With far more Americans identifying themselves as Democrats than Republicans, President Bush’s job rating has hit a new low, according to the latest FOX News poll.
Three in 10 Americans (30 percent) now approve of the job Bush is doing as the nation’s leader, with 6 in 10 disapproving.
While disapproval of the president has been higher (for example, 61 percent in both July and March of 2007), his approval rating has never sunk this low before.
Majorities in every major sub-group except Republicans, conservatives and born-again Christians give a negative rating to Bush’s performance in the White House. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans (65 percent) approve of Bush.
This bad news for Bush comes at a time when the gap between those identifying themselves as Democrats and those identifying as Republicans has reached 13 percentage points (43 percent versus 30 percent), which is the largest difference ever measured in a FOX News poll.
This may be partly due to the greater attention being paid to the competitive race for the Democratic nomination, but a differential of this size is notable under any circumstances.
Not to be outdone by the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Congressional job performance also hit a new low—flirting with the "teens" on overall approval (20 percent).
Although it is a Democratically-controlled Congress, Republicans actually assign a slightly higher approval rating to Congress than Democrats (24 percent versus 22 percent).
These data reflect the fact that—as many candidates in the 2008 race have articulated—Americans are unhappy with the way business is conducted in Washington. It will be interesting to see how the nominees of both parties—and any third party effort—try to tap into this aversion to the status quo in the nation’s capital.
The national telephone poll was conducted for FOX News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from March 18 to March 19. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
Ernie Paicopolos is Principal at Opinion Dynamics Corporation.