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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Poll: After Election, Bush's Popularity Continues To Sag

The voters have spoken and as Congress prepares for leadership changes in January with Democrats taking charge, Americans continue tovoice their disapproval of President Bush with his performance ratings trending downward.

This month, just 31 percent have a positive viewof his job performance while 67 percent have a negative view. This is down from last month when 34 percent had a positive view and 63 percent had a negative view.

In fact, this is the second-lowest job performance number for President Bush that Harris Interactive has found (the lowest was in May, at 29 percent positive).

These are some of the results from the latest Harris Poll of 1,001 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone between November 17 and 21, by Harris Interactive.

Bush maintains support from most members of his own party, but not those who share his ideological leanings. Two-thirds of Republicans (67 percent) view his job performance in a positive light compared to 29 percent of Independents and just 11 percent of Democrats.

Almost half of conservatives (48 percent) view his job performance positively, followed by moderates (23 percent) and liberals (10 percent).

Harris says, however, it sees some positive change in Americans' outlook. Just under one-third (31 percent) of adults believe things are going in the right direction in the country, while 58 percent believe things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track. This is a modest increase from last month, when 27 percent of adults believed things were going in the right direction and 63 percent said things were going off on the wrong track.

With control of Congress changing hands, it appears that perceptions ofthe job performance of the two parties in Congress are also changing slightly. In September, about one-quarter of Americans (24%) had a positive view of the job of Republicans in Congress and 29 percent felt that way about the job the Democrats were doing. After the elections, the view ofRepublicans' job performance is unchanged, with 24 percent having apositive view and 72 percent having a negative view. Democrats, however, saw their numbers rise; 36 percent of Americans now have a positive view ofthe job Democrats in Congress are doing and 57 percent have a negative view.

About two-thirds of adults (68%) believe that the White House andCongress will have to work together to get things done while just overone-quarter (27 percent) say they will not work together and nothing will getdone. Democrats are much more likely to be positive on this than Republicans, as 82 percent of Democrats believe the two branches of government will work together compared to just over half of Republicans (54 percent).

When it comes to the most important issues, "the war" is still the most-cited, as one-third (33%) of Americans believe this is one of the twoissues the government needs to address, followed by healthcare (15%), the economy (12%) and immigration (11%).

Ten percent believe Iraq is one of the two most important issues for the government to address.


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