Bush in Nixon territory: 28% job approval

… and it’s rubbing off on the GOP. Goody!

When I saw on Polling Report that Newsweek had GWB’s job-approval rating down (again) to 31%, it occurred to me that if kept getting 31’s and 32’s, eventually sheer sampling variation would push him below 30%, into the Nixonian 20’s. Given the cowardice &#8212 expressed as a reluctance to kick a man unless he’s down and an eagerness to do so if he is &#8212 that is so salient a feature of politics and journalism as practiced in Washington, the resulting perception that the Beloved Leader is exceptionally unbeloved would, I thought, have some real impact.

As it turns out, I didn’t have to wait long. Today’s CBS poll has the Prez down to 28% positive, 64% negative.

My guess is that the CBS number is partly an artifact of survey design; it looks as if CBS asked about the war first, which seems to have pushed some otherwise pro-Bush folks into the “undecided” column. Still, the number may help drive it home that the incumbent is setting an all-time record for sustained unpopularity, which would be nice.

Also nice: it seems to be rubbing off. The 2008 Presidential match-ups are looking pretty good.

And it doesn’t look to me as if Rove and the rest of the crew have figured out that the lie-and-bluster approach that worked fine when the country was rallying around the wartime President doesn’t cut it with a President who’s about as popular as a skunk at a picnic.

Update Better and better. Bush’s personal favorability isn’t any better than his job performance.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com