Bush administration approval ratings: Tracking the Numbers 2004-2005

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The following are Bush administration approval ratings: Tracking the Numbers for 2004 and 2005.

Note that the ratings appear in reverse order, with the most recent dates posted at the top of the list.

Also see Tracking the Numbers 2006.


In August 2005, multiple opinion polls showed that President Bush's approval rating reached its lowest point ever. The Gallup Poll pegged him at 40% approval and 56% disapproval. And Gallup's analysis found other bad news for the White House. "Some observers had argued that Bush's approval rating cannot go too much lower as long as Republicans remain robust in their support," said Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport. "Well, we are seeing some signs of slight erosion in the support for the president even among his base in the Republicans." [1]

Gallup also compared Bush's current standings against the ratings for the six other U.S. presidents since World War II who have served two terms. "Only one of the six presidents in the late summer of the year after they were relected was lower than Bush's current 40% rating, and that was Richard Nixon. He had a 34% rating in August of 1973. Of course, at that point he was beset by the woes of Watergate. Each of the other five presidents in the summer or late summer of the year after they had been reelected was significantly higher than Bush is right now." [2]

In addition to rising oil prices and dissatisfaction with Bush's domestic policies, the war on Iraq in taking its toll, as nearly two-thirds of Americans now feel the war has made them less safe rather than more safe from terrorism. [3]

Slate has provided an excellent Gallup Poll chart, with weekly data beginning August 21, 1959, to present day, which shows the correlation between the Dow Jones Industrial Average and presidential approval ratings. The approval ratings for George W. Bush declined from Day One.


  • December 20, 2005: USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll: "A record 55% say the war in Iraq is entirely separate from the war on terrorism that began on Sept. 11, 2001, the first time a majority has held that opinion."
  • December 15, 2005: Rasmussen Reports: In a survey of 1,000 adults conducted December 9-10, 2005, 32% said President George W. Bush should be impeached and removed from office; 58% did not; 35% believe Vice President Dick Cheney should be impeached and removed from office.
  • December 15, 2005: Wall Street Journal: "By a 65%-19% margin, Americans age 65 and above disapprove of the performance of Congress; those under 65 are also negative but less lopsidedly, 58%-27%. Moreover, senior citizens say by 47%-37% that they want [[Democratic Party|Democrats rather than Republicans to win control of Capitol Hill. Those under 65 prefer a Democratic victory by a narrower 45%-39% margin."
  • December 13, 2005: Zogby Poll: 38% of Americans approve of the job the President is doing; 55% who live in the "red" states say Bush is doing only a fair or poor job.
  • December 12, 2005: CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll: 58% do not believe / 38% believe Bush has "a clear plan" for victory in Iraq; 59% disapprove / 39% approve of the way Bush is handling Iraq.


  • November 23, 2005: Harris Poll: 64% of Americans believe Bush administration "generally misleads the American public on current issues to achieve its own ends".
  • November 18, 2005: Rasmussen Reports: 51% say Bush is doing poor job of handling situation in Iraq; 33% give Bush good or excellent marks; 15% say he is doing a fair job.
  • November 17, 2005: Harris Interactive: "Bush's current job approval rating stands at 34%, compared with a positive rating of 88% soon after 9/11, 50% at this time last year, and 40% in August."
  • November 11, 2005: AP-Ipsos: 57% said "they do not think the Bush administration has high ethical standards"; 57% said "President Bush is not honest"; 82% "described Bush as 'stubborn,' with almost that many Republicans agreeing to that description"; 42% approved "Bush's handling of foreign policy and terrorism."
  • November 10, 2005 Fox News: 36% of Americans approve, 53% disapprove "of the job Bush is doing as president."
  • November 9, 2005: NBC News/Wall Street Journal: 38% overall approval rating, 34% approval on economy, 35% approval on foreign policy, 39% approval on terrorism, and 32% approval on Iraq. "In addition, the CIA leak scandal seems to be taking a toll on the administration, with nearly 80 percent believing the indictment of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, is a serious matter, and with Bush experiencing a 17-point drop since January in those who see him as honest and straightforward."


  • October 30, 2005: Washington Post-ABC News: 39% approve of job Bush is doing; 55% of public "believes the Libby case indicates wider problems 'with ethical wrongdoing' in the White House"; 41% "believes it was an 'isolated incident.' And by a 3 to 1 ratio, 46 percent to 15 percent, Americans say the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined rather than risen under Bush."
  • October 6, 2005: CBS News: 26% think U.S. going in right direction, 69% think U.S. on wrong track; 37% approve, 58% disapprove job Bush is doing; 46% approve job Bush is doing regarding terrorism and 32% approve job Bush is doing in Iraq; 32% approve job Bush is doing with economy; 46% approval overall regarding hurricanes (see Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita; only 32% think Bush shares their priorities for the country and 65% don't.
  • October 3, 2005: Rasmussen Reports: 52% disapprove, 46% approve of the job Bush is doing; 48% rate the way things are going in Iraq as poor.
  • October 1, 2005: Newsweek: 40% approval rating; 49% disapprove re Hurricane Rita (42% approve); 51% approve re terrorism and homeland security.


  • September 10, 2005: AP/Ipsos Poll: 39% job approval ("lowest since the poll was started in December 2003"); 65% "think the country is on the wrong track"; 52% "disapprove of the president's handling of the hurricane."
  • September 8, 2005: Pew Research Center: 52% disapproved, 40% approved of the job Bush is doing. 67% believe Bush "could have done more to speed up relief efforts; 28% think Bush "did all he could to get them going quickly." "Uncharacteristically, the president's ratings have slipped most among his core constituents - Republicans and conservatives."
  • September 8, 2005: Zogby International: 59% disapproved, 41% approved of the job Bush is doing. "The same survey found the nation’s forty-third president would lose election contests against all of his predecessors since Jimmy Carter."
  • September 6, 2005: Gallup Poll: "Americans to Bush -- Withdraw Troops from Iraq."


  • August 31, 2005, Washington Post/ABC News: 53% disapproved, 45% approved of job Bush is doing.
  • August 22, 2005, American Research Group: 58% disapproved, 36% approved of Bush's job performance; 62% disapproved, 33% approved of how Bush is handling the economy.
  • August 17, 2005, Rasmussen Reports: 50% disapproved and 49% approved of Bush's performance.


  • July 26, 2005, USA Today: 51% said the "Bush administration deliberately misled the public about whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction"; 58%-37% said "the United States won't be able to establish a stable, democratic government in Iraq"; 32% said the "United States can't win the war in Iraq"; another 21% said "the United States could win the war, but they don't think it will"; only 43% predicted a victory.



  • April 18, 2005, CBS News: 51% disapproved, 44% overall approval rating (March 43%, January and February 49%); only 53% approve of Bush's war against terrorism, 39% approve of Bush's job of handling the war in Iraq, and 34% approve of Bush's job with the economy.
  • April 14, 2005, Harris Poll: 56% negative, 44% positive; "the worst numbers of his presidency, and a drop from 48 percent positive, 51 percent negative in February (and 50% positive, 49% negative last November)."
  • April 11, 2005, Gallup Poll: 49% disapproved, 45% overall approval rating of Bush's performance.



  • May 24, 2004, CBS News: 41% approval rating; "more than six in ten say the country is heading in the wrong direction."
  • May 20, 2004, Zogby International: 42% job approval rating; "also the lowest of his presidency. Not since Harry S Truman in 1948 has a president won a second term with an approval rating below 50 percent."


  • February 18, 2004, USA Today: "Just 42% said the president has a clear plan for solving the country's problems."

Related SourceWatch Resources

External Links