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May 02, 2006

Bush And Nixon Battle It Out (Update)

Six months ago I graphed Bush and Nixon's approval and disapproval ratings against each other. With a new Gallup poll showing Bush's approval rating at an all time low (for Gallup) of 34%, I thought now would be a good time to do an update.

Note that while Bush's approval rating is still a bit higher than Nixon's at a comparable point in his presidency, Bush's disapproval rating is almost exactly the same as Nixon's just before he resigned. In fact, at 63%, Bush's current disapproval rating was only exceeded by Nixon's in two Gallup polls—March, 1974 (65%) and the final poll in July, 1974 just before Nixon left office (66%). For instance, in June, 1974 Nixon's disapproval rating was only 58%, noticeably lower than Bush's is today.

I think this one is going down to the wire.

(All polls are Gallup.)

Posted at May 2, 2006 12:09 AM | TrackBack

These are all liberal lies. The vast majority of Americans love Our President as much as I do.

Posted by: True Devotee at May 2, 2006 01:09 AM

Been drinking the Kool-aid much, TD? You've got a funny idea of what a 'majority' is.

Here's a link for you, in case you burned that dictionary along with all those other books:

Posted by: Technowitch at May 2, 2006 01:17 AM

Bush is a living God Man. You lieberals just make up poll numbers because you're all lustful Jesus-haters.

Posted by: True Devotee at May 2, 2006 01:43 AM

Funny stuff Tre Devotee! I love it when parody is so perfect that proving whether or not it is parody depends on knowing the author (which I don't in this case).

Posted by: Jones at May 2, 2006 02:13 AM

The shocker in that poll is that only 3% are undecided on Bush. The "disapprove" faction has definitely become the cool place to be.

Maybe I'll run for some elective office -- I don't see anyone else doing it very well.

Posted by: hedgehog at May 2, 2006 02:21 AM

Wouldn't it be great if Bush had only 3 months left?

Posted by: spiiderweb at May 2, 2006 05:15 AM

Bush is going to win this because he is too stupid to resign. He'll stay in until he reaches zero.

Posted by: grytpype at May 2, 2006 05:58 AM

Bush reached for zero at an early age, and failed. Miserably. He's been less than zero ever since.

Posted by: Yellow at May 2, 2006 06:07 AM

What were the breakdowns between repubs and dems for Nixon? Did the repubs continue to drink the kool aid as they do now?

Posted by: glitterscale at May 2, 2006 06:57 AM

Well, isn't this fitting. The American people, who voted twice for Nixon and Reagan, once for Bush I and twice for Bush II, would score low in an approval/disapproval rating among national populations. You get the presidents you deserve.
From Tricky Dick to Clueless George, our presidents mirror the national spirit. Or, as they like to say among the semi-literates at Newsweek, the Zeitgeist.

Posted by: donescobar at May 2, 2006 07:26 AM

our presidents mirror the national spirit
Hate to say it, but donescobar is right. The vast majority of Americans want to believe that we are all good and can drive our big cars forever, and use our military to manipulate the lives and markets of billions of people. Because, you see, we're good and they are bad. We are just the latest in a long string of imperial powers bent on world domination. We are "the Evil Corporate Empire".

Posted by: nickdanger at May 2, 2006 08:06 AM

The American people, who voted twice for Nixon and Reagan, once for Bush I and twice for Bush II

...ahem... Once for Bush II.

Posted by: Cloz at May 2, 2006 08:11 AM

spiderweb, when you say "only three months left" are you talking end of term or terminal illness?

Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at May 2, 2006 08:17 AM


Well, the members of the Supreme Court are Americans, ain't they? Which of the two elections don't you count? Did the Publicans steal both Florida (2000) and Ohio(2004), or just Florida?

Posted by: donescobar at May 2, 2006 08:22 AM

Wasn't Carter at 26% approval at one point?

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim at May 2, 2006 08:35 AM

This is as low as it gets. We've hit the bedrock of the Rovian Base, whose members are 'proof and bulwark against sense' (unless more of them evince an interest in veganism, pigs are seen flying, etc., etc.)

Posted by: sk at May 2, 2006 08:44 AM

Nixon has a precipitous drop that is as yet unmatched in the Bush numbers. I am assuming this relates to some clear evidence that Nixon was actually involved in Watergate.
I am not sure, but I believe that the conventional wisdom on Bush is that he has just been a terrible president - not some horrifically damaging revelation.
But there are plenty of those that could come out - Rove indicted, Libby trial opening up the criminal blowing of the cover of a covert operative working on Iranian nuclear weapons for political purposes (and covering up previous mistakes). It could also be further news on intentionally leaving Zarquari alive so that he could be used for political support for the war. It could be more evidence of malfeasance in the case for weapons of mass destruction, or Cheney's energy policy meetings, or more Katrina information coming to light. Or it could be something uncovered when the Dems can hold actual hearings.
I look forward to Bush's more pricipitous drop, as it will be cathartic for the country.

Posted by: theCoach at May 2, 2006 08:51 AM

I'm not holding my breath for that precipitous drop, theCoach. Bush has something Nixon never had: a cult of followers who believe he was chosen by God to lead us and can do no wrong. None of the events you mention would produce a big drop, because for most of the people still approving now there are virtually no circumstances under which they'll change their minds. Every new story is just a bunch of exaggerations and lies by traitorous Democrats and the the "liberal" media.

Posted by: KCinDC at May 2, 2006 09:05 AM

W's low will mirror his high. He won't resign. Look out for 10%.

Posted by: rtfc at May 2, 2006 09:39 AM

The lower Bush sinks in the polls, the less he listens to other people and the more he listens to the divine voices in his head. If he seeks medication for this condition, he might lose more of his base.

Posted by: clb72 at May 2, 2006 09:56 AM

I'd say Bush is in the lead but it just doesn't show. A lot of the shit hasn't even hit the fan yet, (Rove indictment anyone?) and Bush doesn't have a Democratic congress and a working free press investigating him let alone on the verge of impeaching and convicting him. Yet. A year from now Repubs won't be looking back on this as the good old days but they will see it as the calm before the storm. It might be better to compare Bush and Nixon numbers from the same dates in their second terms.

Posted by: Mark Garrity at May 2, 2006 10:03 AM

TheCoach: There isn't much room left for a precipitous drop: Nixon's 40 point drop from 70 to 30 would push Bush into the negatives. Or percentage wise, a 57% drop would only cost Bush 18 points--Nixon did that several times.

Posted by: Playa at May 2, 2006 10:40 AM

Say! What did you graph this in? it wasn't Gnumeric, by any chance, was it?

Posted by: saurabh at May 2, 2006 10:54 AM

Yes bushes numbers suck, but if hillary gets in (because of a 3rd party run just like her husband, the only way possible) here numbers would be lower right off the bat. This is just because of the new polerization of the country, we have the traditional american half and the socialist european half.

Bushes problem is the war and the relentless media attacks, if the media wasn't so hostle the poll numbers would be great, but the kicker on bush is history will treat him well and easly make the to 1/4 of all presidents.

Posted by: have a clue at May 2, 2006 11:12 AM

The lower Bush sinks in the polls, the less he listens to other people and the more he listens to the divine voices in his head.

I've yet to see any evidence that Bush has ever listened to anyone outside his inner circle, during the entire course of his presidency. I suppose he could start ignoring advice even when it comes from Cheney or Rumsfeld, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

Posted by: Jonah at May 2, 2006 11:16 AM

This is great. Can we see Bush vs Truman?

Posted by: Dee at May 2, 2006 11:53 AM

This polarization, would it have anything to do with one pro-war party getting upset at the other pro-war party? Or is it based on one mindlessly paranoid security state party being opposed to the other mindlessly paranoid security state party? My guess is the polarization encompasses those, and one crackpot royalist economic faction being unable to stomach the other. Then there are the grimly stupid kool aid sippers -- that's you, "have a clue" -- who hate liberty, justice and democracy more than they hate themselves.

I can see how that would lead to this polarization you're talking about.

Posted by: J. Alva Scruggs at May 2, 2006 02:10 PM

'have a clue' said "the kicker on bush is history will treat him well" - you mean it will write him off as an incompetent fool, rather than condemn him as a corrupt, power-grubbing liar?

Posted by: Gwenhwyfaer at May 2, 2006 02:44 PM

if September 11, 2001 had not happened, would BUSH be the most hated, going away?

Posted by: MrBill at May 2, 2006 03:21 PM

Wow, have a clue certainly doesn't, does he. Must be one of the "base".

Hey, have a clue, the egress is this way ---->

Posted by: Everett at May 2, 2006 03:29 PM

Actually these graphs need to include another interesting timepoint: when impeachment proceedings were initiated. I'm not sure how these timepoints are computed, since Nixon resigned in August, not in May, but impeachment hearings began about 4 months earlier, in May of 1974. This has to have been the major political reason for Nixon's resignation, not his disapproval ratings. There's no similar pressure today, and likely won't be.

Posted by: saurabh at May 2, 2006 03:56 PM

About the Order of Presidential Succession thing:

Yes, you have to move very far down that line before it's not a terrifying prospect, but if the People showed that they hold the ultimate power and they are willing to use it, I would hope that the whole political atmosphere would shift (for the better).

It would still be a drag until we run the rest of them greedy pigs outta the town, but seeing the mighty fallen would no doubt usher in a new era of accountability.

Posted by: klevenstein at May 3, 2006 08:13 AM

I'd like to see Bush 41, Reagan, Carter and Clinton in there as well. It would be interesting to compare.

Posted by: Zak Brown at May 4, 2006 07:06 PM

Down to 31/65. New graph please, this is looking like a photo finish!

Posted by: crayz at May 8, 2006 12:37 PM

"Bushes problem is the war and the relentless media attacks, if the media wasn't so hostle the poll numbers would be great, but the kicker on bush is history will treat him well and easly make the to 1/4 of all presidents."

I agree. History will probably rate him as about 1/4 of a president.

Posted by: D. Wamble at May 8, 2006 03:02 PM

I am constantly amazed that anyone, I mean anyone, could still find IL DUBCE, our domestic version of Mussolini, supportable but then again, approximately 25% of the Russian population still thinks Stalin, one of the most blood stained paranoid monsters in history, was a great guy. There is an irreducible percentage of the population who will follow ANYTHING..Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Franco, Bush, just because the object of their idolatry has the title "leader" or "fuhrer" or "Duce" or whatever.

Posted by: Eric Lowin at May 8, 2006 08:37 PM