Chimpy is mired at 36% job approval rating in the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, as the public’s approval of his handling of Iraq hits a record low.
Those surveyed oppose the idea of increased troop levels by 61%-36%. Approval of the job Bush is doing in Iraq has sunk to 26%, a record low.
•Nearly half of those surveyed say the United States can’t achieve its goals in Iraq regardless of how many troops it sends. One in four say U.S. goals can be achieved only with an increase in troop numbers.
•Eight in 10 say the war has gone worse than the Bush administration expected. Of those people, 53% say Bush deserves “a great deal” of blame; 41% place a great deal of blame on Iraqi political leaders.
•By 72%-25%, Americans say Bush doesn’t have a clear plan for handling the situation in Iraq. Congressional Democrats fare only a little better: 66%-25%.
Even so, Democrats take control of Congress amid a wave of good feeling. By 2-to-1, Americans say they want congressional Democrats, not Bush, to have more influence over the direction of the nation.
Views on increased troop levels differ sharply by party. Even among Republicans, though, 30% oppose the idea; 67% support it. Independents are against it by nearly 2-to-1. Democrats oppose it, 85%-12%.
And there is a yawning gender gap: 69% of women oppose an increase, compared with 52% of men.