President Bush’s televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll. And, in a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq.
The Zogby America survey of 905 likely voters, conducted from June 27 through 29, 2005, has a margin of error of +/-3.3 percentage points.
Just one week ago, President Bush’s job approval stood at a previous low of 44%—but it has now slipped another point to 43%, despite a speech to the nation intended to build support for the Administration and the ongoing Iraq War effort. The Zogby America survey includes calls made both before and after the President’s address, and the results show no discernible “bump” in his job approval, with voter approval of his job performance at 45% in the final day of polling.
Where voters live has some impact on their perceptions. The President’s job rating remains relatively strong in the South, with 51% rating his performance favorably; in all other regions, those disapproving his performance are in the majority.
In a more significant sign of the weakness of the President’s numbers, more “Red State” voters—that is, voters living in the states that cast their ballots for the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004—now rate his job performance unfavorably, with 50% holding a negative impression of the President’s handling of his duties, and 48% holding a favorable view. The President also gets negative marks from one-in-four (25%) Republicans—as well as 86% of Democrats and 58% of independents. (Bush nets favorable marks from 75% of Republicans, 13% of Democrats and 40% of independents.)
Impeachment Question Shows Bitterness of Divide
In a sign of the continuing partisan division of the nation, more than two-in-five (42%) voters say that, if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment. While half (50%) of respondents do not hold this view, supporters of impeachment outweigh opponents in some parts of the country.
Among those living in the Western states, a 52% majority favors Congress using the impeachment mechanism while just 41% are opposed; in Eastern states, 49% are in favor and 45% opposed. In the South, meanwhile, impeachment is opposed by three-in-five voters (60%) and supported by just one-in-three (34%); in the Central/Great Lakes region, 52% are opposed and 38% in favor.
Impeachment is overwhelmingly rejected in the Red States—just 36% say they agree Congress should use it if the President is found to have lied on Iraq, while 55% reject this view; in the “Blue States” that voted for Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry in 2004, meanwhile, a plurality of 48% favors such proceedings while 45% are opposed.
A large majority of Democrats (59%) say they agree that the President should be impeached if he lied about Iraq, while just three-in-ten (30%) disagree. Among President Bush’s fellow Republicans, a full one-in-four (25%) indicate they would favor impeaching the President under these circumstances, while seven-in-ten (70%) do not. Independents are more closely divided, with 43% favoring impeachment and 49% opposed.
Americans Tiring of Partisan Division on Capital Hill
The same survey finds that a 55% majority of voters believe the two parties are too focused on their respective bases, and as a result, compromise—and results—have become impossible in Washington. Just 36% in the poll rejected that notion, saying the parties’ organization provides as broad a base as possible, and that compromise is occurring.
A follow-up question found that seven-in-ten (70%) voters believe the parties should be broad-based, and should pursue compromise—while less than one-in-four (23%) favored putting base issues first, even if it means nothing is accomplished.
These views are held by members of both major political parties, as well as independents, although Republicans, whose party controls both houses of Congress, are more likely to favor the parties focusing on the desires of their base than are Democrats and independents, with 31% of Republicans favoring this approach—more than the 20% of Democrats and 17% of independents who hold that view.
Pollster John Zogby: “The nation continues to be split down the middle but there appears to be a deep and growing concern about how polarized we are. The President tried to address the situation on the ground in Iraq and hoped to allay the fears of the nation. It looks like that did not happen. Meanwhile, opposition to the war reveals that Americans are just as hostile and intense as they were the day after the 2004 election. The message seems to be pretty clear for Mr. Bush: lay off the partisan rhetoric and work to find compromise solutions.”
Zogby International conducted interviews of 905 likely voters chosen at random nationwide. All calls were made from Zogby International headquarters in Utica, N.Y., from June 27 to 29, 2005. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, and gender to more accurately reflect the voting population. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.
© Copyright 2005 Zogby Intl