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Harris Poll Bush's popularity hits 34%
Spero News
November 24, 2005

Ever since President Bush's 2004 election victory, the polls have been reporting the more or less steady decline in his popularity, and last week The Harris Poll reported his ratings had fallen to a new low, only 34 percent positive.

There are many reasons for this decline, which probably include the events in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, the legal problems of Congressman Tom Delay and Senator Bill Frist, the indictment of "Scooter" Libby, and continuing concerns about the economy - notwithstanding its continued growth.

One measure of the president's political problems is that by 64 to 32 percent, virtually a two-to-one majority, many people believe that the Bush administration "generally misleads the public on current issues to achieve their own ends," according the latest Harris Poll.

Replies to this question, like public attitudes on many political issues, are highly polarized.

A large 68 to 28 percent majority of Republicans believe that "the Bush administration generally provides accurate information regarding current issues." On the other hand, even larger majorities of Democrats (91 percemt to 7 percent) and Independents (73 percent to 25 percent) believe that the information provided is generally misleading.

Related items from the poll include, a 56 to 18 percent majority of adults believe that Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who has been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, is guilty. While a 35 percent minority believes that the "Scooter" Libby affair is "an isolated incident," whereas a majority (55 percent) thinks it was "an indication of a larger problem in the Bush administration."

Here again, opinions are highly polarized. Fully 70 percent of Republicans believe this was an isolated incident, but only 12 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Independents agree with this.

Better news for President Bush comes with replies to a question about the Supreme Court. Only a 42 percent minority of all adults think that President Bush is trying to make the Supreme Court too conservative. This includes 63 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of liberals, but only 16 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of conservatives.

The Harris Pol was conducted by telephone within the United States between November 8 and 13, 2005 among a nationwide cross section of 1,011 adults (aged 18 and over). In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. adult population had been polled with complete accuracy.