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Bush ratings plummet to all-time low
Suman Guha Mozumder in New York | March 01, 2006 10:37 IST
United States President George W Bush may receive a warm welcome when he arrives in India on Tuesday evening, but back home, the President's popularity has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high.
According to the latest CBS news poll released ahead of Bush's visit to India, reminders of the massive impact of Hurricane Katrina and negative assessments of how the government and the President have handled it for six months has brought the President's approval ratings down to a new low.
Bush now has the lowest marks of his Presidency, even on fighting terrorism, a measure that has long been his strongest suit. Half of America now disapproves of how he is handling the effort, says the poll.
Most Republicans still approve of the President's handling of terrorism, although their approval, like that of all adults, has dropped nine points in the last month, to 78 percent.
Bush's overall job rating has tumbled, too, to an all-time low in this poll. It is now 34 percent, down from 42 in January. The previous low of 35 percent came last October, one month after Hurricane Katrina, shortly after the withdrawal of Harriet Miers from a Supreme Court nomination and just after US deaths in Iraq reached the 2,000 mark.
Not since November 2004 has a majority approved of the President's overall performance.
Ratings for the President's handling of the Iraq War have also plummeted to an all-time low of 30 percent.
One out of every two Americans thinks the US efforts to bring stability and order in Iraq are going badly – the worst assessment they have made of progress in Iraq.
Now, just 36 percent say things are going well for the US in Iraq. The only other time fewer than 40 percent were positive was in 2004, right after the photographs of abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison were published.
In January, after the Iraqi election, 45 percent Americans said things were going well.
There has also been a decline on the question of overall US involvement in Iraq. Only 41 percent now say that the US did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq. Last month, after the Iraqi election, 47 percent agreed.
This matches the low levels of support found last October, at the time of the previous lowest overall approval rating for the President. The last time a majority approved of military action in Iraq was just before the 2004 election.
Approval of his handling of the economy is also down. So are evaluations of the national economy. About 50 percent say it is in good shape while last month 57 percent described it that way.
For the first time in this poll, most Americans – 51 percent – say George W Bush does not care much about people like themselves. Last fall, 47 percent thought he did not care. Today, just 17 percent say Bush cares a lot about people like them.