December 13th, 2007
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Americans have dim view of Bush, Dem leadership

Americans have a bleak view of the president's job performance, according to a new CNN poll.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Americans share a bleak view of the job performances both of President Bush and of congressional Democratic leadership, according to a CNN poll released Thursday.

The president's approval rating in the poll, conducted Dec. 6 through Sunday by Opinion Research Corporation, was 32 percent, tying his all-time low rating from June.

Sixty-six percent disapproved of how Bush is handling his job, the poll found, about equal to the 65 percent early last month.

Only 15 percent said they approved "strongly" of how the president is handling his job, while nearly half, 49 percent, disapproved "strongly."

Democratic leaders in Congress enjoyed an approval rating only narrowly higher than the president's, with 39 percent of poll respondents saying they approve of what the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have done so far this year. More than half - 56 percent - disapproved, the poll found.

Still, 53 percent of those polled said Democratic leadership is "good for the country," though that is down slightly from 58 percent in January, when when Democrats took control of Congress. The poll found that more than a third - 37 percent - said a Democratic-controlled Capitol Hill is "bad" for the country.

Pollsters interviewed 1,002 adult American adults by telephone for the survey, which had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, except for questions pertaining to Democratic leadership. Those questions had a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The poll also found that 49 percent of Americans prefer the Democrats' approach to the federal budget, while 24 percent prefer Bush's approach. Twenty-three percent said they did not prefer either approach.

Both Bush and Congress have had low approval ratings from the public for more than a year. Bush's rating has been consistently below 40 percent during that time, and below 50 percent for more than 31 consecutive months - longer than any president since Harry Truman.

Approval for Congress has been mired in the middle to low 20s for the past year, with approval for Democrats higher. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll taken Oct. 12-14 found 43 percent approval for House and Senate Democrats.

The sampling error was plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Filed under: Congress • President Bush
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. BlueGoose

    Congress would have a higher rating if they would do the job they were hired to do and end this war in Iraq that was built on Bush's immoral lies.

    December 13, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. :P tampa fl

    The 15% must be family members & oil tycoons...

    December 13, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. HKHaugan Jacksonville, Florida

    I believe President Bush is not only a great president but exactly what we needed at this time in our history, a history that will show that to be true. We do not need compromising shallow and weak leadership but one that will stand against the oppressive tendencies of liberalism and its 'cave-in to all hostile comers' philosophy. Now is the time to stand firm and retain what George Bush has courageously done to defend this country and its allies.

    December 13, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. John Kelley

    What is fundamentally clear is this: George Bush and his loyal group of conservatives will not find middle ground with Democrats on any issues. It is either US, or the highway. And I agree with Senator Schumer, the Republicans will lose more seats in the Senate and the House – so it may not really matter who is President in 2009, because a veto proof Congress will determine what legislation will be passed.

    December 13, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Jean, Columbia, MD

    Granted, Dems haven't been very productive on the job. Why is it so hard to pass simple bills without stuffing them full of earmarks?
    Bush, I can't believe 15% think he's doing a good job, they must be relatives! Bush and Cheney will never admit they are wrong about anything, the egos, I can't wait until they're gone! Maybe we can get that endangered fish on the list that the retired Cheney will be fly-fishing for when he retires. See how he likes it when people take what's important to you, away from you.
    And another thing, They love to brag about how their legacy will be about protecting the country from another terrorist attack when it took 8 years between the last one and 9/11. What a joke this administation is!!!
    It's embarrassing to be an American these days.....

    December 13, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Michael, Torrance, CA

    The president's approval rating makes perfect sense because he's just a complete idiot. The worst president in American history (followed very closely by Jimmy Carter). But the congress is another matter. Both democrats and republicans need to put down their swords down and work together. The sword fights start during the elections with all of the accusations, name calling and mud slinging. Unfortunately, that continues once they take office. One party always looking to one up the other based on what the polls are telling them. They should instead work together and do what's right for America no matter what the polls are saying. It all seems so simple to say but so very hard for our elected officials to do. Pity!

    December 13, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. J. Stiles, Trenton, NJ

    That makes sense: Americans have a dim view of a dimwit president.

    December 13, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. kathe oakland, california

    What leadership in democrats. there is none period. They have done nothing to improve the "human" condition, done nothing but fight, have not won over any republicans, have no guts period. The republicans fight them on every bill which is surprising. You would have thought by now they democrats would have some positive influence but sadly they don't. America, we are in deep deep "stuff" here.

    December 13, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Brandon, Montclair, NJ

    I think it's pretty foul that the Democratic congressional leadership has to take the rap, for the Bush administration's failure to accept compromise into their ever-failing list of priorities. When last I checked, Congress has worked hard to deliver bills to the president...only to have a presidential veto slapped onto them. Congress can't get to the other side of the wall while the door remains closed.

    December 13, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    You got your numbers mixed up CNN. Pitiful...

    December 13, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. karen, nj.

    Who ARE these people taking the polls ???!!

    December 13, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. josh

    The approval ratings for the democratic controlled House and Senate pale in comparrason to those of Mr. Bush. Yes, Mr. Bushes approval rating is in the toilet. But the approval rating of the Democratic Congress is even LOWER!

    December 13, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. J Houston, TX

    Comparing these numbers is a mistake. Take them all in together and what are you reading?

    Americans have lost faith in their politicians in Washington...and with good reason.

    December 13, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Mark, Greensboro, NC

    Well I wonder why. both are leading us down the primrose path. both are bought and paid for and serve their corporate and financial masters.

    December 13, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. H. Woodall

    Gee, a poll masquerading as "news", and served up to the people as something noteworthy.

    The Iowa Debate must have not provided fodder for your cheerleading antics in favor of Democrat candidates.

    How 'bout a poll of people who think CNN isn't just another water carrier for yellow journalists everywhere?

    Jesus wept.

    December 13, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. Shannon, Charlottesville, Virginia

    while i am disappointed that the dem leadership is not ending the war now or doing enough to investigate criminal activity within the bush administration, i think it's important to remember that the dems only have a razor-thin majority, and that's because two independents are caucusing with them! i think we need to continue to support them until they are powerful enough to actually reverse our course.

    December 13, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Don, Rio Rancho NM

    Bush is an idiot puppet to big oil and Pelosi and Reid are cowards. What is to approve of?

    December 13, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  18. RightyTighty

    26 million free Iraqis and 31 million free Afgani's approve of the way Bush is doing his job..

    December 13, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  19. Daryl Sutherlin,Or.

    A President can only do his job correctly with a backing Congress and House, Senate. Vetos can and have been overidden before.

    December 13, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  20. David, Everett, WA

    The reason we're dissatisfied with the Democratic Congress is the fact that Bush & Co are still in office.

    December 13, 2007 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. P.D.

    The fact that Democrats don't have enough votes to override Bush's vetos says it all.

    December 13, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  22. M Mcadams - Columbus, Ms

    To Jean in Columbia, Md
    If you are so embarrassed to be an American. You can always leave it.
    some place like Iran.

    December 13, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  23. Evan, Roseburg OR

    Honestly, what's really dragging down congress's approval right now is the Republicans who are fillibustering every attempt made by the Democrats to do anything. A majority in the congress is nice, but doesn't mean anything if you don't have a 61% majority.

    December 13, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  24. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    The day they took the majority, impeachment proceedings should have began. That would have eased the publics mind. But alas, as we with any comon sense know, a Dem is a Repub is a Corporate, war-mongering puppet.

    December 13, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  25. Pat, NormaI, IL

    Maybe we need to get rid of all incumbants regardless of party. I am starting to think they are all worthless!

    December 14, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
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