Voters mad at Bush AND Congress

Deepening unhappiness with President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress soured the mood of Americans and sent Bush’s approval rating to another record low this month, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

The Reuters/Zogby Index, which measures the mood of the country, also fell from 98.8 to 96 — the second consecutive month it has dropped. The number of Americans who believe the country is on the wrong track jumped four points to 66 percent.

Bush’s job approval rating fell to 24 percent from last month’s record low for a Zogby poll of 29 percent. A paltry 11 percent gave Congress a positive grade, tying last month’s record low.

“There is a real question among Americans now about how relevant this government is to them,” pollster John Zogby said. “They tell us they want action on health care, education, the war and immigration, but they don’t believe they are going to get it.”

The dismal assessment of the Republican president and the Democratic-controlled Congress follows another month of inconclusive political battles over a future path in Iraq and the recent Bush veto of an expansion of the program providing insurance for poor children.

The bleak mood could present problems for both parties heading into the November 2008 election campaign, Zogby said.

“Voter turnout could still be high next year, but the mood has turned against incumbents and into a ‘throw the bums out’ mindset,” Zogby said.

The national telephone survey of 991 likely voters, conducted October 10 through October 14, found barely one-quarter of Americans, or 26 percent, believe the country is headed in the right direction.

The poll found declining confidence in U.S. economic and foreign policy. About 18 percent gave positive marks to foreign policy, down from 24 percent, and 26 percent rated economic policy positively, down from 30 percent.

A majority of Americans still rate their personal financial situation as excellent or good, although the number dipped slightly this month to 54 percent from 56 percent. In August, 59 percent rated their finances as excellent or good.

“Americans are still feeling good about a number of things in their lives, but not about the government’s leadership,” Zogby said. “They are giving up on this government.”

The Index, which made its debut last month, combines responses to 10 questions on Americans’ views about their leaders, the direction of the country and their future. Index polling began in July, and that month’s results provide the benchmark score of 100.

A score above 100 indicates the public mood has improved since July. A score below 100 shows the mood has soured, and a falling score like the one recorded this month shows the nation’s mood is getting worse.

The RZI is released the third Wednesday of each month.

In the 2008 White House race, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York tightened her grip on the top spot in the Democratic nomination race with the support of 46 percent, up from 35 percent last month.

Her top rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, was at 25 percent, moving up slightly from last month’s 21 percent. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina was third with 9 percent, and about 12 percent of Democratic voters were unsure of their choice.

Among Republicans, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani expanded his lead over Fred Thompson, the former senator and Hollywood actor. Giuliani led Thompson 28 percent to 20 percent, compared to last month’s 26 percent to 24 percent.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney jumped from 7 percent to 14 percent and moved past Arizona Sen. John McCain into third place. McCain fell from 13 percent last month to 8 percent.

More Republicans, 18 percent, said they had not made up their mind, leaving room for more shifts in the field. “We still have one in five Republicans undecided. That race is really up in the air,” Zogby said.

A majority of voters asked about former Vice President Al Gore said he should not run for the White House in 2008 despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize. About 51 percent said he should not enter the race and 40 percent said he should.

The Nobel award on Friday came halfway through the polling period. The Gore question was asked of 485 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

The rest of the national survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.


  1. ekaton

    Civil disobedience? We need organizers. I’m better at executing a plan than formulating one.

    — Kent Shaw

  2. SEAL

    If the people are mad at Bush now, wait til they hear he is sending 8 units of the National Guard, about 15,000 troops, to Iraq (one will go to Afghanistan) next year. He has said he is gradually pulling out the 30,000 he sent for the surge to get back to the original 130,000. But now he sends half as many (15,000) of those he is supposedly pulling out (30,000).

    Bush just doesn’t give a damn what anyone else thinks or wants. He continues to lie and do as he pleases. When is congress going to wake up and realize they have no alternative but to flatly refuse to fund the war unless he does what the people of this country voted for?

  3. Helen Rainier

    No one should even be surprised by this information. The majority of the American people believe that all three branches of our government — executive, legislative and judicial — is not being responsive to We, the People and to the overall tenor of the American people.

    There has been too much inconsistency between those in charge with regard to WHAT they say and WHAT they do. The disconnect is radical.

    We keep hearing that the American people don’t care about certain issues or that the issues are too complicated. The issues are NOT that complicated — basically, every single issue can be boiled down to its basic elements and solved at that level — as long as the politics of any situation are not allowed to get in the way.

    An example: The issue of unwarranted wiretapping. Any person with a logical brain can read the Constitution and find out what and when this is legal. The legislative branch has enabled the executive branch to do what it wants based on a bunch of lies.

    They have stifled and stone-walled any and all attempts to get to the truth of a multitude of issues. When one chooses to act in this manner is it any wonder that people legitimately question what they are really doing and what they are really up to? The Bushies keep chanting that if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about…then what exactly IS IT that they are doing that is wrong? Why do they keep trying to hide their every deed and move under the banner of “national security”?

    We can piss away billions per month to support a war/occupation in a country that did absolutely nothing to us in the guise of “national security.” Yet, the person who supposedly perpetrated 9-11, OBL, is STILL NOT LISTED on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorist as being wanted for 9-11.

    If these freaking idiots in the highest levels of government can’t or won’t call a spade a spade, then screw them.


    ::: stepping off soapbox :::

  4. Helen Rainier

    Post Script to above rant:

    There is NOT a single one of the candidates whether they be Democrat or Republican that I believe warrants the privilege of being our President.

    I WILL NOT vote for ANY CANDIDATE who doesn’t honor the protecting, upholding and defending of the US Constitution. That is their most important CHARGE TO KEEP and it is what they affirm to do when they take their Oath of Office.

  5. Steve Horn

    Helen –

    I wonder how many Americans have even READ the Constitution. Forget the ammendments, I mean the core definition of the laws that form this representative republic of ours.

    People seem to think that being a goverment of the people and by the people is an “easy” thing to do and ignore history. Of course, those in charge love this level of civic ignorance, as it allows them to bamboozle those who put them into power on a regular basis.

    What will save this nation of ours and help to restore our rights and restore our nation to the position of global leadership we once held is for the citizens of the USA to get off their collective lazy asses and take the time and effort to learn about and understand what the different branches of government are responsible for, how they function and how they are supposed to balance each other out and keep any single branch in check. With that knowledge base they can then research the candidates they are presented with and make logical, sound choices about whom they wish to have represent them.

    Until that day comes around, government will continue to be a dynastic structure of power mongers and autocrats who care only about furthering their own plans with no or little regard to the population or best interests of the nation as a whole.

    You wouldn’t select an engineer or scientist for a critical project based on their personal wealth or good looks, you’d look at their qualifications and investigate what projects they’d been involved with in their past and the outcomes of those projects. Why, then, are we willing to select our leaders based on superficial qualities like “likeability”?



  6. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Because Steve, investigating and the like…

    …would take effort and require thinking –

    …and I’m convinced – albeit sadly – the only thinkers left in this land are here on CHB –

    …the culture has gotten lazy along with its so called ‘leaders’ –

    …I’m sure if they had to, they could never be like ‘us’ –

    …stand on line, file paperwork, balance a checkbook, juggle finances, plan for retirement, and etc –


  7. ekaton

    “Until that day comes around, government will continue to be a dynastic structure of power mongers and autocrats … ”

    Reagan/Bush, Bush, Clinton, Bush …


    — Kent Shaw

  8. bjiller

    Helen: Check out Ron Paul. He reads and thinks about things in Constitutional terms. And, he is willing to take stands based on a principled reading of the Constitution, even when those positions are unpopular. Also, he’s not afraid to poke at the sacred cows of politics as usual. Just wait until he wins/shows in New Hampshire. The treatment he’ll get by the mainstream politicians and media will make the Kerry swiftboating look like kid gloves. Ultimately, he’ll probably be sunk by the wackos of both sides who support him.

    But send him some money anyway, just to protest the politics-as-usual nightmare that you detest. I did.

  9. Helen Rainier


    I appreciate your suggestion about Paul, however, I don’t trust him either. Specifically, I do not agree with his position on women’s heath issues and abortion.

    I try not to be a “single-issue” person, but basic positions that I disagree with are enough to turn me off to a candidate.

    Women’s health issues are not decisions that ought to be made by men — it is a highly personal issue and a woman should have the right to make HER own decisions based on the medical information she receives from her doctor.

    Any candidate who will deprive a group of people of their equal rights is not one I am interested in supporting.

    BTW, I have no intention of providing financial support to ANY of the organized political parties. For the most part, I do not believe in organized politics or organized religion. Both are responsibile for irreparable damage to the human population.

  10. Nogood

    As it stands at the present moment, I have no intention of voting again. I am so pissed at the Democrats that we put back in control of Congress, bunch of “do-nothings”. None of the front runners of either party impress me at all. The only one that I would even consider voting for is Tom Tancredo and he doesnt stand a chance.

    I was listening to some talk show that other nite and heard, “we do not have a government, we have a racket run by the crime family of George Bush”. I could not agree more, but the Democrats have gotten into bed with the “family”.

    The hell with them all!!!!!!!!

    Been a Democrat all my life, no more! And I certainly aint a damn Republican. They all turn my stomach.

  11. acf

    So, what are you going to do, nothing? Are you going to stay home, vote the opposite of your feelings, vote for a Ralph Nader? We all know how well that turned out. If you don’t vote, some other more interested, motivated voters will, and then we’ll all be stuck with their choices.

    I hate the fact that this occupation of Iraq is still going on, in spite of the 2006 elections that said we wanted otherwise. I hate that the Dems caved into Bush on several critical important security issues as they related to our personal privacies and freedoms. They should have slammed him. I hate taking the blame for a Congress blocked by Republican obstructionism. Do you want to put them back in the majority again, perhaps with Rudy or Mitt in the White House? If so, then make some kind of protest, a ‘pox on all their houses’ kind of vote. If not, settle on a Democrat that holds your beliefs, support them for Congress, and increase our majority. Pick a Democratic candidate for President, and elect him or her. Set this country back on a path of reasonableness. Work on our problems. Rebuild our respect in the world. Make flying the flag a thing of honor and pride, not some jingoistic symbol of support for the administration’s policies.

    Whew. Where did that come from. I feel a little better, now.

  12. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Going to have to ask again…

    …Helen, would you please run? –

    …the man might have some good ideas, but there are too many of his opinions/beliefs/unknowns that just scare me –


  13. Helen Rainier


    Oh geez — what did I do to warrant such abuse? Just funning you here.

    The biggest problem as I see it is we have no more statesmen, we have politicians and that cheapens everything it touches. If I had a choice between being a politician or a prostitute, I would pick being a prostitute. At least that way, it wouldn’t be necessary to sell my soul.

    Paul does have some good ideas, I will agree, but his position on equal rights for all people turns me off. Any group of people or individuals who are willing to deprive anyone else of their basic human rights is not someone I think can be trusted.

    They will just look for moral reasons to try and go after someone else’s equal rights after they’re done taking away mine.

    This is but one of the reasons why I have turned my back on organized religion for the second time in my life. I grew up in a “Christian” home — meaning we went to Sunday School, church youth fellowship, and to church when old enough. Shortly after being confirmed, I stopped going because I couldn’t willingly suspend my disbelief. The concept of God being forever was too much for my mind to fathom.

    I now think of “God” as being all the forces of nature that work together to keep us from flying off the face of the Earth, that can form tectonic plates and make mountains, that enables migratory birds to find their way from their summer homes to their winter homes.

    Dr. Carl Sagan said it best perhaps: “Our Cosmos is all there is, all there was, and all there will ever be.” That is something I can comprehend.

    Thanks for asking me again to run, but I will have to gracefully decline. I appreciate your thoughts, though.

  14. SEAL

    Sorry, Helen, but I think you are wrong when you say abortion is strictly a woman’s decision and men should have no say about it. It takes two to make a pregnancy. Therefore, it must take two to make a decision about continuing or aborting it. The attitude that the majority of pro choice women have about this really irritates me. The mother has no more right to decide than the father.

    My wife came to me when she was 42 and I was 49 and said, “Honey you’re not going to believe this but…” We had a lot of conversations about what to do. We had already raised our family. Three grown-up kids. When it came right down to the time to decide, she was in favor of aborting. I said no. We now have a 19 year old son. She is 60 and I 68. There has never been a time either of us has regretted having him (well, maybe mom during the delivery – she called me a lot of unkind names).

    I think you get my point.

  15. Helen Rainier


    I respect your opinion and I do understand how my words could be misinterpreted.

    I should have clarified that I believe each and every situation needs to be evaluated individually on its own merits.

    The situation you shared about you and your wife is certainly a different set of circumstances than it would be for a young female who might be in her late teens who is perhaps a victim of rape or incest, or raging hormones and a “steady” boyfriend.

    There were many girls in my hometown this happened to — they were from good families, going “steady” and ended up pregnant. In most cases they ended up getting married, had to drop out of school, etc.

    I should have qualified my initial statement more than I did, and I apologize for not being clearer. However, by and large, I do believe it should be a woman’s decision, however, each situation needs to be evaluated on its own merits.

    In the case of you and your wife, she had a loving and supportive relationship in which to feel safe in carrying her baby.

    To be more succinct, I believe all women should have a right to make that decision — yes or no — without being subjected to people whose religious beliefs believe it is wrong. If we are going to do that, we are going down a slippery slope.

    BTW, Congrats to you and your wife for your decision to have a “late in life” child. I know he must keep you being and feeling VERY young! I think it’s terrific! :-)

  16. SEAL

    “A majority of Americans still rate their personal financial situation as excellent or good”

    That poll result is why nothing will change. As along as people are comfortable they will do nothing. Only when it becomes a crisis and they are faced with insufficient income to feed clothe and house the family will they act. That is the “silent majority” that will become very vocal. But, at that point, it will be too late. The time is now when they can afford to rebel.

  17. ekaton


    I ask this with all sincerity. While I do write, email, and telephone to my senators, Specter and Casey, and to my congressman, Todd Platts, I feel this is a useless endeavor. Demonstrations and marches are worse than useless. Voting? Voting is broken. The “two party system” is broken, owned by one group of elites. So. What can be done legally? I give up. I feel frustrated and I feel our country, which I dearly love, is really doomed.

    — Kent Shaw