Your Unpopular President

december 21, 2004

"That's why, come Inauguration Day, George W. Bush will likely make history as the least popular president to ever take the oath of office." Here is an interesting article from Salon.com (get a Free Day Pass to read it) that details that Bush will be the most unpopular President ever to while taking the oath of office.

Not only is Bush's 50 percent approval rating dismal for a two-term president, it's arguably the worst for any president about to be sworn into office. The only other modern-day president with such shaky approval ratings immediately following an election win was Reagan. According to a January 1981 Gallup poll, his job approval rating stood at just 51 percent. (Since Gallup began polling in 1937, Bush and Reagan are the only two presidents to take office with job approval ratings that low.) The difference between Reagan and Bush, though, was that Reagan's disapproval rating at the time was just 13 percent. Today, Bush's negative rating hovers in the 40s. "His high disapproval numbers are astonishing," says Shenkman.
So, Bush has stated that he wanted to be like Reagan. Well, not only is he being compared to Reagan, he's bested Reagan!
As for what's weighing down Bush's poll numbers, it seems clear that the ongoing chaos in Iraq is a major culprit. Since Election Day alone, nearly 200 American servicemen and -women have been killed in Iraq, as violence continues to spread throughout the country, 19 months after U.S. forces first invaded. According to the latest Gallup poll, 33 percent of Americans think things are going "very badly" in Iraq, a new high-water mark for that response.