Poll: Bush Ratings and Preview of Upcoming Elections


Published August 10, 2002

| FoxNews.com

Results from the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll show that a majority of Americans continues to approve of the job George W. Bush is doing as president, and most also have a favorable opinion of him personally.

Today, 69 percent of Americans approve of President Bush's job performance and 20 percent disapprove. In late July the president's job performance rating went below 70 percent for the first time since the September terrorist attacks.

Bush continues to receive extremely strong job ratings from Republicans -- over 90 percent approval for the last several months -- while his numbers among Democrats have dropped off considerably in recent months. Today, 52 percent of Democrats approve of Bush's job performance, down from a high of 77 percent in November 2001.

Aside from job performance, most Americans have a positive view of the president. With a 72 percent favorable rating, Bush outshines not only Vice President Dick Cheney who has a 60 percent favorable rating, but also former Vice President Al Gore at 51 percent favorable.

2004 Vote for President

Bush also leads Al Gore in a 2004 presidential rematch, though not by the margins his ratings would suggest. The poll found that if the next presidential election were held today, 50 percent of voters say they would support Bush and 37 percent Gore, with the remaining 13 percent voting for someone else or undecided.

"In most elections the undecided voters break heavily for the challenger -- this case Gore," said Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman. "If the next race follows this pattern it will be another close one despite the president’s high ratings and general approval. There is certainly some risk for him that he will follow in his father’s footsteps."

By larger margins Bush also bests other possible Democratic contenders such as Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (Bush 55 percent, Lieberman 30 percent), New York Senator Hillary Clinton (Bush 58 percent, Clinton 28 percent), and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (Bush 54 percent, Daschle 28 percent).

As was the case earlier in the year, Gore is still the favored Democratic presidential nominee for 2004. A plurality of Democrats (29 percent) supports the former vice president over other potential candidates. Hillary Clinton (15 percent) nabs the second slot, outranking Lieberman, Daschle and House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (each receives eight percent).

Throw Out the Other Representatives -- Keep Mine

But before voting for president, the country will hold midterm elections this November, when all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as about one-third of the Senate and over half of the nation's governors will be on the ballot. If voters made their selection for the House today, 39 percent say they would vote for the Republican candidate while 36 percent say they would vote for the Democrat (25 percent are unsure).

In the same way some parents think other people's kids are annoying while their kids are angels, Americans are more likely to think other Congressional Representatives should be voted out but that their representative deserves reelection.

Over half of voters nationwide (57 percent) think their representative deserves to be reelected while less than one-third think "the average representative" should retain a seat in Congress. Likewise, almost twice as many voters think that most representatives should be thrown out as think their representative should be booted.

Members of Congress: Deserve Reelection?


On the issues, voters say Democrats would do a better job on education, Social Security, Medicare and energy. In addition, Democrats are now seen as the political party that would do a better job on the economy, an issue that the Republicans have dominated in the past couple of years. When it comes to homeland security and military defense, about twice as many people say the GOP is the party that would do a better job.

Polling was conducted by telephone August 6-7, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ± 3 percentage points.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president?

6-7 Aug 0269%2011
23-24 Jul 0269%1813
9-10 Jul 0270%1911
18-19 Jun 0273%1413
4-5 Jun 0274%1511
14-15 May 0277%158

I'm going to read the names of some people. Please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of each. If you've never heard of someone, please just say so.

2. George W. Bush

 FavorableUnfavorableCan't SayNever heard
6-7 Aug 0272%226-
4-5 Jun 0269%1912-
14-15 May 0277%176-
16-17 Apr 0275%196-
2-3 Apr 0279%156-
12-13 Feb 0281%136-

3. Al Gore

 FavorableUnfavorableCan't SayNever heard
6-7 Aug 0251%3811-
16-17 Apr 0244%44111
12-13 Dec 0147%4013-
22-23 Aug 0151%3910-

4. Dick Cheney

 FavorableUnfavorableCan't SayNever heard
6-7 Aug 0260%25123
30-31 Jan 0259%20165
22-23 Aug 0157%27142
11-12 Jul 0165%21122

5. Tom Daschle

 FavorableUnfavorableCan't SayNever heard
6-7 Aug 0233%232024
6-7 Jun 0125%162138

6. What do you think are the two most important issues for the federal government to address? (Do Not Read)

 6-7 Aug 0226-27 Feb 0212-13 Dec 0119-20 Sep 01
Homeland Security13564
Health Care121496
Social Security91095
Medicare/Medicaid Reform7312
Foreign policy4134
Family values/morals (decline of)4675
September 112314
Federal deficit2111
Corporate corruption1n/an/an/a
Balanced budget1111
Campaign Finance Reform11--
Usama bin Laden1113
Child care1-11
IRS problems1---
Gun Control----
Race relations--11
(Don't know/Ref)6795

Most Important Issues -- Summary

Health Care13
Social Security9

7. Thinking ahead to this November's elections, if the congressional election were held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate in your district or the Democratic candidate in your district? (If undecided) Well, if you had to vote, which way would you lean?

  Republican  Democrat  
 VoteLeanTotalVoteLeanTotal(Other/Not sure)
6-7 Aug 0233%6393153625
26-27 Feb 0234%6403023228
12-13 Dec 0133%7402182931
28-29 Mar 0132%6383333626
10-11 Jan 0126%7333263829

8. When you think about Congress, do you think the average representative deserves to be reelected, or would we be better off throwing most of them out and starting over with new people?
SCALE: 1. Yes, deserve reelection 2. No, throw them out 3. (It depends) 4. (Not sure)

6-7 Aug 0231%42189
LV 28-29 Oct 9837%42156
28-29 Oct 9835%44147
9-10 Sep 9837%36198
30 Jun-1 Jul 9829%48176

9. How about your representative -- do you think he or she deserves to be reelected?
SCALE: 1. Yes, deserves reelection 2. No does not deserve reelection 3. (Not sure)

6-7 Aug 0257%2320
LV 28-29 Oct 9866%2014
28-29 Oct 9862%2018
9-10 Sep 9866%1717
30 Jun-1 Jul 9861%2019

10. How much do you think Congress has accomplished so far this year?

1. A lot15%
2. Some, but not a lot42
3. A little23
4. Almost nothing at all15
5. (Not sure)5

11. As part of the FBI's investigation of leaks of classified information, do you think members of Congress who had access to the classified information should or should not take lie detector tests to show whether they are leaking government secrets?

1. Should take lie detector tests73%
2. Should not take lie detector tests18
3. (Not sure)9

12. Congress has gone on vacation for the month of August. Do you think this will have a positive effect on the country or a negative effect on the country?

 PositiveNegative(No difference)(Not sure)
6-7 Aug 0224%37318
11-12 Aug 9921%274012
6-7 Aug 9726%27389

13. Which of the following potential candidates would you most like to see the Democrats nominate for president in 2004? (randomize)

Former Vice President Al Gore19%29%12%13%
New York Senator Hillary Clinton101587
Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman1081112
Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle7887
House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt8885
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry85109
North Carolina Senator John Edwards7588
Reverend Al Sharpton3251
(Someone else/Other)1061216
(Not sure)18141822

14. Thinking ahead to the 2004 presidential elections, if the elections were held today, for whom do you think you would vote if the candidates were: PROBE FOR LEANERS; ROTATE (Republican George W. Bush) or (Democrat Al Gore)?

 BushGore(Someone Else)(Undecided)(Would not vote)
6-7 Aug 0250%37571
12-13 Dec 0161%234111
6-7 Jun 0150%38741
10-11 Jan 0139%36619-

15. If the candidates were: (ROTATE)

 6-7 Aug 026-7 Jun 01
1. Republican George W. Bush55%53%
2. Democrat Joe Lieberman3032
3. (Someone else)48
4. (Undecided)106
5. (Would not vote)11

16. If the candidates were: (Rotate)

 6-7 Aug 0210-11 Jan 01
1. Republican George W. Bush58%45%
2. Democrat Hillary Clinton2834
3. (Someone else)47
4. (Undecided)814
5. (Would not vote)2-

17. If the candidates were: (Rotate)

 6-7 Aug 026-7 Jun 01
1. Republican George W. Bush54%56%
2. Democrat Tom Daschle2823
3. (Someone else)310
4. (Undecided)149
5. (Would not vote)12

18. On the national level, are you more concerned about the economy or about national security?

 6-7 Aug 0212-13 Feb 02
1. U.S. economy39%35%
2. National security3335
3. (Both)2728
4. (Neither)11
5. (Not sure)-1

Which political party -- the Republicans or the Democrats -- do you think would do a better job on each of the following issues? (ROTATE)
SCALE: 1. Republicans 2. Democrats 3. (Equal) 4. (Not sure)

19. The economy

6-7 Aug 0236%43912
26-27 Feb 0241%361013
28-29 Mar 0142%37813
23-24 June 99*39%38914
24-25 Feb 99*41%39812

* "maintaining a strong economy"

20. Education

6-7 Aug 0235%441011
26-27 Feb 0236%381214
28-29 Mar 0142%351211
23-24 June 99*32%401117
24-25 Feb 99*31%421116
28-29 Oct 9828%42921

* "improving education"

21. Social Security

6-7 Aug 0230%48913
26-27 Feb 0233%44914
28-29 Mar 0139%41713
23-24 Jun 99*32%43817
24-25 Feb 99*28%461016
28-29 Oct 9830%43720

* "preserving Social Security"

22. Military Defense

6-7 Aug 0254%261010
26-27 Feb 0255%23913
28-29 Mar 0159%22712

23. Taxes

6-7 Aug 0240%41712
26-27 Feb 0240%371013
28-29 Mar 0147%35711
23-24 June 99*45%32815
24-25 Feb 99*44%33815

* "keeping taxes down"

24. Energy

6-7 Aug 0232%421016
26-27 Feb 0238%37916

25. Homeland Security

6-7 Aug 0251%251014
26-27 Feb 0248%231217

26. Medicare

6-7 Aug 0230%49912
28-29 Mar 0135%41915

27. Recently some corporate executives who were accused of wrongdoing were taken to jail in handcuffs. Does seeing this make you confident that things are getting cleaned up in corporate America or not?

1. Yes48%
2. No45
3. (Not sure)7