 56, a retired printer from Redding, Calif. “I don’t think he knew what he got into when he got into it.” As for Congress, MacDonald said, “It’s just the same old same old with me. A lot of promises they don’t keep.”

Bush was risking more unpopularity by commuting I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison term in the CIA leak case, and his refusal to rule out a full pardon. Polls in March after the former White House aide’s conviction showed two in three opposed to a pardon.

The public’s dissatisfaction may be more serious for Republicans because even though Bush cannot run again, he is the face of the GOP. He will remain that until his party picks its 2008 presidential nominee — and through the campaign if Democrats can keep him front and center.

“Everything about this race will be about George Bush and the mess he left,” Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., a member of the House Democratic leadership, said about 2008. “He’ll be on the ballot.”

Congress’ numbers could signal danger for majority Democrats, since they echo the low ratings just before the GOP 1994 takeover of the House and Senate, and the Democratic capture of both chambers last November.

But unlike the president, Congress usually has low approval ratings no matter which party is in control, and poor poll numbers have not always meant the majority party suffered on Election Day. Voters usually show more disdain for Congress as an institution than for their own representative — whom they pick.

A majority in a CNN-Opinion Research Corp. survey in late June said Democratic control of Congress was good for the country. Yet only 42 percent approved of what Democratic leaders have done this year — when Democrats failed to force Bush to change policy on Iraq.

Republican strategists hope the dim mood will help the GOP in congressional elections.

“The voters voted for change and they expected change, and they see an institution still incapable of getting anything done,” said GOP pollster Linda DiVall.

The abysmal numbers are already affecting how Bush and Congress are governing and candidates’ positioning for 2008.

Last Thursday’s Senate collapse of Bush’s immigration bill showed anew how lawmakers feel free to ignore his agenda. Republican senators like Richard Lugar of Indiana and George Voinovich of Ohio have joined increasingly bipartisan calls for an Iraq troop withdrawal.

This year’s GOP presidential debates have seen former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and others criticize Bush or his administration for mishandling the war and other issues. Some Republican congressional candidates have not hesitated to distance themselves from Bush.

“President Bush is my friend, and I don’t always agree with my friends,” said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., facing a tough re-election fight next year. “And on the issues of Iraq and immigration, I simply disagree with his approach.”

Bush’s doleful numbers speak for themselves.

In an early June AP-Ipsos poll, 32 percent approved of his work, tying his low in that survey. Other June polls in which he set or tied his personal worst included 27 percent by CBS News, 31 percent by Fox News-Opinion Dynamics, 32 percent by CNN-Opinion Research Corp. and 26 percent by Newsweek.

The Gallup poll’s lowest presidential approval rating was President Truman’s 23 percent in 1951 and 1952 during the Korean war, compared with Nixon’s 24 percent days before he resigned in August 1974. Bush notched the best ever, 90 percent days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The AP’s June survey showed that compared with an AP exit poll of voters in November 2004, Bush’s approval was down among swing voters. His support dropped from about half of independents to a fifth; from half to a third of Catholics; and from nearly half to a fifth of moderates.

Among usually loyal GOP voters, his approval was down from about eight in 10 to roughly half of both conservatives and white evangelicals.

Congress had a 35 percent approval rating in a May AP-Ipsos survey. Polls in June found 27 percent approval by CBS News, 25 percent by Newsweek and 24 percent by Gallup-USA Today.

Congress’ all-time Gallup low was 18 percent during a 1992 scandal over House post office transactions; its high was 84 percent just after Sept. 11.

In the AP poll, lawmakers won approval from only about three in 10 midwesterners, independents and married people with children — pivotal groups both parties court aggressively.


AP Manager of News Surveys Trevor Tompson and AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.


  1. kent shaw

    “I don’t think the chiefs of staff at the Pentagon would stand idly by while the troops were being truly put in mortal danger”

    I think you are right, Klaus.

  2. gene

    Dam, just read through most of the post on this article and they all represent very good points of truth not heard by most of the citizens of this nation.

    In anycase the “bottom-line” (I) mabe could safely sum-up is first “we the people” are in a shit load of trouble and second, its going to take a miracle to fix it (it being all the trouble).

  3. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    If the Democrats did hold the line on the last spending bill with a mandatory withdrawl date, I think the presure would have been way more on Bush then Congress.

    Lets say for discussions sake, the Dems kept sending him back a spending bill with withdrawl dates in it and Bush did not lift a finger with the intention of just letting the troops go without supplies, ammunition, replacement parts etc. I don’t think the chiefs of staff at the Pentagon would stand idly by while the troops were being truly put in mortal danger, But as you said Kent, and with which I wholeheartedly agree, Bush’s stubborness knows no bounds.

    The book,’Bush on the Couch’, really gives a good picture of Bush’s gray matter in the most revealing way in his inflexability

    However, I still think the Dems should not have caved, the Cheifs of Staff at the Pentagon would have put more pressure on Dubya as well as other Republikaners.

    Your point is well taken though Kent, and I do not believe I have heard all that much discussion on this scenario.

    Here is the Question: If Congress had kept sending Bush back a spending bill with a mandatory withdrawl date, would Bush just have let the supplies run out, endangering the troops?

  4. gene

    THIS NATION HAS TURNED (OVER THE PAST SEVERAL DECADES) INTO ONE SICK MESS!!!! Watch out (today as you pretend to celebrate the 4th of July) for those hotdogs you bought at watmart, hell on the GI track.

  5. LurkingFromTheLeft

    THEY are the REAL WMD –

    …W*****t’s that is –

    …wonder when one is planned for downtown Baghdad? –


  6. TRUTH 101

    Excellent Comments Sandy, Tinker, Judy B & SEAL,

    If I may, one at a time



    I think you have a LOT of comnpany in your feelings.
    The TV preachers gross millions from their “flock” by simply telling them what they want or somehow figure they need to hear and things that any real christian should already know. WSe will pray for you for a donation. We have Pat Robertson, IMO a religious zealot AKA Businessman who says it’s OK to kill Fidel or Hugo and that God talks only to him. Then after the commercial gives stock tips and opinions for those that can’t afford the stocks in the first place. The real trouble is he has people following his every move and word. That shows what some are made of. He should have no “followers” at all Benny hinn used to take in up to 64 million a year for his traveling roadshow curing the psyco sematic of all sorts of malady’s while the masses OOOOHH and AAAHHH. I once heard him tell a FELLOW PREACHER NOT TYO TOUCH HIM OR COME NEAR HIM as the AURA of GOD was all over him and this other religious man, a real one by the way could suffer severe injury by coming to close to him. …AND HE STILL HAS FOLLOWERS: This explains a lot

    JUDY B:

    The man’s title is FEARED because of the power it does hold as you say. That Man, his Power given to him ARE BNOTH being ontrolled by a dark, sisnuister individual in my opinion who has the Name of Dick Cheney, The people, the congress, the Press, can’t get to BUSH, Some realize there is NOTHING TO GET TO. Therefore Cheney continues to operate unimpeaded by anyone. Kucinich has it absolutely correct IMO, but of course, nobody believes him either.


    Agreed being retired miolitary, Commanders wanting to make General will obey any order no matter what.Those that do not or disagree with GWB or more likely Dick Cheney are replaced, George W. get told what to do and does it. The real problem is the PATTON wannabes that you see on Fox at every turn offering their “expert opinions” are the onee’s that keep this nation stumbling, the congress confused the thinking disgusted and BUBBA waving the flag entertained. THEY are half responsible for the deaths in Iraq. Fox goes to IRAQ and interviews those who will say nice things on camera about George W.. Then their family back home can see they are OK Discagree with Fox thinking, or anything else and you never get on the tube….Also saying anything bad about Iraq, no matter how bad it may be invites anything from a letter of reprimand to outright discharge. SAD SORRY STATE isn’t it.??

  7. kent shaw

    “Religion has become to me the biggest catalyst for evil in this world, and most likely will be the cause of its undoing.”

    I really do not understand religion. If there is a god, why would I need a middleman (a priest, an imam, a rabbi, a prophet) to speak for that god? I find it a bit pretentious that an individual sets himself up as a middleman or a prophet speaking for a creator, claiming that a creator has spoken to him and picked him specifically to lead the masses in worship of that imaginary supernatural being. What a scam.

    Religion is a scam for control of people, just like government. Combine the two and you are really in trouble, leading to wars over who’s middlemen (priests, imams, rabbis, prophets) espouse the correct interpretation of the god’s desires.

    Human beings fear death so they imagine an all powerful supernatural friend that will spare them from it, promising some kind of supernatural “afterlife”. It is time for the human race to grow up and face facts. This is all there is. Live and help live. Help the earth live. No more pollution for profit. No more wars for gods and profits for prophets.

  8. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Oh what excellent words Kent –

    …I’m still so thankful I gave up being catholic for Lent many years ago –

    …It is how they keep the sheeple in line –

    …Fear of the end –

    …Given what we’ve endured since January 2001, what could be worse than THIS? –



    Throughout history, the majority has always been right WHEN IT IS TOO LATE.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  10. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Demokrats had their chance and blew it. Now the Republikaners are painfully aware they are supporting a
    Fuhrer on the Titanik re-arranging its deck chairs. So we hear Dick Luger now calling for phased withdrawl.
    The Repulikaners very well could take the issue of a mandatory withdrawl date away from Demokrats making it their own and the Jack-Ass party has no one but themselves to blame. If the Republikaners take the mandatory withdrawl issue away from the Jack-Ass party, that is fine, I just want the troops out of Iraq. Nancette Pelosi & Hairy Reed are making brave noises about forcing another vote for phased withdrawl but Karl Rove will whip up the Right Wing Noise Machine into a frenzy and scare the little Spineless [CENSORED] Demokrats again. What was funny is the fear mongering of Rove did not scare the voting public more then it scared the Haus Demokrats into caving into BushBaby. AIIIEEEEEEIIEEEEEAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

  11. kent shaw

    I think the Democrats erred in funding continuation of the Iraq occupation. But then, Bush is just stubborn enough to let existing funds run out and to actually leave them there without ammunition, food and any other materiel instead of spending remaining funds to pull the troops out. I think that is what the Democrats were afraid of, not to mention the possibility of blackmail with information obtained by Bush’s felonious assault on the Constitution by way of his unwarranted NSA spying on Americans. So it goes.

  12. Jenifer D.

    Too bad the Dimocrats lacked the grapes to call Bush’s bluff. Does everybody realize what would have happened if Bushevik had let the funding run out for those deployed uniformed men and women? If he thought his approval rating is low now; I bet it would have dropped through the bloody floorboards with hundreds of thousands of angry protesters storming the whitehouse, many of whom families of the troops now stranded in Iraq. The secret service, Blackwater Army, and any other mercenaries the reich has been keeping secret would be too overwhelmed to do anything about it except find a good place to hunker down until the dust settles!

    There is only so much indignity and humiliation the human spirit can withstand before it rebels; I’m putting money on that about to be reality before the season is over.

  13. justanothercoverup

    It’s really interesting that this President is so delusional, apparently unable to comprehend “why” he is hated here and abroad, that he has actually held meetings to “explore” why he is one of the most hated individuals in the world.

    Most politicians who see that public opinion is squarely against them and their policies would alter course immediately, but after discussing the matter, President Bush is “comfortable” with his standing here and throughout the world – a truly frightening insight into the mind of “The Decider” whose decisions have all been patently derided and viewed with contempt by almost all who have even an inkling of the harm he has caused to America and the world at large.

    Bush wants to know if the World hates America – or just Him!

  14. LurkingFromTheLeft

    …I had a boss like that for too many years –

    …and I say HAD for after four days short of 26 years, I was voted off The Island –

    …he and his ‘cheney in HR’ single handedly ruined what had been one of the best and most respected departments in the organization –

    …periodically, he would attempt to amend for his shortcomings by asking for help to improve and from my contacts is STILL resorting to this on a routine basis –

    …and for a few seconds, he’s almost human again BUT as I always say, a leopard can’t change his spots –

    …this individual has managed to survive within the organization because he keeps being promoted/reassigned – no one will acknowledge THAT dicktator has no clothes just like Emperor G43 –

    …I can only hope he gets his as G, His Goons, and the ball-less/gutless/spineless members of Congress will get theirs at some point –

    …they were given a mandate by WE THE PEOPLE last November – but they have become as worthless as The Decider/Divider/Uniter/Commuter/Dumbass –


  15. Ardie

    Nothing gets the political public more angrier than seeing a politician doing wrong and feeling there is nothing they can do about it. Sure, we can drink a bottle of zinfandel wine from California and imagine we are with a cohort of Pretorian guards stabbing a corrupt politician to death with our trusty gladius. But then when we sober up, things are just as bad as they were before.

    You realize, at that point, that the Constitution is by no means perfect. It doesn’t tell us what to do when we have a lot of really corrupt politicians in office.

    To make the Constitution work, you need men of virtue elected to office. This means that the voters will not be always choosing from the lesser of two devils but rather choosing from the greater of two angels. It is sort of a win win situation. But that depends upon virtue. And we Americans lack a lot of virtue which, I hasten to add, is not to be confused with morality.

    Virtue, in a nutshell, is the strength to resist the siren call of the flesh and do what is right. For example, courage is a virtue because it resists the natural tendency to run like hell in the face of danger. You stand your ground whether in combat or in front of your editor. You are willing to put it all on the line.

    Today, many of our politicians–including the voters–lack virtue. They are all too willing to be corrupted and even sanction it. They are afraid to stand up for anything that takes an ounce of courage. Take our Generals, for example. They should have known the war in Iraq was an oil heist. They knew, also, there were too few troops to secure and rebuild Iraq. They lacked virtue. They didn’t stand up for what is right.

    The American people who voted for a weasel named George W. Bush didn’t show any virtue. They knew Bush never drew a virtuous breath in his entire life and that, basically, he was a born scoundrel. Still they voted for him.

    If we don’t start acting virtuous we will have a lot to be ashamed of in the many 4th of Julys to come.

  16. Jenifer D.

    How sexist. Men of Virtue, eh? What about the women in office? Frankly, we need folks that are competent, ethical, and moral; however, me personally? I’d happily take a public servant (NOT politico) who can drink his comrades under the table, show his wife or girlfriend a good time, and still be able to effectively represent the U.S. voters without bowing to pressure from the knuckleheads who financed his campaign or the perps who wish to attain global dominion (which ain’t gonna happen anyway, because the perps trying to attain it are underestimating the power of angry, and possible armed, voting masses in large numbers who still have Second Ammendment rights the last time I checked).

  17. gene

    These so called poll numbers that supposely represents Bush’s and others popularity based on certain criteria are similar to the numbers that our illustrious government spits out quartely which equates to glorified bullshit.

    Bush’s and “others” ratings are probably in the negative arena if the truth was actually represented by “real” numbers.

  18. TRUTH 101


    Yes, Excellent Post. The CONSTITUTION is NOT Perfect, but Ii also think the “Founding Fathers” gave a free loving, democratic people due consideration for KNOWING what to do when there were so many corrupt, ugly people in power.

    Obviously they were wrong.

    This Administration has gotten so BOLD they are daring the people to act to toss them out on their ears. They have eroded many freedoms we have enjoyed since the founding of America, they have made us hated around the world, they have enriched themselves to billions of taxpayer dollars and for OIL they have killed 3500 of our bravest young men and women, and maimed for life over 13,000 more.

    …and the sad part is, they ARE NOT FINISHED WITH US YET. If America needs a “so-called” terrorist attack to prove their point, trust me it will happen. Anyone that doesn’t believe that is a FOX watcher or a PNAC member….or supports the WWE. How can so many Americans NOT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

    And the people say…Yeah and go back to sleep.

    We have gotten exactly what we have allowed to happen. the fault is with the American people.

  19. gene

    TRUTH thats exactly what I see each and everytime I go to Walmarts or Bestbuy or almost anywhere now. Clueless, mindless, self-centered, FAT as hell, could care less consumers with kids that will eventually (given time….assuming we have time) become an even more intense version of their parents.

    This nations has to little of what it would take to change its (global) destructive life style.

  20. Sandra Price

    Ardie, you have summed up our feelings of frustration this morning on our Nation’s birthday.

    Where did our virtue go? It is a generational thing? Is it the influence of television? Did we choose the wrong schools for our kids? Is there no chance for a reversal in our voters so that we can locate and support Americans of integrity?

    What weakened us? what dumbed us down to the point of ignoring those virtues? We need to discuss this in detail. Are we all registered to post at Reader Rant?

  21. gene

    Sandra those are excellent questions of which I would not even consider trying to answer…couldn’t even if I wanted to. I sure hope I am wrong but from what I see of the most recent generation of american citizens “we the people” don’t have a chance in hell.

    Just my humble observation/opinion.

  22. Tinker

    As I take stock of things on this July 4th I find that George Bush and Company have destroyed any feelings of patriotism that I might have held, and now I have no use at all for religion in my life either.

    He has stood before us, wrapped in the flag, and waving a Bible, while doing things that defy both Christian and American values, thus making both of these things symbols of disillusionment.

    Although I am an American, I didn’t vote for Bush and he has done none of his evil with my support, but I feel implicated by being here. That makes me feel like someone who has been raped and I cannot wash away the dirty feeling.

    Religion has become to me the biggest catalyst for evil in this world, and most likely will be the cause of its undoing.

    Happy 4th of July, America.

  23. gene

    Tinker I read your post and I certainly understand how you could feel the way you do. Hell, at times I feel its hopeless because it truely is hopeless if we consider our current circumstances as “The End”.

    Mabe, just mabe a real beginning is just around the corner. No law says I can’t HOPE so and if someone considers that delusional, so what.

  24. JudyB

    No matter the depth and amount of hate there is world-wide for GWB, the man is feared, and with good reason. This inept excuse for a world leader continues to hold the reins of power that has caused the of deaths of unknown numbers of lives, created bazillions of dollars in debts and complete distrust in the government heads. Congress could have and should have done something to halt this dispicable sitution, but until now, have not had the votes to overpower GWB’s heavy handed use of the powers that comes with his position. Well folks, its now approching re-election time for many of these same congressmen and you are about to see & hear from them, whatever they think it will take for you to make their re-elections happen. From where I stand, it will be to no avail, because,my memory will serve me far better than most of them ever have.

  25. SEAL

    Ardie stared: Take our Generals, for example. They should have known the war in Iraq was an oil heist. They knew, also, there were too few troops to secure and rebuild Iraq. They lacked virtue. They didn’t stand up for what is right.

    For your information, Ardie, the Militay commanders DID tell them there weren’t enough troops to secure Iraq after the invasion was over. And they have constantly disagreed with Bush, etal’s decisions. But they don’t do it publically. Why do you think Bush has changed commanders so many times in only four years? One general that I know retired rather than obey their stupid orders. And other officers I know personally have decided to retire earlier because of what is going on.

    The military will obey an order from the commander in chief even when he fails to take their advice and they know it is not the right decision. That’s their job. The only time they would disobey is if the order were illegal and conflicts with their primary duty to the Constitution.

    Military commanders are torn between two loyaties. The second is to the people under their command. They get tired of seeing them abused. That’s when their agruments with Bush become more strenuous and that’s when they are replaced.

  26. gene

    Hey Seal (respectfully) did you mean too say Ardie stated? because you said “Ardie stared”. You’ve been drinking this 4th of July bud?

    You know I don’t mean anything Seal, I consider you among the best of commenters like Sandra and Carl Nemo. Dam that Carl, he is so frigging smart and knowledgeable. Guys a walking data center.

    I consider myself a humble interlude who ocassionally makes a valid point. Cheers!!!!

  27. Roadapple00

    I know that the democrats won control, but do they really have it. No matter how hard they pushed for the Iraq pull-out, W would just veto any bill that got through. The problem as I see it, is they do not have enough control/votes to override any veto. I think people are a little bit in a hurry to condem congress for not doing what they promised. In my mind, control is not the same as power. They have control of congress, but not the power to accomplish all that they promised.