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Public Shows Little Love for Bush, Congress

Public Shows Little Love for Bush, Congress

PRINCETON, NJ -- The public's job approval ratings of President Bush and Congress continue to be very low from a historical perspective, with Bush's ratings in the low 30% range and Congress' in the low 20% range this year.

The latest Gallup Poll, conducted March 6-9, finds 32% of Americans approving of Bush and 21% approving of Congress.

Bush's job approval rating has been stable in recent months, ranging narrowly from 31% to 34% so far this year. His approval rating has been below 40% for 18 months, since September 2006. It has not been at the 50% level since May 2005, shortly after his second term in office began. Bush's low point in office was a 29% approval rating in July 2007. The all-time low for any president is a 22% approval rating for Harry Truman in a February 1952 Gallup Poll.

Congress' current approval rating is just 3 percentage points above the all-time low -- 18% readings from March 1992 and August 2007. Congress' approval rating has been below 30% since May 2007.

Despite Bush's low overall ratings, nearly three in four Republicans, 72%, still think he is doing a good job. Only 23% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree. Congress' ratings are low among all three party groups -- 24% among Republicans, 18% among independents, and 21% among Democrats. The Democratic Party controls both houses of Congress, but that apparently does not endear Democrats to Congress very much.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,012 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted March 6-9, 2008. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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