Michigan Gets A Pony

The Heartland rejectsChimpy.

Clear majorities of Michiganders say President George W. Bush’s new Iraq strategy won’t work, and they doubt that pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq would increase the risk of terrorist attacks in the United States, a Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll shows.


Bush’s 26% approval rating in Michigan is the lowest of his presidency. Nationally, Bush’s approval rating has dipped below 30% only twice since he took office in 2001, both within the last year but neither as low as 26%. His approval rating was 84% in Michigan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“It’s one of the lowest marks since polling was invented,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., the Des Moines, Iowa, polling firm that conducted the survey.


While Bush gets strong support – 68% – for the overall job he’s doing from Republicans, his partisans aren’t nearly as supportive of his Iraq policies.

“When you look at the confidence in the troop buildup, it drops down to 39% among Republicans,” Selzer said. “That’s a good barometer of where the national mood is on the biggest and most controversial initiative of the war.”


Only 15% of those polled have strong confidence that Bush’s move to add 21,500 troops will succeed.

“I believe enough of our guys and girls have died and been wounded over there,” said Amy Wieleba, 51, of Novi. “I don’t see what purpose it will accomplish. They hate us enough over there as it is.”

Among other findings in the survey:

• Only 20% of women approved of Bush’s handling of the war, compared with 26% of men.

• People younger than 35 were the least supportive of Bush and his Iraq policy.

• Western Michigan residents gave the president the highest ratings: 34% approve of the job he’s doing; metro Detroiters gave the lowest at 22%.

• Bush got his highest marks for his handling of the fight against terrorism, but a majority – 52% – still disapproves.