The latestUSA Today/Gallup poll drops Chimpy five points to a 33% approval rating while his disapproval rating soars to 62%, up six points in one short week.
In the poll taken Thursday through Sunday, just after Democrats swept to majorities in the House and Senate, those surveyed said by nearly 2-to-1 that they want Democrats to have more influence than President Bush on the direction of the nation. Nearly half said the country will be better off under Democrats; 16% said it will be worse off; and one-third predicted no difference.
Bush’s job-approval rating was 33%, tying his second-lowest ever. The Republican Party was viewed favorably by 35% — an eight-year low.
Democrats had a 57% favorable rating, their highest since January 2004 and 4 percentage points higher than the 53% share that exit polls indicated the party’s congressional candidates won on Election Day.
Democrats appear for now to have buried their image as soft on security, despite charges by Bush and other Republicans that terrorists would gain ground if Democrats won majorities. By 63%-33%, poll respondents said it is not likely Democrats in Congress will take steps that would weaken national security.
Only 24% in the poll identify themselves as Republicans, down from 31% just before the election. That’s the smallest percentage since December 1998, when only 20% said they were Republicans. The post-election dropoff is not unusual for a losing party; self-identified Democrats fell from 34% to 28% in 1994, when Republicans seized Congress.
Democrats stayed relatively constant, edging from 34% to 35%. Independents registered the largest gain, from 32% before the election to 40% afterward.