Chimpy is bouncing all over the latest Newsweek poll.
President Bush, meanwhile, remains stuck in the gutter—receiving a 31 percent approval rating, up just 1 point from his all-time low last month and still 2 points below Vice President Dick Cheney.
I don’t quite get that last statement about Cheney. The full poll results have him at 41% job approval, but that can’t be right. Must be a typo.
Meanwhile, only the truly crazy base remains.
Bush’s overall approval rating has plummeted from a record 90 percent in September 2001 to the mid-30s, according to the Gallup Poll, and to below 30 percent in another poll. His die-hard supporters are overwhelmingly Republican. Roughly 75 percent of Republicans still say consistently that they approve of his job performance.
There are some indications that his base may be a bit shaky, however, and no one knows how many Republicans will continue to stick with the president if his latest plan for Iraq fails.
A New York Times/CBS News poll published Friday found Bush’s approval rating among Republicans at 65 percent, a drop of 13 percentage points since last fall. His overall approval rating in that poll was 29 percent.
That’s not to say that Republicans are wildly enthusiastic about the president. His standing with members of his party has fallen significantly, especially among moderates. His strongest support comes from self-described conservatives who favor his approach to terrorism.
Bush’s Republican support is nowhere near as strong as the Democratic opposition to him. Only about 8 percent of Democrats approved of the president’s job performance in five Gallup polls this year. That’s five percentage points worse than Bill Clinton did with Republicans at the low point of his scandal-marred presidency.
Independent voters also have turned against Bush, although roughly 29 percent say they still approve of his job performance, averaging five Gallup polls this year.
“He’s down to holding on to three-fourths of his core supporters and not much else,” said Frank Newport, the editor in chief at Gallup.
Pollsters agree that the durability of Bush’s base depends on events in Iraq. If the president’s latest war plan fails, even some loyalists may reconsider their views.
“What I’m monitoring is Iraq,” Newport said. “A lot hinges on that.”