Presidential Popularity

Fascinating slice of political info-porn via the WSJ:


At the (free) WSJ site, you can click through each president’s term.

But don’t think its just the President:  As Gallup reports in this June 11-14, 2007, survey, 24% of Americans approve and 71% disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job. Congressional approval is down five points since last month and more than 10 points from the higher support levels in January and February following the Democratic takeover. 

The current 24% rating is similar to the poor ratings Congress received last year, with Americans essentially voting to take control of Congress away from the Republicans in November…

It is unusual for congressional job approval ratings to be at or below 24%.

Note that Congress has been rated  this negatively only a few times in the four decades Gallup has measured this item — in 1979, during  the energy crisis; at several points during the "term limits era" of 1990 to 1994; and last year. The above listed years were periods of tough economic conditions.

Congressional Job Approval Dips Again This Month
Democrats, Republicans now almost equally likely to disapprove of Congress
Joseph Carroll
Gallup, June 20, 2007

How the Presidents Stack Up
WSJ, June 5th, 2007

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Kp commented on Jul 6

    Nice downward trend in those ratings overall and yet I guarantee that the majority of voters will still pick the lessor of two evils and NOT the candidate that deserves to win.

  2. anon commented on Jul 6

    As of 7/2: Fox poll shows Bush approval at 31%, Newsweek shows lowest rating at 26%.

  3. dblwyo commented on Jul 6

    Boy, you give the first infoporn of anybody, BR. Just salivating to argue ’bout those charts. Notice who manages to keep up their popularity (and compare it btw to Wiki’s greatest pres lists and notice how they evolve with time ). In particularly notice that when the Rip..I mean Rep. went impeachment hunting and Bill quite governing he succeeded in being liked. And on this list who’s the least-liked and greatest ranked ? :) !

  4. S commented on Jul 6

    Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.”

    This Congress and President are stress testing the hypothesis.

  5. anon commented on Jul 6

    Imagine where W would be without the 9/11 spike…of course, imagine where he would be *with* the 9/11 spike and *without* Iraq. And his poor dad: brought down by recession. Hmmm…

  6. Bruce F commented on Jul 6

    I’d like to second greyhair’s comment that Congress’ recent dip in popularity is because they’ve backed away from confronting the criminal actions of the current occupant. The statement/taunt that “The Dems suck too!” is used to muddy what the internal polling data shows and to deflect criticism of the policies of the current administration. This kind of “evenhandedness” is highly misleading.

  7. S commented on Jul 6

    This vid is worth viewing by anyone who believes Bush was the first to “lie” about Saddam and WMDs. It turns out the Dems were doing a good job of conditioning the public about the potential need for war with Iraq as far back as 1998.

  8. drsqueeze commented on Jul 6

    Clinton was the only president to show an increase from the first to the last day. I think the message here is: stay out of foreign wars. That’s the secret to Eisenhower, Reagan, and Clinton’s popularity, and the reason for the failure of Bush, Johnson, Truman and Nixon.

  9. tom b commented on Jul 6

    Earth to Congress: impeach the b**tard.

  10. Grodge commented on Jul 6

    To S,
    The Youtube video is disingenuous at best. I know this isn’t a political blog, but I’ll make a couple comments about the context of those quotes.

    The 1998 quotes were in support of air strikes by the US on suspected weapons installations. The argument, and it’s a good one, is that those strikes were successful on degrading Saddam’s WMD capabilities. Scott Ritter, the former UN inspector, criticized Clinton for using UN intelligence to guide those strikes.

    The 2002 Democratic quotes were in support of Bush’s “Force Resolution” which was designed to get UN inspectors back into Iraq after 4 yrs of absence. The Democrats were supporting the Prez’nit in order to give the message of solidarity. It worked– The UN was allowed back in.

    UNSCOM went back into Iraq only to be hastened out for the extremely counter-productive Bush “Shock and Awe”, invasion and subsequently mismanaged clusterf%#k of an occupation. The Iraq war belongs to Bush and only Bush. Some would argue that Bush never had any intention of waiting for UN inspections to go forward, and that sounds about right to me.

    To use quotes from 1998 is beyond silly, it’s just not truthful. You can try to lie to others, but at least don’t lie to yourself: Bush deserves his lousy approval rating.

  11. Jim commented on Jul 7

    All you need to know about who planned the war with Iraq is here:

    and here:

    – Note all the future members of W’s administration who signed the Princliples statement (1st URL).

    – Note all the articles about attacking Iraq long before 9/11 (2nd URL).

    Anyway, I am Libertarian and no fan of the Democrats, but there is no question that the Republicans own the mess in Iraq.

    I’m just left wondering when they are going to take this site down and deny it ever existed… :)

  12. Winston Munn commented on Jul 7

    July 7, 2007

    Washington, D.C.

    A new financial instrument is funding the campaigns of many presidential candidates, which explains the record number of canditates who have tossed a hat into the ring.

    The Collateralized Candidate Obligation, or CCO, has helped many would-be presidents who otherwise would not have had access to campaign funds.

    Hedge fund manager, Shay D. Deelings, explains the CCO: “The campaign promises of a candidate are packaged by the campaign finance office into indidividual bonds called a TWC, or Totally Worthless Crap. Investement banks take this crap from many different candidates and slice up the promises into trenches, or latrines.
    Each trench then is given a credit rating according to the letters drawn randomly from a Scrabble game. The benefit of the CCO is that even the lowest trench with most stench, by being incorporated into the CCO, carries an investment grade rating, allowing pension funds to invest in this crap. The highest rated trench, ‘I will bomb the shit out of Iran’ is sold to corporations such as Lockheed and Boeing, while the Equity trench or ‘I’ll veto any bill that doesn’t include pork for you’ trench, is highly valued by state pension funds.”

    At last count, 67 Democrats, 48 Republicans, and 3 Independents had announced plans to launch a CCO.

    “Hell, it’s better than stealing,” said an unnamed aide.

  13. wunsacon commented on Jul 7

    Wow, Truman’s chart looks like a saw tooth.

    Too bad George W. hasn’t been caught cheating on his taxes like Nixon. On NPR the other day, a reporter remarked that Nixon’s popularity didn’t plunge until some bad news came out about his taxes. The reporter said dodging taxes was simple enough for most people to understand is wrong. Perhaps tape recordings would help, too.

    S, love the “stress-testing” comment!!

    Jim is correct. Unfortunately, I sent those links to some Republican friends and these particular folks couldn’t be bothered to read the pdf, because it’s too long. It’s the American citizen’s equivalent of our elected leaders’ decision not to read certain intel reports for themselves.

    And there’s a connection. Citizen’s are too busy either working 100 hours more per year than the Japanese, taking care of their family, or spending the remainder watching ESPN. Politicians are too busy doing all those things plus raising money year-round for the next campaign. When so little is left over for actually paying attention to the details of civic matters, people rely on hearsay and group think rather than deciding for themselves based on original source materials. I.e., we get out of the democratic process that which we put in (into the substantive matters).

  14. Clay Ward commented on Jul 7

    Since some polls vary substantially, then the more the merrier, and averaging all available polls into one index gives a much larger sample of public opinion IMHO. The latest Polkatz Bush Approval index through June 27, 2007 is at 28.6 and is presented in a table and also a graph of raw polling data. The general approach is stated at the bottom of the table and can include up to 15 polls. The link to the index table:

    The link to the graph of Bush Approval Raw Poll Data:

    Bush Approval Index

  15. The Left Coaster commented on Jul 26

    Too Much Time Left for Bush—and Democrats

    As George Bush soon sets a record for the most unpopular modern president ever—naturally the worst of all time would be the most loathed—it’s noteworthy how much time is left in his presidency. Truman and Nixon pegged their records of popular failure r…

Posted Under