- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 9, 2008


President Bush reached his lowest approval rating in the Associated Press-Ipsos poll yesterday as only 30 percent said they like the job he is doing, including a new low in his support by Republicans.

Congress’ approval fell to 22 percent, equaling its poorest grade in the survey. Both marks dropped by four percentage points since early January.

The dour public mood seems to chiefly reflect distress over the faltering economy, which has seen job cuts, financial market slides and real estate losses stoke recession fears. Mr. Bush’s approval for handling the economy dove to 29 percent, a slide of four percentage points in a month that matches his low on that issue, with noticeable slumps among middle-income people, Southerners and city residents.

Mr. Bush and Congress have been overshadowed in recent months by a presidential campaign in which both parties’ candidates have emphasized how they would change Washington — an implicit criticism of the president and the Democrat-led Congress.

Mr. Bush’s acceptance by his own party is at bottom in the AP-Ipsos poll. Sixty-one percent of Republicans gave Mr. Bush positive reviews; his previous low was 65 percent last month. Twenty-eight percent of them expressed strong approval.

Congress hit 22 percent in October, approaching its historic low in the Gallup Poll of 18 percent reached in early 1992 during a furor over lawmakers who bounced House bank checks.

About one in five Democrats, Republicans and independents approve of Congress’ work, with less than one in 20 from each group approving strongly.

Congress usually has lower ratings than the president because it is an institution people love to criticize.

The AP-Ipsos poll was conducted Monday to Wednesday and involved telephone interviews with 1,006 adults. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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