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Concerns over Economy Push Bush's Overall Job Approval to 19%
American Research Group
February 20, 2008

George W. Bush's overall job approval rating has dropped to a new low in American Research Group polling as 78% of Americans say that the national economy is getting worse according to the latest survey from the American Research Group.

Among all Americans, 19% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 77% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 14% approve and 79% disapprove.

Among Americans registered to vote, 18% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 78% disapprove. When it comes to the way Bush is handling the economy, 15% of registered voters approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 79% disapprove.

A total of 78% of Americans say the national economy is getting worse and 47% say the national economy is in a recession. A total of 42% of Americans, however, say they believe the national economy will be better a year from now, which is the highest level for this question in the past year. This optimism does not spread to improvements in household financial situations as 17% of Americans say they expect their household financial situations to be better a year from now, which is the lowest for this question in the past year.

The results presented here are based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews conducted among a nationwide random sample of adults 18 years and older. The interviews were completed February 16 through 19, 2008. The theoretical margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, 95% of the time, on questions where opinion is evenly split.

Overall, 19% of Americans say that they approve of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president, 77% disapprove, and 4% are undecided.

Bush job approval Approve Disapprove Undecided
Feb 2008 19% 77% 4%
Jan 2008 34% 59% 7%
Dec 2007 32% 66% 2%
Nov 2007 31% 64% 5%
Oct 2007 25% 67% 8%
Sep 2007 34% 60% 6%
Aug 2007 28% 65% 7%
Jul 2007 25% 71% 4%
Jun 2007 27% 67% 6%
May 2007 31% 64% 5%
Apr 2007 33% 62% 5%
Mar 2007 32% 63% 5%
Feb 2007 39% 56% 5%

Among Republicans (29% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 45% approve of the way Bush is handling his job and 50% disapprove. Among Democrats (43% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 1% approve and 99% disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job. Among independents (28% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 17% approve and 75% disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job as president.

Overall, 14% of Americans say that they approve of the way George W. Bush is handling the economy, 79% disapprove, and 7% are undecided. Among registered voters, 15% approve and 79% disapprove of the way Bush is handling the economy.

Bush handling the economy Approve Disapprove Undecided
Feb 2008 14% 79% 7%
Jan 2008 29% 63% 8%
Dec 2007 28% 71% 1%
Nov 2007 32% 62% 6%
Oct 2007 23% 67% 10%
Sep 2007 33% 58% 9%
Aug 2007 29% 64% 7%
Jul 2007 23% 73% 4%
Jun 2007 29% 64% 7%
May 2007 31% 62% 7%
Apr 2007 33% 63% 4%
Mar 2007 32% 64% 4%
Feb 2007 40% 54% 6%

Among Republicans, 41% approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 54% disapprove. Among Democrats, 93% disapprove of the way Bush is handling the economy and 1% approve. Among independents, 8% approve and 83% disapprove of the way Bush is handling the economy.

A total of 1% of Americans say that the national economy is getting better, 20% say it is staying the same, and 78% say the national economy is getting worse.

 

National economy

Getting better

Staying the same

Getting worse

Undecided

Feb 2008 1% 20% 78% 1%
Jan 2008 8% 22% 64% 6%
Dec 2007 7% 28% 64% 1%
Nov 2007 18% 26% 55% 1%
Oct 2007 8% 18% 69% 5%
Sep 2007 14% 20% 63% 3%
Aug 2007 8% 29% 59% 4%
Jul 2007 12% 28% 58% 2%
Jun 2007 16% 28% 55% 1%
May 2007 19% 24% 53% 4%
Apr 2007 23% 17% 59% 1%
Mar 2007 19% 29% 50% 2%
Feb 2007 22% 20% 57% 1%

Among those saying they approve of the way Bush is handling his job, 1% say getting better, 52% say staying the same, and 41% say getting worse. Of those saying they disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job, none say getting better, 14% say staying the same, and 86% say getting worse.

A total of 42% of Americans say they believe the national economy will be better a year from now, 30% say it will be the same, 27% say it will be worse, and 1% are undecided.

National economy a year from now


Better than today


The same as today


Worse than today


Undecided

Feb 2008 42% 30% 27% 1%
Jan 2008 32% 35% 21% 12%
Dec 2007 28% 28% 43% 1%
Nov 2007 24% 29% 39% 8%
Oct 2007 18% 27% 53% 2%
Sep 2007 32% 26% 38% 4%
Aug 2007 32% 20% 42% 6%
Jul 2007 22% 31% 42% 5%
Jun 2007 22% 33% 42% 3%
May 2007 16% 29% 48% 7%
Apr 2007 26% 29% 41% 4%
Mar 2007 22% 27% 49% 2%
Feb 2007 29% 23% 44% 4%

Among those saying they approve of the way Bush is handling his job, 93% say better and 3% say worse than today. Among those saying they disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job as president, 32% say better, 34% say the same, and 33% say worse.

Overall, 47% of Americans say they believe that the national economy is in a recession, 29% say they do not believe the economy is in a recession, and 24% are undecided.

National economy in a recession Yes No Undecided
Feb 2008 47% 29% 24%
Jan 2008 35% 24% 41%
Dec 2007 7% 28% 65%
Nov 2007 34% 41% 25%
Oct 2007 40% 38% 22%
Sep 2007 25% 52% 23%
Aug 2007 31% 38% 31%
Jul 2007 29% 37% 34%
Jun 2007 22% 41% 37%
May 2007 36% 38% 26%
Apr 2007 28% 53% 19%
Mar 2007 25% 46% 29%
Feb 2007 19% 57% 24%

Among those saying they approve of the way Bush is handling his job, 16% say the national economy is in a recession, 64% say is it not in a recession, and 20% are undecided. Of those saying they disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job, 53% say the national economy is in a recession, 20% say the national economy is not in a recession, and 27% are undecided.

A total of 25% of Americans rate the national economy as excellent, very good, or good and 74% rate it as bad, very bad, or terrible.

 

National economy


Excellent


Very good


Good


Bad


Very bad


Terrible


Undecided

Feb 2008 1% 7% 17% 44% 10% 20% 1%
Jan 2008 2% 14% 27% 21% 17% 18% 1%
Dec 2007 7% 16% 12% 31% 16% 17% 1%
Nov 2007 16% 11% 21% 25% 12% 14% 1%
Oct 2007 8% 10% 20% 29% 14% 18% 1%
Sep 2007 13% 14% 21% 27% 7% 17% 1%
Aug 2007 9% 19% 21% 22% 16% 12% 1%
Jul 2007 9% 11% 23% 28% 12% 16% 1%
Jun 2007 16% 11% 20% 31% 9% 12% 1%
May 2007 12% 15% 16% 25% 16% 15% 1%
Apr 2007 17% 12% 29% 30% 8% 3% 1%
Mar 2007 16% 13% 25% 26% 12% 5% 3%
Feb 2007 12% 18% 26% 23% 3% 15% 3%

Among those saying they approve of the way Bush is handling his job, 66% say excellent, very good, or good and 33% say bad, very bad, or terrible. Among those saying they disapprove of  the way Bush is handling his job, 85% say bad, very bad, or terrible and 14% say excellent, very good, or good.

When it comes to rating their household financial situations, 59% of Americans give an excellent, very good, or good rating and 40% give a bad, very bad, or terrible rating.

 

Household financial situation



Excellent



Very good



Good



Bad



Very bad



Terrible



Undecided

Feb 2008 6% 17% 36% 22% 11% 7% 1%
Jan 2008 12% 13% 45% 15% 6% 8% 1%
Dec 2007 14% 16% 36% 12% 17% 4% 1%
Nov 2007 13% 14% 38% 27% 6% 1% 1%
Oct 2007 11% 22% 32% 27% 2% 5% 1%
Sep 2007 12% 17% 44% 18% 3% 5% 1%
Aug 2007 11% 19% 25% 33% 9% 2% 1%
Jul 2007 5% 24% 39% 15% 9% 7% 1%
Jun 2007 8% 19% 41% 22% 6% 3% 1%
May 2007 15% 9% 38% 19% 12% 6% 1%
Apr 2007 11% 16% 51% 17% 3% 1% 1%
Mar 2007 11% 16% 44% 24% 2% 2% 1%
Feb 2007 11% 19% 29% 28% 7% 4% 2%

Among those saying they approve of the way Bush is handling his job, 100% say excellent, very good, or good. Among those saying they disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job, 46% say excellent, very good, or good and 53% say bad, very bad, or terrible.

A total of 8% of Americans say they think the financial situations in their households are getting better, 45% say staying the same, and 41% say getting worse.

 

Household financial situation


Getting better


Staying the same


Getting worse


Undecided

Feb 2008 8% 45% 41% 6%
Jan 2008 22% 25% 49% 4%
Dec 2007 20% 50% 29% 1%
Nov 2007 14% 54% 26% 6%
Oct 2007 17% 45% 35% 3%
Sep 2007 24% 39% 34% 3%
Aug 2007 21% 37% 41% 1%
Jul 2007 15% 47% 37% 1%
Jun 2007 11% 48% 37% 4%
May 2007 21% 44% 34% 1%
Apr 2007 24% 41% 31% 4%
Mar 2007 20% 40% 39% 1%
Feb 2007 18% 46% 34% 2%

Among those saying they approve of the way Bush is handling his job, 29% say getting better, 52% say staying the same, and 12% say getting worse. Among those saying they disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job, 4% say getting better, 40% say staying the same, and 48% say getting worse.

Looking to a year from now, 17% of Americans say that they think their household financial situations will be better than today, 52% say the same as today, and 25% say worse than today.

Household financial situation a year from now

 

Better than today

 

The same as today

 

Worse than today

 

Undecided

Feb 2008 17% 52% 25% 6%
Jan 2008 28% 41% 24% 7%
Dec 2007 36% 37% 25% 2%
Nov 2007 29% 43% 19% 9%
Oct 2007 26% 48% 23% 3%
Sep 2007 48% 29% 18% 5%
Aug 2007 32% 33% 24% 11%
Jul 2007 34% 39% 22% 5%
Jun 2007 29% 39% 23% 9%
May 2007 29% 33% 33% 5%
Apr 2007 30% 33% 36% 1%
Mar 2007 35% 30% 29% 6%
Feb 2007 38% 46% 12% 4%

Among those saying they approve of the way Bush is handling his job, 32% say better than today, 52% say the same as today, and 16% say worse than today. Among those saying they disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job, 14% say better than today, 50% say the same as today, and 29% say worse than today.

 


About this Survey -

Survey Sponsor: American Research Group, Inc.

The American Research Group has been conducting national surveys of consumers since 1985.

Sample Size: 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of all adults age 18 and older living in telephone households in the continental United States.

Sample Dates: February 16-19, 2008

Margin of Error: ± 3 percentage points, 95% of the time, on questions where opinion is evenly split.

Question Wording:

How do you rate the condition of the national economy these days - would you say it is excellent, very good, good, bad, very bad, or terrible?

Do you think the national economy is getting better, staying the same, or getting worse?

Would you say that the national economy is in a recession, or not?

A year from now, do you expect the national economy to be better than it is today, the same as it is today, or worse than it is today?

How do you rate the condition of the financial situation in your household - would you say it is excellent, very good, good, bad, very bad, or terrible?

Do you think the financial situation in your household is getting better, staying the same, or getting worse?

A year from now, do you expect the financial situation in your household to be better than it is today, the same as it is today, or worse than it is today?

Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the economy?