It was noted earlier that President Bush's poll numbers had been rising recently, but you wouldn't know it by reading the NY Times or listening to CBS. Well, the rising poll numbers are starting to be reported.
Shifting into campaign mode to reverse his slide in public opinion polls, Bush has boosted his support among key constituency groups — particularly in the Northeast and West — on his handling of Iraq and the economy, an AP-Ipsos poll found.
Bush improved his job approval rating from 37 percent in November to 42 percent now, though his standing with the public remains relatively low. Fifty-seven percent still disapprove, down from 61.
Overall, approval of Bush's handling of the economy was up to 42 percent in December from 37 percent last month, according to the poll of 1,002 adults taken Dec. 5-7 by Ipsos, an international polling firm. The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The poll found approval for Bush's handling of Iraq also was up, from 37 percent last month to 41 percent now.
The AP does try to toss some cold water on the numbers, however.
Said Jonathan Schuler, an independent from Georgetown, a small city north of Austin, Texas: "If we stay in Iraq too much longer, it will be another Vietnam. If we pull out, the terrorists will look at it as a victory."
Sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't, eh Mr. Schuler? And what, in particular, makes you think staying a little longer in Iraq turns it into "another Vietnam?" Let's just leave it that America leaving prematurely will be taken as victory by the terrorists.
The people who disapprove of Bush's performance cite Iraq most often as the leading reason, AP-Ipsos polling found in the fall.
You would think, therefore, that after Iraq holds their next round of elections and as more Iraqi troops become capable the draw down of troops that is likely next year might give Mr. Bush a chance to improve his ratings further.
Earlier we saw the approval ratings rising in Fox News and Rasmussen polling; several days ago it was CBS finally chiming in. CBS pulls a hamstring trying to paint even positive poll results as not so positive.
The CBS poll is interesting for another reason. The number 25, or 25% to be specific. It's surprising how often that number showed up.
In his address in Annapolis last week, President Bush said that progress is being made training Iraqis to take over handling the security of their country, and nearly half agree that at least some progress is being made...Twenty-four percent think there has been not much or no progress...
Asked whether President Bush himself was telling the entire truth or not in discussing WMDs before the war, one-quarter [25%] of Americans suspect the President of mostly lying...
Americans are not certain of the payoff from the Iraq war in terms of their own safety. Thirty-five percent today say the United States is safer as a result of the war, but 22 percent say they are less safe, and 41 percent say the war has had no impact.
Lets just call that 22-25% the Howard Dean wing of the American public.