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Zogby: Bush Job Approval—34%
Rating down despite foiled terror plot and Lebanon cease fire; Democrats hold generic Congressional lead

Zogby | August 18 2006

President Bush’s job approval rating dipped two points in the last three weeks, despite the foiling of an airline terror plot and the adoption of a cease–fire deal between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.

The survey was conducted Aug. 11–15, 2006, included 1,018 respondents, and carries a margin of error of +/– 3.1 percentage points.

The numbers continue to reflect erosion in the President’s political base – just 62% of Republicans give him positive marks for his job performance, while 38% give him negative marks. Even among weekly WalMart shoppers – a demographic group identified by Pollster John Zogby as a critical support group for Bush – just 45% now give him positive job marks, though his numbers among those shoppers have improved 10 points since early June.

More than three out of four – 76% – of weekly WalMart shoppers voted for Bush over Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, earlier Zogby polling showed.

Among both conservatives and those who consider themselves very conservative, 59% give him positive marks, while 41% in each group gave him a negative job rating.

One third of respondents – 34% – said that, overall, the nation is headed in the right direction, while 59% said they think things are off on the wrong track.

Pollster John Zogby: “President Bush’s numbers mainly reflect the country’s thinking on the war in Iraq, and most people have made up their minds that the war overall has not been worth the loss of American lives. Terrorism is an important issue to Americans, but when it comes to judging Bush’s presidency, their decision is based largely on Iraq.”

Democrats continue to carry a lead into the fall campaign season on the generic congressional election question. Likely voters in the poll, asked whether they planned to vote for the Democrat or the Republican in their local congressional election, 39% favored Democrats, while 31% said they would be voting for the Republican candidate. Democrats also are winning the battle among independents, who favor the out–of–power party by a 32% to 20% margin, with 41% of independents yet undecided.

Asked if the war in Iraq has been worth the loss of American lives, 38% said “yes,” while 56% said “no,” a ratio that has held steady over the past year or so.

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