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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bush's Ratings Rise, Congressional Ratings DON'T

Gallup's latest poll shows President Bush's approval ratings have risen since the last poll from early November where they were at 31% to today where they are at 37%, yet congressional approval has stayed at 22%, essentially unchanged from last month.

In early November, 31% of Americans approved of Bush as president -- just two points off his term-low rating of 29%. Since then, his rating has improved on each Gallup Poll, and although none of these individual changes have been statistically significant, the long-term increase from 31% in early November to 37% in the new poll is.

Congress on the other hand isn't getting any uplift in approval.

Congress' ratings are likewise low from a historical perspective. The 22% approval rating is just four points higher than the record low of 18% registered in March 1992 and again this past August. Congress' job scores have fluctuated throughout the year, showing significant improvement in some polls and significant declines in others. The one constant is that Congress' job ratings have been below 30% each month since May.

At the end of the poll results page over at Gallup it reports that Congress now has lower approval ratings than it did at the end of Republican rule in 2006.

At the time of last year's midterm elections, when voters transferred partisan control of Congress from the Republicans to the Democrats, 26% of Americans approved of Congress. After a brief "honeymoon period" at the beginning of the year, and nearly a year after the Democrats took control, Americans' views of Congress are no more positive (and are actually a bit more negative) than at the tail end of Republican rule.

One of the funniest reasons I have seen given for Bush's rise in approval came from Huffington post, where, now get this, it is because of the writers strike!!!!!

HYSTERICAL. If you want a really good belly laugh, go read that whole thing. I am still laughing.

More realistically it is because the American public is seeing and expressing, as the latest polls also tell us, a rise in support for progress in Iraq, or that Bush is actively fighting Congress about out of control spending (finally), or maybe because people are happy that he is threatening to veto any major taxes, or the economy or unemployment rate being at a low, or any number of reasons like that.

Congress and their DISapproval ratings rising while their approval ratings are going nowhere can be explained by a few of those same points or perhaps because the American public (as well as the world) sees how chaotic is has been, with nothing getting done, partisanship beating out working together or maybe their attempt to blackmail the administration by saying they want $9 billion in earmarks in exchange for funding our troops, or that because of their inability to do their job the AMT bill still isn't on the President's desk even though the Senate passed one in a bipartisan manner, the House is rejecting it, which will make millions of taxpayers get their refunds late.... too many possibilities or maybe a combination of all of them.

Days like today certainly aren't going to be helping the approval numbers for Congress any.

If you like this piece thenVOTE FOR IT AT RCP.