The 28 Percent President

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Wednesday, July 16, 2008; 12:13 PM

At his press conference yesterday, President Bush tried to emphasize the positive about the economy -- and his presidency. The financial system is "basically sound," he said. And he rejected the naysayers who say "aww, man, you're running out of time." But at the end of the day, Bush found himself overridden, ignored and disdained.

We'll start with disdained.

Jon Cohen blogs for The Washington Post: "Another month, another new low for George W. Bush: Just 28 percent in the new Post-ABC poll approve of the way the president is handling his job. This marks a new career low in Post polling, and is the 40th consecutive month his ratings have been under 50 percent.

"His negative rating has also hit a record, with 69 percent saying they disapprove of his job performance. And the percentage holding 'strongly' negative views is up to 56 percent, another new high, and nearly five times the number who 'strongly approve.'

"While most Republicans remain steadfastly behind the president, a third now disapprove, including two in 10 who strongly disapprove. This is the first time so many Republicans have expressed such sharply negative views of Bush's tenure. Strong disapproval among Democrats has also reached a new high in the poll, 81 percent."

Alan Fram writes for the Associated Press: "28 percent said they approve of the job Bush is doing, tying his low in the AP-Ipsos survey set last April. . . .

"Just 63 percent of Republicans and 46 percent of conservatives approved of Bush's handling of his job, strikingly low numbers. . . .

"With soaring fuel prices, ailing financial and housing markets and rising inflation, Bush got his lowest grade for handling the economy. Just 24 percent approved of how he's dealing with it, tying last month's AP-Ipsos low on that issue.

"Only half of Republicans gave Bush good grades on the economy, as did hardly any Democrats or independents."

Terence Hunt writes for the Associated Press: "This is hardly the way he wanted to go out. . . .

"As of Tuesday, Bush had 189 days before he walks out of the Oval Office for the last time. His term is ending with Americans on edge, the mood of the country sour."

A new New York Times/CBS poll shows Bush's approval at -- you guessed it -- 28 percent, with 65 percent disapproving. That's not an all-time low; a CBS poll in June found Bush approval at 25 percent. But approval on his handling of the economy, at 20 percent, does break the record.

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