Monday, October 24, 2005

Presidents Approval Ratings Rebound

President Bush, his job approval rating beleaguered by poor marks in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, rebounded from historic lows this summer to 45% in Zogby International's latest poll. The president's job approval numbers bumped back up into the range where they have hovered for most of his second term.
The survey also found that, while voters do not give the President passing marks on his handling of the Iraq War, half (50%) believe the recently-passed Iraqi constitution is a major step in the right direction for the strife-torn nation that will lead to peace and democracy. Meanwhile, 37% believe Iraq is on the brink of a civil war. The Zogby America telephone poll of 1005 likely voters, conducted from October 19 through 21, 2005, has a margin of error of +/-3.2 percentage points. While President Bush's overall job approval is up, and a 52% majority of voters hold a favorable opinion of him, his handling of any number of issues continues to score negative marks-including his handling of the War on Terror, which is now disapproved by 53% in the survey; this is typically President Bush's strongest area in the survey.Bush's bounce appears to be tied to overall perception of the nation's direction; three weeks ago, just 40% said the nation was on the right track. This number now stands at 45%. Voter outlook on the nation's direction improved over an October 3 poll, which showed just 40% believing the nation to be on the right track. That number now stands at 45%, while those who said the nation is on the wrong track declined from 54% to 51%. Southerners continue to hold the most optimistic outlook on the nation's direction; in this region, which the President carried solidly in the last election, half of voters (50%) say the nation is on the right track. The same holds for the "Red States," those states carried by the President during the 2004 election: there, 50% of voters feel the nation is heading in the right direction, while 46% hold a more pessimistic view. In the "Blue States" carried by Democratic Senator John Kerry, meanwhile, just 39% say the nation is heading in the right direction while 56% believe the nation is on the right track. The trend is even more pronounced along party lines. While Republicans are overwhelmingly optimistic about the nation's direction, with 75% saying the nation is on the right track, among Democrats, this drops to 17%. Independents lag behind the national average at 42%. Despite the bounce in his overall job approval, President Bush continues to receive negative marks for his handling of several aspects related to his job. His signature issue of the War on Terror continues for a second straight month to be rated negatively; previously, the President received favorable marks for his handling of this particular area of his presidency. Zogby International conducted interviews of 1005 likely voters chosen at random nationwide. All calls were made from Zogby International headquarters in Utica, N.Y., from October 19 through 21, 2005. The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, and gender to more accurately reflect the voting population. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.