Monday, February 13, 2006

Bush Poll Numbers Fall Post-SOTU

Not only didn't the preznit get a bounce from his State of the Union speech a few weeks ago, his poll numbers are actually falling.

He's back at 39% in the latest Gallup poll:

WASHINGTON — Americans are deeply worried about the possibility that Iran will develop nuclear weapons and use them, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll finds, but they also fear that the Bush administration will act prematurely to deploy military force to prevent that from happening.

Nearly seven of 10 of those surveyed over the weekend say they are concerned that the United States will be "too quick" to use force against Iran, but they also recognize the quandary that policymakers face. There is almost as much concern that the United States won't do enough to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear arsenal.

"People see no easy answers ... and the limits of our power," says Richard Eichenberg, a political scientist at Tufts University who has studied wars and public opinion.

"The Muslim world is in an uproar over the Danish cartoons (portraying the prophet Mohammed), Iran is quite vocal in challenging us, (and) Iraq continues to be a drip-drip-drip of daily violence and slow progress in forming a coalition government," he said.

All of that is eroding President Bush's standing, too. A 55% majority say they lack confidence in his administration's ability to handle the situation in Iran. Bush's job-approval rating has dipped to 39%, the first time it has gone below 40% since November, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

His State of the Union address and a series of presidential speeches warning of a continued terrorist threat and defending the administration on domestic wiretapping have failed to bolster views of Bush.

"It suggests that he's pretty much down to his core supporters out there ... and everyone else has left," says Richard Stoll, a Rice University political scientist.

The poll of 1,000 adults, taken Thursday through Sunday, has a margin of error of +/—3 percentage points.

But I thought the White House was saying the NSA domestic spying story was good for their poll numbers since it would remind Americans that this preznit is willing to do anything in order to keep us safe in the war on terror?

I guess not so much.

That's kinda heartening, isn't it?

And you know what else is heartening?

The fact that 7 out of 10 Americans see that there are limits to American power, especially with the country bogged down in Iraq for the forseeable future.

If most Americans are able to see that our military options against Iran are limited by the situation in Iraq, that ought to take the quick neocon military strike pretty much off the table for now.

Maybe Georgie Boy and DeadEye Dick will have to figure something else out.

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