Until Bush dipped below the 20% mark in this latest poll by the American Research Group, it was Harry S. Truman, in a Gallup Poll taken in February 1952, who previously held the worst presidential approval rating at just 22%.
Further demonstrating the dour mood of the country, 78% of Americans, more than three-fourths of the nation, believe the economy was getting worse and 47% are confident the country is in a full-blown recession.
The near unanimity among registered voters was that Bush was not getting the job done as president. Merely 18% found him to be successful in his duties and 78% gave him a failing mark. In addition, an astonishing and historically all-time low number of registered voters, just 15%, found Bush favorable in his ability to deal with the economic woes the country is currently facing.
Independent voters matched the sour mood of the country as a whole with only 17% finding Bush to be satisfactory in his job achievements and 75% expressed displeasure for America’s 43rd President.
Democrats, who have been sharply acrid toward Bush for some time, showed their disdain for his perceived and mounting failures, voiced their undisputed discontent for Bush with 99% finding him unsatisfactory in his job.
Interestingly, among the disparate few who found favor with Bush’s abilities, only 1% believed the economy would approve with Bush in the White House. A certain sign that even Bush’s most ardent supporters believe he is incapable of restoring the economy from its current somber state.
Finally, of the 77% of Americans who disfavor Bush’s job as president, a full 85% stated that the national economy was bad, very bad, or even “terrible.”
The only optimism shown by those polled, indicated by a margin of 42%, feel the national economy will improve a year from now – when Bush will be out of office.
Coupled together with the Federal Reserve’s latest forecast that suggests the economy may weaken further still, with even higher inflation and unemployment rates, it appears unlikely that Bush, with less than a year in office left, will stand any chance of stirring any hope of buoyancy before the next president takes office in January of 2009.