No more flukes, Bush is really below 40% now
:In Katrina's wake, the president's popularity and job-approval ratings have dropped across the board. Only 38 percent of Americans approve of the way Bush is doing his job overall, a record-low for this president in the NEWSWEEK poll. (Fifty-five percent of Americans disapprove of his overall job performance.) And only 28 percent of Americans say they are "satisfied with the way things are going" in the country, down from 36 percent in August and 46 percent in December, after the president's re-election.
Beyond that, here is an important finding in the poll that could be both good and bad for Democrats who are trying to make Katrina a referendum on conservatism:
But Katrina's most costly impact could be a loss of faith in government generally, and the president, in particular. A majority of Americans (57 percent) say "government's slow response to what happened in New Orleans" has made them lose confidence in government's ability to deal with another major natural disaster. Forty-seven percent say it has made them lose confidence in the government's ability to prevent another terrorist attack like 9/11, but 50 percent say is has not. (Note: our question asked about "government" in general, so we cannot say whether respondents meant state, local, federal or a combo of any of the three.)
It should be easy to make the case that conservative government has failed
with numbers like these. However, can we make a case for effective, responsible, strong, and empathetic progressive government with numbers like these? I guess we shall see.
And here is the big one:
Reflecting the tarnished view of the administration, only 38 percent of registered voters say they would vote for a Republican for Congress if the Congressional elections were held today, while 50 say they would vote for a Democrat.These polls matter
, which makes this one huge. There is no doubt that Democrats would take the House with numbers like that, and quite possibly by a large margin. Of course, since we are still fourteen months from the election, and Republicans have closed famously in both 2002 and 2004, we still have a lot of work to do. However a poll like this should put to rest any conservative fantasies that Democrats are not looking like a real alternative to Republicans right now in the eyes of the electorate.