"Public disgruntlement neared a record high and President Bush slipped to his career low in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.
According to a new poll, the Bush's approval rating has dramatically dropped. Eighty-two percent of Americans now say the country's seriously off on the wrong track, up 10 points in the last year to a point from its record high in polls since 1973. And 31 percent approve of Bush's job performance overall, while 66 percent disapprove.
The country's mood -- and the president's ratings -- are suffering from the double whammy of an unpopular war and a faltering economy. Consistently for the last year, nearly two-thirds of Americans have said the war in Iraq was not worth fighting. And consumer confidence is near its lowest in weekly ABC News polls since late 1985.
Bush's approval rating has been extraordinarily stable -- before today's 31 percent it had been 32 percent or 33 percent in nine ABC/Post polls from July through last month. In presidential approval polls by Gallup since 1934, just three presidents have gone lower: Jimmy Carter, who bottomed out at 28 percent approval in July 1979; Richard Nixon, 24 percent in July and August 1974; and Harry Truman, 22 percent in February 1952.
Bush now has gone 40 months without majority approval, beating Truman's record (also during economic discontent and an unpopular war) of 38 months from 1949-52.
...Fifty-two percent of Americans not only disapprove of his work but do so strongly, matching the high in ABC News/Washington Post polls set in July. Just 15 percent strongly approve."
"The [May 8-11 Gallup Poll] finds President Bush's approval rating at 29%, only a shade above his personal worst approval score of 28%, first reached in April and repeated earlier in May. However, his rating would be even lower if not for the support of most Republicans.
Current Republican approval of Bush is much lower than it was early on in his presidency; however, it remains far better than approval from Democrats. Two-thirds of Republicans (66%) approve of Bush's job performance today, compared with only 7% of Democrats."
"Recent surveys, such as this month's Diageo/Hotline poll, have measured their own all-time highs for respondents saying the country is on the wrong track. And just last month, Bush made headlines for surpassing Truman as the president who has gone the longest without the support of a majority of Americans."
"It happened again Tuesday, as Travis Childers beat Greg Davis in a special election to replace Republican Roger Wicker, who served in the House since 1994 and was appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill the seat vacated by Trent Lott. Childers' win will give him the chance over the next several months left in the seat's two-year term to build a fundraising and publicity advantage as he heads into November's general election. He will again face Davis, as well as two other opponents. Childers' win gave Democrats a 236-199 edge over Republicans in Congress."
Mike Huckabee: "The Republican brand is badly damaged..."
Chris Matthews: "It's like the Democrats losing in Brooklyn..."
"The sky is falling on House Republicans and there is no sign of it letting up.
The GOP loss in Mississippi’s special election Tuesday is the strongest sign yet that the Republican Party is in shambles. And while some Republicans see a light at the end of the tunnel, that light more likely represents the Democratic train that is primed to mow down more Republicans in November.
The third straight House special election loss in three conservative districts this year is a clear indication that the GOP brand is turning off voters and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is in disarray.
In the wake of the devastating loss, the first question facing House Republican leaders is whether they will keep Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) as NRCC chairman. Speculation has been rampant that Cole would be asked to step down should Republicans lose in Mississippi, and on Tuesday that chatter intensified.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will be under tremendous pressure to do something dramatic after the trio of losses. Boehner has publicly clashed with Cole over staffing and lackluster fundraising numbers but despite their differences, their political futures are tied together.
Significant gains by House Democrats this fall would likely lead to Boehner and Cole losing their leadership posts. Travis Childers (D), who narrowly defeated Greg Davis (R) on Tuesday, will push the Democrats’ total in the House to 236 members. With six months to go until the elections, political analysts and observers are suggesting Democrats could reach 250 in the next Congress.
Some Republican conference members have criticized Boehner for not effectively managing Cole.
GOP strategists and lobbyists have also questioned Boehner’s leadership. One Republican source noted that, after Boehner called for staffing changes at the NRCC, Cole refused and triumphed in the showdown."
"Bush said he made that decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad..."I was playing golf--I think I was in central Texas--and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, 'It's just not worth it anymore to do.'"
We haven't had an attack in five years.
• To remind American voters why they have lost faith in President Bush and his agenda
• To tie Bush and his agenda directly to the conservative brand and its followers; and
• To help shift the center of the political debate away from the conservative frame by contrasting his policies with progressive policies and values.
"Just off the House floor today, the Crypt overheard House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers tell two other people: 'We’re closing in on Rove. Someone’s got to kick his ass.'
Asked a few minutes later for a more official explanation, Conyers told us that Rove has a week to appear before his committee. If he doesn’t, said Conyers, 'We’ll do what any self-respecting committee would do. We’d hold him in contempt. Either that or go and have him arrested.'
Conyers said the committee wants Rove to testify about his role in the imprisonment of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, among other things.
'We want him for so many things, it’s hard to keep track,' Conyers said. *
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