Iraq and the economy -- not the President's signature issue of Social Security -- are most important to Americans, and Americans' assessments of both remain mixed, with support for the decision to send troops to Iraq matching its lowest percent ever.
Regarding Social Security, months of campaigning have not brought public acceptance of the personal accounts the President desires, nor resulted in increased confidence in his ability to make the right decisions about that program. In fact, many Americans claim they like Bush's plan less the more they hear about it.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
President Bush's job approval rating has dropped this month to just 42 percent, while 51 percent disapprove. His current approval rating is near the low reached in May 2004, after news and photos from the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal were made public.
BUSH'S JOB APPROVAL
Bush's job approval dropped significantly since last month among people aged 30 to 44, from 52 percent to 40 percent now. Approval among those in middle-income households (incomes between $30,000 and $50,000) also dropped, from 46 percent in May to 40 percent now. Bush also lost ground among white Catholics.
However, the President retains the approval of some key constituent groups. More than 8 in ten Republicans approve of the job he is doing, unchanged in the past month, as do about 7 in ten white evangelical Christians. About two in three conservatives approve of him.
On Iraq, the President's 37 percent approval rating (not much different from the 38 percent he received last month) is also similar to the low ratings he received last summer. The percentage of Americans who say taking military action against Iraq was the right thing to do is now at 45 percent, matching the lowest level ever found in this poll. 51 percent think the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq.
U.S. MILITARY ACTION IN IRAQ
Should have stayed out
By 60 percent to 40 percent, Americans think things are going badly for the U.S. in Iraq rather than well.