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    Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    December 8, 2005

    Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    By ROBIN TONER and MARJORIE CONNELLY

    After months of political erosion, President Bush's approval rating improved markedly in the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll, largely tracking Americans' more positive attitudes toward the economy.

    But his presidency is still plagued by widespread doubts about his handling of the war in Iraq, with 52 percent of poll respondents saying the Bush administration intentionally misled the public when its officials made the case for war. A majority of Americans want the United States to set some timetable for troop withdrawal; 32 percent want the number of American troops reduced, and 28 percent want a total pullout.

    The survey, conducted Dec. 2-6, showed Mr. Bush's approval rating at 40 percent, up from 35 percent a month ago, which was the low point of his presidency. His gains primarily came among men, independents, 18-to-29-year-olds and conservatives. He remains a fiercely polarizing figure, with an approval rating of 79 percent among Republicans, 12 percent among Democrats and 34 percent among independents.

    Over all, 53 percent of Americans disapprove of Mr. Bush's job performance, down from 57 percent a month ago.

    Despite his gains, Mr. Bush's 40 percent approval rating remains among his lowest, and is still substantially lower than that of Presidents Bill Clinton (who was at 58 percent) or Ronald Reagan (who was at 68 percent) at comparable points in their second te.rms.

    The telephone poll of 1,155 adults nationwide had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

    As Republican strategists have hoped, Mr. Bush seems to be getting a political lift from the economy. Mr. Bush has tried hard to highlight good economic news in recent weeks, which have seen a drop in the price of gasoline and new figures showing strong growth in the third quarter. The poll showed that 56 percent describe the national economy as good, up from 47 percent a month ago.

    "Things are not that bad," Susan Huru, a 47-year-old independent from Wasilla, Alaska, said in a follow-up interview after the poll was completed. "I can still afford things except for maybe gas."

    Mr. Bush's handling of the economy also got slightly better marks - 38 percent approve, up from 34 percent last month. (In contrast, his overall rating on foreign policy continued to fall, to 36 percent from 38 percent in September and 42 percent in August.)

    In another measure of national mood closely followed by political strategists, the percentage of Americans who say the country is "seriously off on the wrong track" has declined - to 60 percent, from 68 percent a month ago.

    Charles Cook, who publishes an independent political newsletter tracking Congressional races, said Mr. Bush's uptick in the poll is "consistent with everything else out there." He added: "It looks like they're finally getting a little bit of credit for the economy performing as strongly as it has. We've had good economic news for a while, but Iraq so dominated things it couldn't break through."

    Still, 11 months before the midterm elections, the poll found much that was ominous for the Republican Congressional majority. Only 33 percent of Americans said they approve of the way Congress is doing its job, while 53 percent disapprove. Such approval ratings have been registered throughout 2005, reflecting a level of discontent with Congress that rivals that of the tumultuous mid-1990's.

    The Congressional approval rate among independents in the latest poll was just 32 percent.

    If the elections were held today, 42 percent of registered voters said they would vote for the Democratic candidate in their district, while 33 percent said they would vote for the Republican.

    Democrats had a substantial edge among independents, with 38 percent saying they would vote for the Democratic candidate, while 22 percent preferred the Republican. While the poll did not measure the races in individual districts, the findings are indicative of the two parties' relative strength.

    The poll suggested that Republicans are not wrong to emphasize highly localized races focused on the strengths and familiarity of their incumbents. Sixty percent of all respondents said they approve of their own representative's job performance, while 24 percent disapprove.

    Anxiety and doubt over the war in Iraq still pervade the political mood. More than half of those polled - 57 percent - said Congress is not asking enough questions about the president's policy in Iraq.

    The increasingly bitter debate over the justification for the war is mirrored among the public. Only 23 percent said they believe that Mr. Bush, in the run-up to the war, was telling the entire truth about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Forty-five percent said Mr. Bush was mostly telling the truth on the weapons but hiding something, and 25 percent said the president was mostly lying.

    Moreover, despite the Bush administration's intensive campaign in recent days to persuade the public that there is a "strategy for victory" in Iraq, the poll found widespread doubt. Asked if Mr. Bush has "a clear plan for victory in Iraq," 68 percent said he does not, and 25 percent said he does.

    The war continues to be the main focus of Mr. Bush's critics. When asked why they disapproved of Mr. Bush's job performance, more than half mentioned Iraq. "We were taken in on the war," said Virginia Loarca, 29, a Democrat who works in customer service for an airline. "Too many kids are dying, and it's not being reported on how many body bags are actually coming back."

    There was some positive news for Mr. Bush on Iraq: Approval of his handling of Iraq rose to 36 percent, from 32 percent in October. And more Americans said that going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do - 48 percent, compared with 42 percent in October. That increase in support came primarily from Republicans.

    But even with that shift, Americans remain evenly divided on the war, with another 48 percent saying the United States should have stayed out of Iraq.

    Fifty-eight percent said they want the United States to set a timetable for troop withdrawal, an idea opposed by Mr. Bush.

    An overwhelming majority - 81 percent - said the Bush administration has not clearly explained how long American troops will have to remain in Iraq.

    When asked what the United States should do now in Iraq, 32 percent said it should decrease American troop levels, while 28 percent said it should completely withdraw the troops. Twenty-four percent said troop levels should stay the same, while 11 percent backed an increase.

    Not surprisingly, most Democrats and independents want troops decreased or completely withdrawn; most Republicans support maintaining or increasing the number of troops in Iraq.

    Still, there are political risks for Democrats if they move too far toward their base: 36 percent of respondents (including a third of the independents) said they would be less likely to vote for their Congressional representative if he or she advocated an immediate withdrawal, while 21 percent said they would be more likely to vote for that official. Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader of the House, recently embraced a call for a speedy withdrawal.

    Moreover, many Americans remain anxious about the impact of withdrawal, with 46 percent saying it would increase the likelihood of violence in Iraq and 40 percent saying it would increase the likelihood of terrorism against the United States.

    As the parties head into the election year, the poll found voters giving Democrats the advantage on handling Medicare, the economy, the war in Iraq and immigration. Republicans continue to have the edge as the party best able to deal with terrorism.

    But when voters were asked which party shares their moral values, the parties were nearly even - 43 percent said the Democrats, 41 percent said the Republicans.

    Megan Thee and Marina Stefan contributed reporting for this article.

    .
    Last edited by sojustask; 12-08-2005 at 02:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    While the numbers qouted in the article appear to favor the Democrats, one part you failed to highlight:

    Sixty percent of all respondents said they approve of their own representative's job performance, while 24 percent disapprove.

    The overwhelming majority of people believe that they have elected the correct person to represent them in their district and that will likely lead to the representative getting re-elected. Interesting how that works isn't it?

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Quote Originally Posted by RegulationE
    While the numbers qouted in the article appear to favor the Democrats, one part you failed to highlight:

    Sixty percent of all respondents said they approve of their own representative's job performance, while 24 percent disapprove.

    The overwhelming majority of people believe that they have elected the correct person to represent them in their district and that will likely lead to the representative getting re-elected. Interesting how that works isn't it?

    I didn't highlight it because it had to do with representatives and not about Bush in particular. I was highlighting the parts pertaining to Bush. :) I think the other would really be a separate story. IMO

    Lady Mod

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Quote Originally Posted by sojustask
    I didn't highlight it because it had to do with representatives and not about Bush in particular. I was highlighting the parts pertaining to Bush. :) I think the other would really be a separate story. IMO

    Lady Mod
    Fair enough.....Bush will be out of office in 2008.

    Politically speaking, the only reason these polls are really important right now is to gather support for either Democrats running on 2006 or Republicans running in 2006.

    While I agree with the idea behind what President Bush is doing, Congress is who is failing the American people. Congress is where the oversight is supposed to be and the Democrats are killing their chances with the '06 elections by continuing to harp on Bush.

    But that has been the Democrats major problem for the past 12 years, they do not see the opportunity right in front of their eyes when it is there. The instead continue to beat a "Lame Duck"

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Hey RegulationE you mentioned that Congress is failing the people, I thought the Republicans control the house, the senate, the white house. In my opinion, the republican administration is failing the people. How can there be oversight, when the republican led committes keep stalling and blocking investigations. This is the problem when you have one party that controls everything, they get corrupt and arrogant, to where they believe they can do anything they want weather its policy wise or financial wise. I truely believe this is also the reason for so many republicans getting caught in scandals right now. Power should never,ever be given soley to one political party it causes greed,corruption, manipulation of taxpayer money and an arrogance so huge, it even demands for a mandate. Remind you of anything?

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Quote Originally Posted by tommy4887
    Hey RegulationE you mentioned that Congress is failing the people, I thought the Republicans control the house, the senate, the white house. In my opinion, the republican administration is failing the people. How can there be oversight, when the republican led committes keep stalling and blocking investigations. This is the problem when you have one party that controls everything, they get corrupt and arrogant, to where they believe they can do anything they want weather its policy wise or financial wise. I truely believe this is also the reason for so many republicans getting caught in scandals right now. Power should never,ever be given soley to one political party it causes greed,corruption, manipulation of taxpayer money and an arrogance so huge, it even demands for a mandate. Remind you of anything?
    A Republican congress and a bad Republican President is a great mix for disaster and has been,, A divide in either one of these administrations can cripple a good President,, But what happens when a bad President has his affiliation also in control of Congress,, Well we are witness to the damage that can do right now, and that in itself promotes this arrogant and corrupt behavior you speak of from the Republicans.
    war_on_scam

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Quote Originally Posted by tommy4887
    Hey RegulationE you mentioned that Congress is failing the people, I thought the Republicans control the house, the senate, the white house. In my opinion, the republican administration is failing the people.
    tommy, I know what your opinion is :D so now let me explain mine.

    I agree that the Republican controlled Congress makes it appear it is the Republican Congress people who are causing the problems. And to be fair they do cause some if not many of the problems. They do not cause all of the problems however.

    I am one who will vote for the best person, however if I consider the two choices to be equal, I will tend to lean Republican. No secret there either.

    However, and this should not get lost in this post. I DO NOT BELIEVE ONE PARTY SHOULD CONTROL THE HOUSE, THE SENATE, AND THE PRESIDENCY.

    Was that loud enough for you? I would prefer the House was controlled by one party (and possibly even by a large majority) and the Senate be controlled by the other with an equally large majority.

    Why is that? Well because if you pay attention much to what is going on in Congress right now, it is a lot of fighting between the two parties and not much more. If the Democrats controlled one arm and the Republicans controlled the other, they would be forced to actually do things instead of argue over who lied about what.

    The Democrats have failed the American people because they are not using their power of speech to fight the proper battles for the people. The minority needs to be heard, the need to be listened to, and their points need to be considered. But all we hear out of them is Anti-Bush crapola.

    Instead of complaining about the fact they think Bush has no plan, put a dang plan together that is understandable by the majority of the people. Right or wrong, I don't care, but put a plan together. They are so scared of not getting their power back, they have resorted to nothing more then what takes place on this forum daily. He lied...no he didn't...yes he did...no he didn't.

    We need more people like Murtha to stand up, but in the halls of Congress and not in front of the media cameras, and propose his plan....Officially. Things like that can not be floated as trial balloons. They need to be sneak attacks and they need to happen on the floor.

    The Republicans have failed the people as well. Contrary to what I have seen posted on this board; the President does not truly control the troop deployments. Congress has been week since I think WWII. They agree with the President, but not enough to declare war. It gives them an escape hatch. They can always fall back on we did not declare war so the President did this one his own.

    The Republican's control Congress, it is their Duty to be sure the minority party is allowed a voice on the floor. It is their duty to serve as oversight on the war. We don't know what is going on in the war not simply because the Bush Administration is not telling us. We don't know what is going on because the Republican controlled Congress is not forcing the President to tell us what is going on.

    I honestly don't know which arm I would want the Democrats to gain control over, I like seeing Hillary in a minority role. But, I honestly do not see a Democrat winning the white house in 2008. So for that reason, I would not mind seeing the democrats gain at least a small majority in one of the branches.

    Did that explain it enough?
    Last edited by RegulationE; 12-09-2005 at 04:28 AM.

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Quote Originally Posted by RegulationE

    The Democrats have failed the American people because they are not using their power of speech to fight the proper battles for the people. The minority needs to be heard, the need to be listened to, and their points need to be considered. But all we hear out of them is Anti-Bush crapola.
    It sounds evolution in reverse,, not so long ago the Republicans were acting and doing and saying the same things about a Democratic President named Bill i like women Clinton,, We called them Anti-Clinton..The man wasnt in office a day and poor sport loser Bob Dole was already stupidly voiceing out loud how he and his Republican buddies were going to make him a one time President,, Funny though, try as the may they couldnt get it done.. So its most certainly not affliction thats one sided by any means...
    war_on_scam

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Geesh War_man, Someone not on the left says they think the Republican Congress is trouble and all you pick up on is that paragraph?

    BTW... I thought Clinton was scum from the moment I saw him and his big red nose, reminded me of a drunk womenizer the first time I saw him and I knew absolutely nothing about him. While I have no idea about the Drunk part, I was right on with the womenizer part. However, I did not say that the Republicans where right in focusing on what they did during the Clinton Administration.

    Personally would have been much happier if they had been focusing on the Chinese deals rather the Lewinski the cigar and a blue dress. Let Hillary deal with the cheating bastard for the lewinski crap.

    Neither side of Congress is what I consider good. At least with the President, you are only going to have to deal with him or her for between 4-8 years. A good Congress should be able to keep a President in check.
    Last edited by RegulationE; 12-09-2005 at 05:01 AM.

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Yea got a little carried away i guess , i didnt read all your post, sorry. Theres way to much crap that goes on, on both sides, A decent President does not have a chance of making any real difference and it would be the same way even if we had one.. The media is a great henderands to a President, Theres no protection from the media anymore for a president 25 years ago Clinton would have not even been tried to be impeached. A mans, any mans personnal life is just that his personnal life, And Clinton,Bush whom ever is President deserves that to be inforced when it comes to their personnal issues,But not when its got something to do with the country itself... I felt the most sorry for little Chelsey Clinton during that mess with Clinton and it was certainly wrong what he did to her and hilary both,, But it wasnt really any of our business in most ways.
    war_on_scam

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Quote Originally Posted by RegulationE
    tommy, I know what your opinion is :D so now let me explain mine.

    I agree that the Republican controlled Congress makes it appear it is the Republican Congress people who are causing the problems. And to be fair they do cause some if not many of the problems. They do not cause all of the problems however.

    I am one who will vote for the best person, however if I consider the two choices to be equal, I will tend to lean Republican. No secret there either.

    However, and this should not get lost in this post. I DO NOT BELIEVE ONE PARTY SHOULD CONTROL THE HOUSE, THE SENATE, AND THE PRESIDENCY.

    Was that loud enough for you? I would prefer the House was controlled by one party (and possibly even by a large majority) and the Senate be controlled by the other with an equally large majority.

    Why is that? Well because if you pay attention much to what is going on in Congress right now, it is a lot of fighting between the two parties and not much more. If the Democrats controlled one arm and the Republicans controlled the other, they would be forced to actually do things instead of argue over who lied about what.

    The Democrats have failed the American people because they are not using their power of speech to fight the proper battles for the people. The minority needs to be heard, the need to be listened to, and their points need to be considered. But all we hear out of them is Anti-Bush crapola.

    Instead of complaining about the fact they think Bush has no plan, put a dang plan together that is understandable by the majority of the people. Right or wrong, I don't care, but put a plan together. They are so scared of not getting their power back, they have resorted to nothing more then what takes place on this forum daily. He lied...no he didn't...yes he did...no he didn't.

    We need more people like Murtha to stand up, but in the halls of Congress and not in front of the media cameras, and propose his plan....Officially. Things like that can not be floated as trial balloons. They need to be sneak attacks and they need to happen on the floor.

    The Republicans have failed the people as well. Contrary to what I have seen posted on this board; the President does not truly control the troop deployments. Congress has been week since I think WWII. They agree with the President, but not enough to declare war. It gives them an escape hatch. They can always fall back on we did not declare war so the President did this one his own.

    The Republican's control Congress, it is their Duty to be sure the minority party is allowed a voice on the floor. It is their duty to serve as oversight on the war. We don't know what is going on in the war not simply because the Bush Administration is not telling us. We don't know what is going on because the Republican controlled Congress is not forcing the President to tell us what is going on.

    I honestly don't know which arm I would want the Democrats to gain control over, I like seeing Hillary in a minority role. But, I honestly do not see a Democrat winning the white house in 2008. So for that reason, I would not mind seeing the democrats gain at least a small majority in one of the branches.

    Did that explain it enough?
    I to will vote for the best person, I feel will be good for all people regardless of political part ties, finally I can say that I am in total agreement with your post, I would also like to see the Independent party have some representation in a governmental branch. WE ARE IN AGREEMENT HERE, was that reply loud enough for ya:) As far as 08 is concerned I believe the democrats do have some people who can do a good job in the white house. In my opinion, I think Joe Biden, Mark Warner can be a good presidents.
    Last edited by tommy4887; 12-09-2005 at 07:14 PM.

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    Re: Economy Lifts Bush's Support in Latest Poll

    Nice to see we can find something to agree on. That is the first step in closing the divide in this country.

    Quote Originally Posted by tommy4887
    I think Joe Biden, Mark Warner can be a good presidents.
    I will have to do some research on these two. I don't know much, if anything, about them.

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