Far be it from me to understand politics — that’s why we stick to our knitting and focus on markets — but I gotta wonder what this datapoint means (via the WSJ’s Washington Wire):
"President Bush’s job-approval rating has fallen to its lowest mark of his presidency, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. Of 1,003 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll, 29% think Mr. Bush is doing an “excellent or pretty good” job as president, down from 35% in April and significantly lower than 43% in January. Approval ratings for Congress overall also sank, and now stand at 18%.
Roughly one-quarter of U.S. adults say “things in the country are going in the right direction,” while 69% say “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.” This has been the trend since January, when 33% said the nation was heading in the right direction. Iraq remains a key concern for the general public, as 28% of Americans said they consider Iraq to be one of the top two most important issues the government should address, up from 23% in April. The immigration debate also prompted 16% of Americans to consider it a top issue, down from 19% last month, but still sharply higher from 4% in March.
The Harris poll comes two days after a downbeat assessement of Bush in a New York Times/CBS News poll. The Times, in analyzing the results, said “Americans have a bleaker view of the country’s direction than at any time in more than two decades.”
We know that historically, there is very little correlation between Presidential approval ratings and longer term market performance.
I’m watching this data purely from a market psychology and consumer sentiment perspective . . .
UPDATE: May 12, 2006 10:19 am
Here’s a recent table from the NYT; Congress is looking pretty ugly also . . .
click for larger graphic
Bush Dips Into the 20s
WSJ’s Washington Wire
May 11, 2006, 9:12 pm
Poll Gives Bush His Worst Marks Yet
ADAM NAGOURNEY and MEGAN THEE
NYT, May 10, 2006