August 15th, 2007
12:40 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll: Majority calls Bush, Congress a 'failure'

The American people give failing marks to both Bush and Congress.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The American people seem to be in a bad mood when it comes to evaluating President Bush and the Democratically-controlled Congress, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicates.

According to the poll, 57 percent of Americans deem Bush's presidency a "failure," while 55 percent say the same for the Democratic Congress. Meanwhile, 40 percent call Bush's presidency a success, while only 37 percent give that mark to Congress. (Full poll results [PDF])

It’s not all bad news for Democrats. By a 48 to 35 percent margin, Americans say they have more confidence in the Democrats than in Bush to deal with the major issues facing the country today. Confidence in the Democrats has, however, dropped six points since a similar poll in November. (Watch CNN's Bill Schneider analyze the lastest poll numbers)

“The public clearly doesn't like what it sees coming out of Washington these days,” explains CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Most Americans think the Bush presidency is a failure; most say the Democratic Congress has been a failure this year as well.”

“But politics is a zero-sum game,” notes Holland. “Voters wind up having to choose one side or the other. The good news for the Democrats is that Americans still have more confidence in them than in Bush. The bad news: the number who have more confidence in the Democrats has dropped since last year, and is now under 50 percent.”

The poll, conducted August 6-8, includes interviews of 1,029 Americans and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Congress • President Bush
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Elsie E Connelly

    Well since I live in Mid-America I have done some polling of my own. The polls you seem to quote must not be taken fairly, because I am in contact with a fairly large number of people on a daily basis from all over the US and none of them nor anyone else they know has ever taken a poll by CNN. I think your poll is a load of hooey.

    August 15, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Hank Tucker GA

    "According to the poll, 57 percent of Americans deem Bush's presidency a "failure," while 55 percent say the same for the Democratic Congress. Meanwhile, 40 percent call Bush's presidency a success, while only 37 percent give that mark to Congress"

    Polls like this are useless and are designed to give networks something to spin.

    The only poll that matters is the one taken on November 8th – election day.

    August 15, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. John, Ca.

    I think that many people had unrealistic expectations that with the Democratic takeover of Congress that meant that we would immediately get out of the unnecessary war of choice in Iraq, but with a President that is not willing to listen to the will of the people, and stick to the current failed policy, redeploying out of Iraq is going to take time.

    The American public wants troops to start leaving Iraq, but they also want to fund the troops while they are there, so it is a tricky situation.

    As the Democrats prod the President to change course in Iraq, and as they pass more legislation, such as a minimum wage increase, implementation of the 9/11 report, ethics reform, school loan reform etc., the public will have a clear choice between moving forward or sticking with the same failed policies of the last six and a half years, and I'm your the decision will return a Democrat to the White House.

    August 15, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. David, Salinas, CA

    My guess is there’s a big difference between these two results, but you’d have to go deeper inside the numbers to see it.

    The president is unpopular because he presides over one of the most irresponsible and incompetent administrations in American history.

    The Congress is unpopular because they lack a sufficient majority to stop the President.

    A Democratic sweep in 2008 would solve both problems.

    August 15, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Nick marker

    Ha ha ha.. well, at least the da Prez didnt call the congress dumb. How pathetic can this guy get

    August 15, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Hmm, two parties..near 50% of the country think those in power from both parties are a failure.

    Still think a third party is a wasted vote?

    August 15, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Johnny, NYNY

    Problem with POLLS are that not to many REP. take polls at CNN. You are only really getting a majority DEM. response esp. online when people can re-poll with different emails
    ,different names or how ever anyone could re-poll more than once.
    POLLS are not good.
    After how many years with Bush people now are losing confidence. and after how many months people losing confidance with Dem. congress. WOW...
    But yet like i said its someones poll....
    C'mon Giulini ......
    oops that was the last Article..haha

    August 15, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Dave, Oakland, CA

    Polls also say that John Kerry won the election and we see how that turned out.

    Unfortunately all these people polled also believe their politician is not part of the problem so it isn't like anything major will change anytime soon.

    Maybe when oil hits $100+, all our oil refineries are shut down, corn hits $10 a bushel, and were all using pogo sticks to get around things may just change. But until then the politicians will just keep up taking their cut of the pork and increasing the size of the bloated and corrupt government.

    August 15, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I thought I'd never say this, but Dick Cheney was right– in his 1994 assessment of why we should not invade Iraq. See the video at:

    August 15, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Donnie Rio Grande City, Texas

    How can congress do anything? The president without a brain keeps vetoing. Wah, if I don't get my way, I'll impeach. What a moron. Maybe with stem cell research, he might get an injecton of glial cells. Impeach the jerk.

    August 15, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. John, Ca.

    I like how Barney and his pet both are sticking their tongues out for the camera. Is that a euphemism for what they think about the will of the people?

    Just a thought. Talk amongst yourselves.

    August 15, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    What a huge suprise? A congress that does not have the guts and a President that seems to think that he is the supreme rules of the land, tell me something I don't know!

    August 15, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. Arthur de Man, NY, New York

    So you are essentially saying that Americans think Bush is bad but that the Dem Congress is worse? Fabulous reporting. Very fair and balanced(tm). CNN should pat itself on its back. The Dem Congress hasn't fulfilled its goal to stop the Iraq adventure that Bush lied our country into. Maybe that should be your story, dangling proposition and all.

    August 15, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Bill Evanikoff, Pleasanton, CA

    Historians are just going to love Bush II. After all, what can you say about Clinton? When he left office, the USA was at it's zenith in every measure. They will look back and debate (much like global warming) whether anything could have been done to prevent the decline of our influence and wealth as a nation, or was it inevitable? Was he brilliant while only affecting the demeanor of a bumpkin, or was he really just a fool? Was he only a tool of the wealthy and powerful, or did he have some grand social scheme in mind which required a bifurcation of class based on wealth and education? Was he an ideologue riding the tide of reactionary social trends which are sweeping the globe, or did he alone have the true vision of the path the USA must follow to avoid becoming just like Lebanon?

    Although it is mean to find a lesson in suffering, I think that we should thank George W. Bush for disabusing us of the illusion that the USA is a perfect democracy. He has shown us how frail our democratic institutions truly are, and how their promise can be swept away if they are not defended at every turn with vigor. Just as we turn on the light switch taking electricity for granted, we are too often lulled into a false sense of security while reflecting upon some genius of our founders for discovering the perfect balance of institutionalized democracy which will provide us with freedom without asking for any sacrifice beyond paying our taxes.

    August 15, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. spinstopper

    "The poll, conducted August 6-8, includes interviews of 1,029 Americans"

    Rendering their opinions irrelevant as well as this CNN/Opinion Research poll. Its nothing more than corporate sponsored political partisanship. Exactly what we're becoming accustom to finding on this moderated media.

    August 15, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Greg, Gary, IN


    August 15, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Jeff Tai, Greenwich, CT

    Bush doesn't have direction. I don't really care for political party or sides, I care simply for an authentically US/World interested president who is willing to put the nation's good before his/her own.

    August 15, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Deb Cornejo, Gladstone, Oregon

    Who are these people being polled. No one has ever spoken to me or called me for my opinion and I am 55 years old.

    August 15, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. John S. Chicago, Illinois


    August 15, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. barb gentry spanaway washington

    I believe all Americans that vote should support who ever wins the race, I support my President and his staff, as I will support the next. I am sorry that so many Americans spend so much time slandering our Government. I have to wonder if any of them really listen to what is going on , what the leaders of other countries are asking of us????? It appears from what is said here at home, they do not! Wake up America! We are not helping anyone anywhere in the world that we have not been begged to help,,, and stay!!!!

    August 15, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Dude McGhee Stevens, Los Angeles, CA

    Ignore the polls..they are designed to influence the opinions of the overall population....

    August 15, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. cliff jones, honolulu hi

    This is just a reflection of the temporal mood of the American people. It will probably stay that way until Bush leaves office. Once hes gone, the mood will return to normal.

    August 15, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    I'd have to agree that this poll seems a bit irregular compared to many other polls citing Bush's rating being so low. Who were these 40% approving of his presidency? If I were CNN, I would be checking the validity of the poll.

    And the Congress not inspiring a great deal of confidence is to be expected when you have a slim margin and a veto threatening president thats off his rocker. It's not as though the Democratic led Congress can get anywhere when they only have a one person margin in the Senate and the House is so divided in both parties.

    The Democrats just got the majority this year and is dealing with a highly obstructionist minority. What else would you expect?

    Telling it like I see it,

    August 15, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. ReadBtwthlins

    Notice the new poll uses the term "Democratically-controlled Congress".

    Other polls ask the same questions about "Congress" and recieve the lowest rating ever recorded..., some as low as 14%.

    So what does CNN do? Find out why we're not happy?? Nooooo, they change the question, of course! Another feable attempt at blunting the impact of the term "bigger failure than Bush" on the political party they openly support.

    August 15, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Bob, Salem OR

    "But politics is a zero-sum game," notes CNN Polling Director Keeting Holland.

    It appears Mr. Holland has a bipartisan view of the world and cannot admit to an alternative. All the poll says is that Democrats and Republicans are failing in DC.

    There are intibipartisan alternatives such as Libertarians, Greens, Reformers and many others. Perhaps it is time to start looking at who Americans might have confidence instead of sticking to the bipartisan script that there are no alternatives to the consistent failures of the democrats and republicans.

    August 15, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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