Voters are displeased with both the president and Congress, according to the latest FOX News poll. A 55 percent majority of Americans disapprove of President Bush’s job performance and the most frequently mentioned reason is the Iraq war; 45 percent of those unhappy with Bush blame the war.
After Iraq, the most common reason is that the president is generally “doing a bad job” (19 percent). A handful of voters say they disapprove because they disagree with Bush on the issues (7 percent), they don’t like him (6 percent) and that he doesn’t care about average people (5 percent).
President Bush’s job ratings hold steady this week with 35 percent of Americans saying they approve and 55 percent disapprove.
Of those that approve of Bush, 40 percent say it’s because he’s “doing a good job” overall, 17 percent mention the job he is doing “fighting terrorism,” 9 percent say they agree with him on the issues and 8 percent approve because he is honest.
The national telephone poll was conducted for FOX News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from Oct. 23-24. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
Among the president’s party faithful, his approval rating is now fairly consistently below 70 percent; 68 percent approve today, down from 81 percent this time last year (immediately before the midterm election — October 24-25, 2006).
Bush’s approval rating rarely gets into the teens among Democrats these days; currently 12 percent give a thumbs-up as do 26 percent of independents. Fully 81 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents disapprove of the job the president is doing.
“Bush’s ratings just don’t move very much,” comments Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. He has a core of Republican supporters who keep him from plunging too much. Democrats are pretty much critical and the week-to-week differences come primarily from independents that move back and forth.”
The war in Iraq remains the number one issue for Americans; 36 percent identify it as the most important problem facing the country, followed by health care at 12 percent and the economy at 11 percent.
Despite the president’s low performance ratings, a slim 53 percent majority say he is still a powerful player in Washington considering the failure of the Democratic Congress to override Bush’s recent health care bill veto. Some 35 percent think he is a lame duck president.
More than 7 of 10 Republicans (73 percent) think Bush is still powerful compared to 40 percent of Democrats.
Turning to Congress, the poll shows that even fewer Americans are satisfied with lawmakers than with the president. Some 25 percent say they approve of the job Congress is doing while more than twice as many — 54 percent — disapprove.
A 58 percent majority of Republicans disapprove of the Democratically-controlled Congress, as do 57 percent of independents and 48 percent of Democrats.
Furthermore, 45 percent of voters say the country would be better off throwing out most members of Congress and starting over with new people. Of course that seems to apply mainly to someone else’s representative, because 50 percent think their own representative deserves to be re-elected.