PRESIDENT'S APPROVAL RATING FALLS TO RECORD LOW; SIXTY-EIGHT PERCENT OF AMERICANS DISSATISFIED WITH DIRECTION OF COUNTRY / FIFTY-TWO PERCENT BELIEVE VICE PRESIDENT PART OF CIA LEAK COVER-UP /MAJORITY BELIEVES BUSH 'WON'T BE ABLE TO GET MUCH DONE FOR THE REST OF HIS SECOND TERM'
New York-A majority of Americans polled disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president-an all time low in the Newsweek Poll. After recent events, such as the withdrawal of the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination and the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, 58 percent of Americans disapprove of the president's handling of his job-a five-point decrease in approval since the September 29-30 Newsweek Poll. On the topic of how Bush is handling certain aspects of his job, 60 percent of those polled disapprove of the way he is handling the economy, 32 percent approve. Seventy-three percent disapprove of Bush's handling of oil prices, 20 percent approve.
Sixty-eight percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time, a seven-point drop in satisfaction since the last Newsweek Poll. Only 26 percent are satisfied. Forty-two percent of those polled say that they disapprove of Bush's appointments to the Supreme Court; 42 percent approve. Forty percent say that Samuel Alito should be confirmed to the Supreme Court, 26 percent say he should not be confirmed, 34 percent don't know.
When asked if they think Bush can be an effective president during his last three years in office, a 56 percent-majority say the President 'won't be able to get much done.' The president and his administration are also suffering an emerging credibility gap: 42 percent of those polled think the phrase 'is honest and ethical' describes Bush, 50 percent disagree. When asked if the same phrase describes Dick Cheney, 55 percent said no, it does not, and 29 percent said it did. In the role that the vice president has played in this administration, 34 percent said he has been given too much power by the president, 45 percent say he has been given the right amount. When broken down by political party, 72 percent of Republicans say that Cheney has been given the right amount of power, 12 percent say he has been given too much; whereas 47 percent of Democrats say he has been given too much and 32 percent say it has been the right amount.
Fifty-two percent of Americans believe that Cheney was part of a cover up to try to prevent the special prosecutor from getting the truth about who leaked CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the news
media, 27 percent do not believe he was involved.
Newsweek Poll/Page Two
When asked if anyone in the Bush administration acted unethically in the CIA leak case, 54 percent said yes, they did. Of those polled, 71 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans say there was unethical action. Forty-five percent of those polled say that they believe that someone in the Bush administration broke the law and acted criminally in the case handling, 30 percent say no laws were broken. When that same question is examined by party breakdown, 60 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of Republicans say laws were broken; and 18 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of Republicans say no laws were broken.
When asked if the vice president deliberately misused or manipulated pre-war intelligence about Iraq's nuclear capabilities in order to build support for war with Iraq-52 percent say he misused intelligence, 33 percent say he did not. Overall, 65 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq, only 32 percent approve according to the latest Newsweek Poll.
For this Newsweek Poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates International interviewed 1,002 adults aged 18 and older on November 10-11, 2005. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. This poll is part of the November 21 issue of Newsweek, on newsstands Monday, November 14. To interview Senior Editor Marcus Mabry on the poll, call Natalia Labenskyj at 212-445-4078 or Andrea Faville at 212-445-4859.
Originally published on Saturday November 12, 2005