By WILL LESTER
The Associated Press
Friday, February 6, 2004; 2:34 AM
WASHINGTON – President Bush’s public support dropped sharply over the past month, especially among older voters, political independents and people in the Midwest, an Associated Press poll found.
And for the first time, more voters in this poll’s two years of tracking the question said they would definitely vote against Bush than said they would definitely vote for him.
Bush’s approval rating stood at 47 percent in the AP-Ipsos poll taken in early February, down from 56 percent approval just a month ago. Half, or 50 percent, said they disapproved in the latest poll.
The poll findings marked a difficult month for Bush, as public attention focused on the Democratic presidential primary and the Democrats’ daily bashing of the incumbent. The survey came at a time when the public is nervous about the economy and the chief adviser to the administration on Iraqi weapons, David Kay, said last month “we were almost all wrong” about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.
Bush’s 47 percent approval rating is the same as his father’s at this stage in his presidency 12 years ago before he lost to Bill Clinton.
Just under four in 10, 37 percent, said they would definitely vote to re-elect Bush as president, while 43 percent said they would definitely vote for someone else, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Another 18 percent said they would consider voting for someone else.
Other recent polls have shown Democratic front-runner John Kerry with an advantage over Bush in a head-to-head matchup.
A month ago, voters were more inclined to say they would re-elect Bush rather than definitely vote against him by a 41-33 margin.
Read ’em and weep, Karl.