Monday, December 19, 2005

The Bush Bounce

It's ginormous:

President Bush's approval ratings do not appear to have changed significantly, despite a number of recent speeches he's given to shore up public support for the war in Iraq and its historic elections on Thursday.

A CNN/USA Today Gallup poll conducted over the weekend found his approval rating stood at 41 percent, with a majority, or 52 percent, saying it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq. More than half, or 56 percent, disapprove of how the president is handling his job, and 61 percent say they disapprove of how he is handling Iraq specifically. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The poll interviews were conducted before President Bush's Oval Office address, which was broadcast on primetime television Sunday. (Read what he said.)

Although half of those surveyed considered Iraq's first full-term parliamentary election since the ouster of Saddam Hussein either a major or key step toward the U.S. achieving its goals in Iraq, only 40 percent felt the U.S. was winning the war. Half said that neither side was winning.

The poll was nearly split, 49 percent to 47 percent, between those who thought the U.S. will either "definitely" or "probably" win, and those who said the U.S. will lose. That said, 69 percent of those polled expressed optimism that the U.S. can win the war. The margin of error for how respondents assessed the war was plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.