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Bush/Cheney Polls Hit All Time Low
Harris Poll
April 26, 2007

Majorities View All U.S. Political Figures in a Negative Light

President George W. Bush's job performance is currently viewed positively by only 28 percent of U.S. adults, the lowest since he took office. Seven in ten adults view his job performance in a negative light, including almost half (48%) who say his job performance is poor. Since February, the President has dropped from one-third (32%) who viewed his job positively and 67 percent who gave him negative marks.

Vice President Dick Cheney is also at his lowest job approval – just one-quarter of adults view him in a positive light while over two-thirds (68%) view his job performance negatively. This is down from February, which was his previous low, when 29 percent saw his job performance positively and 67 percent saw it in a negative way.

These are some of the results from the latest Harris Poll of 1,001 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone between April 20 and 23, 2007 by Harris Interactive®.

Negative Feelings Not Limited Exclusively Toward President Bush

For the first time, all of the political figures and institutions in our survey have a negative job performance rating. This includes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who, for the first time since assuming this office, is viewed negatively by half of adults. In February, 46 percent of adults viewed her positively and 48 percent negatively. However, she still has the highest positive job performance rating at 45 percent.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has also trended down in job performance. In February, one-third of adults (32%) gave him positive job performance ratings while half (52%) gave him negative ratings. Now that his has been on the job a little longer, only 29 percent view his job performance in a positive light while 55 percent view it negatively.

The Democratic leaders may have gotten past their first 100 days, but the people are not giving the leaders of the House and the Senate glowing reviews either. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has fallen from a 38 percent positive rating in February to 30 percent positive now. Well over half (56%) of adults currently view her job performance in a negative light, compared to just 45 percent who did so in February. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has also dropped. In February, 23 percent viewed him positively while 47 percent viewed his job performance negatively. Currently, over half (52%) see his job performance in a negative light while just 22 percent gives it positive ratings.

Opinions on Congress overall, as well as the two parties, have also dropped considerably in the past two months. Just over one-quarter (27%) view Congress' job performance positively while 69 percent view the job they are doing negatively. This is down from one-third who viewed it positively in February and 62 percent who viewed it negatively.

Sometimes, moving from the majority to the minority can give a party a breath of fresh life as they adjust to their new status. Republicans have yet to see this as they drop in their job performance ratings. Just one in five (22%) of adults think Republicans are doing a good job while three-quarters (74%) look at their job performance negatively. This is a drop from February when 26 percent of adults saw Republicans' job performance as positive and 69 percent who looked at it in a negative light. Democrats saw a small upswing in their numbers in February when 41 percent saw their job performance in a positive light and just half (52%) viewed it negatively. Now that they have actually been in office for a few months, the newness may have worn off as just one-third (35%) of adults look at the job performance of Democrats in Congress in a positive way while 58 percent view their performance negatively.

The Sense Being Off Track is Not Limited to Political Figures

Just one quarter (26%) of U.S. adults think things in the country are going in the right direction while two-thirds (69%) think things have gotten off on the wrong track. Again, this is worse than in February when 29 percent of adults saw things going in the right direction while 62 percent said things were going off on the wrong track. Overall this survey suggests not a swing from Republicans to Democrats, but rather a mood of "a plague on all your houses".

U.S. Adults Have Important Public Policy Issues

With regard to the most important issues, yet again, the war tops the list as three in ten (30%) say that it is one of the two most important issues for the government to address. As a distant second is health care (15%) and then Iraq (13%), the economy (10%) and immigration and education (each at 9%). As this survey was conducted the weekend after the shootings at Virginia Tech, it is not surprising to see a rise in certain numbers. For example, crime/violence rose from two percent thinking it was an important issue in February to 6 percent this month. The issue of school safety also rose from less than half a percent in February to two percent this month as did the issue of the Second Amendment.

TABLE 1

CURRENT RATINGS OF PRESIDENT, SENIOR CABINET MEMBERS AND PARTIES IN CONGRESS

"How would you rate the job (READ ITEM) are/is doing – excellent, pretty good, only fair, or poor?"

Base: All adults

Excellent Pretty Good Only Fair Poor Not Sure Positive* Negative**
% % % % % % %

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

12 33 29 21 6 45 50

President George W. Bush

7 22 22 48 2 28 70

Democrats in Congress

5 29 34 24 7 35 58

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

5 25 33 23 14 30 56

Vice President Dick Cheney

5 20 25 44 7 25 68

Defense Secretary Robert Gates

4 25 36 19 16 29 55

Congress

3 24 43 27 4 27 69

Republicans in Congress

3 20 41 33 4 22 74

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

2 19 35 17 26 22 52

*Positive = excellent or pretty good

**Negative = only fair or poor

TABLE 2

POSITIVE RATINGS: TRENDS SINCE 9/11/01: SUMMARY

Base: All adults

POSITIVE RATINGS

Soon After 9/11 Feb. 2003 April 2003 Feb. 2004 April 2004 Nov. 2004 Feb. 2005 April 2005 Nov. 2005 Mar 2006 May 2006 Sept. 2006 Feb. 2007 April 2007
% % % % % % % % % % % % % %

President George W. Bush

88 52 70 51 48 50 48 44 34 36 29 38 32 28

Vice President Dick Cheney

69 45 55 41 36 48 45 37 30 30 ** 30 29 25

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

** ** ** ** ** ** 52 54 52 51 ** 55 46 45

** Not Applicable. The question was not asked

TABLE 3

PRESIDENT BUSH'S OVERALL JOB RATING

Not Sure's Excluded

"How would you rate the overall job President George W. Bush is doing as president – excellent, pretty good, only fair, or poor?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Positive* Negative**
% %

2007

April 28 70
  February 32 67

2006

November 31 67
  October (10/25) 34 63
October (10/13) 34 64
September 38 61
August (8/24) 34 65
August (8/11) 34 66
July 34 65
June 33 67
May 29 71
April 35 63
March 36 64
February 40 58
January 43 56

2005

November 34 65
  August 40 58
June 45 55
April 44 56
February 48 51

2004

November 50 49
  October 51 49
September 45 54
August 48 51
June 50 49
April 48 51
February 51 48

2003

December 50 49
  October 59 40
August 57 41
June 61 36
April 70 29
February 52 46

2002

December 64 35
  November 65 33
October 64 35
August 63 37
May 74 25
April 75 23
February 79 20
January 79 19

2001

December 82 17
  November 86 12
October 88 11
August 52 43
June 50 46
May 59 35
March 49 38
February 56 26

*Positive = excellent or pretty good. **Negative = only fair or poor.

TABLE 4

RATINGS OF VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY

Not Sure's Excluded

"And how would you rate the job Vice President Cheney is doing – excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Positive* Negative**
% %

2007

April 25 68
  February 29 67

2006

September 30 64
  June 31 65
March 30 67

2005

November 30 65
  August 35 60
June 38 56
April 37 60
February 45 52

2004

November 48 50
  October 47 51
August 40 54
June 42 49
April 36 52
February 41 48

2003

December 42 47
  October 42 44
August 42 45
June 49 40
April 55 36
February 45 44

2002

December 50 37
  November 52 39
October 54 37
September 52 37
August 45 43
June 55 34
April 55 31
March 59 29
February 57 31
January 55 31

2001

October 69 20
  July 39 52

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.

**Negative = only fair or poor.

TABLE 5

RATINGS OF SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE

Not Sure's Excluded

"And how would you rate the job Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is doing – excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Positive* Negative**
% %

2007

April 45 50
  February 46 48

2006

September 55 42
  June 52 43
March 51 44

2005

November 52 41
  August 57 37
June 52 41
April 54 39
February 52 40

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.

**Negative = only fair or poor.

TABLE 6

RATINGS OF SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ROBERT GATES

Not Sure's Excluded

"And how would you rate the job Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is doing – excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Positive* Negative**
% %

2007

April 29 55
  February 32 52

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.

**Negative = only fair or poor.

TABLE 7

RATINGS OF HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI

Not Sure's Excluded

"And how would you rate the job House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doing – excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Positive* Negative**
% %

2007

April 30 56
  February 38 45

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.

**Negative = only fair or poor.

TABLE 8

RATINGS OF SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID

Not Sure's Excluded

"And how would you rate the job Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is doing – excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Positive* Negative**
% %

2007

April 22 52
  February 23 47

2006

September 23 52
  June 19 54
March 19 53

2005

August 24 47

***Prior to February, 2007, Sen. Reid was the Senate Minority Leader

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.

**Negative = only fair or poor

TABLE 9

CONGRESS' OVERALL JOB RATING

Not Sure's Excluded

"How would you rate the overall job the Congress is doing– excellent, pretty good, only fair, or poor?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Positive* Negative**
% %

2007

April 27 69
  February 33 62

2006

September 24 73
  May 18 80
February 25 71
January 25 72

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.

**Negative = only fair or poor.

TABLE 10

RATINGS OF REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS

Not Sure's Excluded

"And how would you rate the job Republicans in Congress are doing – excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Positive* Negative**
% %

2007

April 22 74
  February 26 69

2006

November 24 72
  September 24 71
June 25 72
May 20 76
March 27 68

2005

November 27 69
  August 32 64
June 37 58
April 36 61

2004

September 38 56
  August 40 54
June 39 53
April 35 55
February 40 52

2003

December 37 51
  October 40 50
August 41 51
June 45 47
April 52 41
February 43 49

2002

December 47 47
  November 47 45
October 46 45
September 47 42
August 41 49
June 46 45
April 49 39
February 50 40
January 58 34

2001

October (high) 67 24
  August (low) 37 52

2000

May (low) 33 60
  February (high) 38 55

1999

October (low) 32 58
  September (high) 39 55

1998

June (low) 31 62
  February (high) 44 53

1997

June (low) 31 67
  February (high) 38 58

1996

May (low) 29 69
  January (high) 33 66

1995

November (low) 35 63
  April (high) 42 56

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.

**Negative = only fair or poor.

TABLE 11

RATINGS OF DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS

Not Sure's Excluded

"And how would you rate the job Democrats in Congress are doing – excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Positive* Negative**
% %

2007

April 35 58
  February 41 52

2006

November 36 57
  September 29 67
June 26 70
May 23 72
March 24 70

2005

November 25 70
  August 31 65
June 33 61
April 34 64

2004

September 34 60
  August 35 58
June 31 59
April 32 57
February 33 58

2003

December 28 61
  October 34 56
August 30 60
June 41 51
April 39 52
February 38 54

2002

December 36 55
  November 40 52
October 40 52
September 42 49
August 38 54
June 45 46
April 47 42
February 49 41
January 52 40

2001

October (high) 68 24
  May (low) 40 51

2000

September (high) 48 44
  June (low) 38 52

1999

October (low) 42 50
  January (high) 50 47

1998

September (high) 49 47
  June (low) 41 53

1997

June (low) 36 60
  February (high) 43 54

1996

May (high) 36 62
  January (low) 31 68

1995

November (high) 34 64
  July (low) 30 66

1994

December 28 70

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.

**Negative = only fair or poor.

TABLE 12

RIGHT DIRECTION OR WRONG TRACK

No Opinion's, Not Sure's and Decline to Answer's Excluded

"Generally speaking, would you say things in the country are going in the right direction or have they pretty seriously gotten off on thewrong track?"

Base: All adults

  TREND Right Direction Wrong Track
% %

2007

April 26 67
  February 29 62

2006

November 31 58
  October (10/25) 27 63
October (10/13) 29 62
September 31 59
August 26 64
July 28 61
June 28 64
May 24 69
April 27 65
March 31 60
February 32 59
January 33 54

2005

November 27 68
  August 37 59
June 38 55
January 46 48

2004

September 38 57
  June 35 59

2003

December 35 57
  June 44 51

2002

December 36 57
  June 46 48

2001

December 65 32
  June 43 52
January 46 39

2000

October 50 41
  June 40 51
January 50 38

1999

June 37 55
  March 47 45

1998

December 43 51
  June 48 44

1997

December 39 56
  April 36 55

1996

December 38 50
  June 29 64

1995

December 26 62
  June 24 65

1994

December 29 63
  June 28 65

TABLE 13

MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES FOR GOVERNMENT to address

"What do you think are the two most important issues for the government to address?"

Spontaneous, unprompted replies

Base: All Adults

‘96 ‘97 ‘98 ‘99 ‘00 ‘01 ‘02 ‘03 ‘04 ‘05 ‘06 ‘06 "06 06 06 07 07
April May Jan Feb Aug Dec Dec June Oct Aug Feb June Aug Oct Nov Feb April
% % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % %

(The) war

X X X X X 12 18 8 35 41 27 27 28 29 33 29 30

Healthcare (not Medicare)

16 10 11 12 15 5 10 14 18 11 20 12 12 13 15 12 15

Iraq / (Saddam Hussein)

* * * 1 - - 11 3 9 6 5 8 7 8 10 10 13

The economy (non-specific)

14 8 9 7 5 32 34 25 28 19 15 14 16 15 12 9 10

Education

14 15 14 21 25 12 11 13 7 8 8 7 8 9 7 7 9

Immigration

2 2 1 * 1 1 1 2 2 3 5 20 10 12 11 7 9

Crime/violence

16 19 13 8 10 1 2 3 1 3 1 2 3 2 2 2 6

Terrorism

X X X X X 22 17 11 7 7 6 4 9 7 3 9 5

Taxes

11 14 16 12 13 6 5 11 8 5 6 4 4 5 5 7 5

Employment/jobs

9 5 3 4 4 7 8 8 10 3 5 7 6 6 7 4 5

Environment

1 3 2 3 3 1 3 2 1 3 2 3 2 2 2 4 4

Foreign policy (non-specific)

3 3 5 4 3 2 4 2 3 2 3 2 2 3 2 4 4

Social security

X 6 6 24 16 3 2 4 4 10 7 5 2 5 4 3 4

Military/defense

1 2 2 2 4 4 1 5 3 1 3 4 3 3 3 3 3

Gas and oil prices

X X X X X X X 1 1 10 2 8 8 4 1 1 3

Second Amendment (right to bear arms)

X X * * * * X * * * * * * * * * 2

Religion (decline of)

* * 1 * 1 2 1 1 1 * * 1 1 1 1 2 2

Domestic/social issues (non-specific)

4 2 3 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 * 3 1 * 1 1 2

Homeland/domestic security/public safety

X X X X X 8 9 3 6 2 3 2 4 3 2 3 2

School safety

X X X X X X X 2 * 1 1 1 1 * * * 2

Energy

X X X X X X X 1 1 4 4 4 4 2 1 2 2

Budget/Government spending

X X X X X X X X X X X 5 2 3 3 5 2

Drugs

4 8 6 2 5 2 3 3 * 2 1 1 2 1 1 3 2

(Programs for) the poor/ poverty

2 3 2 2 3 1 2 3 * 4 5 4 3 5 3 2 2

Medicare

3 4 5 5 6 1 1 4 3 2 5 1 1 2 3 1 2

Abortion

4 2 2 2 6 1 1 1 4 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 2

Peace/world peace/nuclear arms

3 1 3 3 1 2 2 3 * 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1

Welfare

13 14 8 4 2 1 1 3 * 3 1 1 X 1 1 1 1

Family values (decline of)

2 2 1 2 1 * * 1 1 1 * 1 1 1 1 1 1

Election/Voter reform

X X X X X X 1 1 * 1 1 * 1 * * 2 1

Bush/president

x x x x X X x x X x 1 X * 1 x * 1

Downsizing government

X X X X 1 * X X 1 * * 1 * * * 1 1

AIDS

1 * 1 x * * * 2 x * * * 1 * * 2 1

National security

X X X 2 2 6 3 6 5 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 1
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