A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was released last night.
According to the poll, Bush’s approval rating fell by one point from last month to 36 percent, his lowest mark in the survey. But the troubling news for Bush doesn’t stop there: [Democratic pollster Peter D.] Hart explains that Bush has now spent nine consecutive months at 40 percent or below in the poll, a feat exceeded only by Richard Nixon (13 months) and Harry Truman (26 months).
Yet Bush’s approval isn’t the only measure that has declined. In the poll — which was taken April 21-24 of 1,005 adults, and which has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points — just 24 percent believe the nation is headed in the right direction, a drop of two points since last month and seven points since January. What’s more, only 17 percent think the nation’s economy will improve in the next 12 months, a decline of seven points since March.
But if the public is dissatisfied with gas prices, its opinion of Congress isn’t much better. According to the poll, just 22 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, a drop of 11 points since March. “That’s a lot of movement in a four- to six-week period,” says [Bill] McInturff, the GOP pollster, who attributes the drop to a sharp decline in approval by Republican respondents.
Asked to rank the top one or two reasons for their disapproval of Congress, 44 percent say they are tired of Democrats and Republicans fighting with each other, 36 percent say Congress doesn’t seem to get that much done, and 34 percent say members are corrupt and unethical.
How will that anger play out in November’s midterm elections? Forty-five percent of registered voters say they prefer Democrats controlling Congress, compared with 39 percent who say they want Republicans in charge.
All of this, Hart says, adds up to a political environment that is “exceptionally worrisome for Republicans.” And he believes that as we head toward November, “the die is getting close to being cast” — that Americans are unhappy and want change.