Bush administration approval ratings: Tracking the Numbers 2006

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The following are Bush administration approval ratings: Tracking the Numbers for 2006.

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 2004-2005.



  • November 11, 2006: Newsweek poll (conducted November 9-10): 31% approve of way Bush is doing his job; 66% believe Bush "will be unable to get much done" and 32% that Bush "can be effective"; and 63% "say they’re dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country".
  • November 6, 2006: New York Times/CBS News: 8% believe "current military strategy is correct"; 61% believe US should change military strategy in Iraq; 27% think US should remove all troops from Iraq.
  • November 6, 2006: CNN poll (Opinion Research Corp.) (conducted November 3-5): 61% disapprove/35% approve of way Bush is doing his job; 41% of "likely voters saying their disapproval of his performance will affect their vote for Tuesday's elections for control of Congress."
  • November 6, 2006: USA TODAY/Gallup Poll (conducted November 2-5): By 51%-44% among likely voters—Democrats favored over Republicans for Congress. In Missouri, "voters approved 49%-38% of an ad that showed actor Michael J. Fox, visibly affected by Parkinson's disease, speaking in support" of embryonic stem cell research and Claire McCaskill. See Rush Limbaugh article for details.


  • October 24, 2006: CNN poll (Opinion Research Corp.): 20% of Americans believe U.S. is winning war in Iraq, 18% believe insurgents are winning, and 60% say no one is winning; 64% oppose war in Iraq and 57% want U.S. to "announce it will pull all troops by a certain date."
  • October 22, 2006: Newsweek poll (released October 20, 2006): 55% "would like to see Democrats take control of Congress" and 37% would vote Republican; 57% disapproved/35% approved Bush's job performance; 67% dissatisfied with the direction things are moving in U.S.; 65% felt U.S. losing ground in Iraq.
  • October 13, 2006: Harris Interactive poll: 34% Americans voted Bush "excellent" or "good" (38% in September); 47% of registered voters said they would vote Democrat to 35% Republican; 64% said scandals just the "tip of the iceberg", compared to 25% who said "isolated incidents"; 62% said country on wrong track; 29% said war most important issue, 15% said economy, 13% said health care, and 11% said immigration.
  • October 10, 2006 USA TODAY/Gallup poll: 37% approve of job Bush is doing (down from 44% in September); 54% said "GOP leaders who knew about Foley's actions for months or years did not act against Foley earlier 'for political reasons'"; 43% said House Speaker Dennis Hastert should resign/36% did not; and 56%-40% "majority said sending troops to Iraq was a mistake — the widest disapproval margin in a year."
  • October 10, 2006: Washington Post/ABC News poll: 32% approve of job Congress is doing ("lowest level in more than a decade"); 54% trust Democrats more/35% trust Republicans more "to deal with the biggest problems the nation is confronting"; and 55% said "congressional Democrats deserve to be reelected next month" but only 39% said "Republicans deserve to return to office."
  • October 10, 2006: CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll: 52% think House Speaker Dennis Hastert should resign; 75% said "Republicans took inappropriate steps"; and 52% "also said they believe the GOP leadership didn't investigate the charges earlier because they were deliberately covering the scandal up."
  • October 10, 2006: New York Times/CBS News poll (conducted October 5-8): 79% said "House Republican leaders were more concerned about their political standing than about the safety of teenage Congressional pages"; 46% approve of way Bush is "handling campaign against terrorism"; 40% think U.S. "did right thing in taking military action against Iraq".
  • October 9, 2006: Washington Post/ABC News poll: "Three out of 10 Americans think the recent fall in gasoline prices is a result of domestic political factors, including White House and Republican Party efforts to influence the November elections. That's nearly as many as the 35 percent who attribute the recent price decline to market forces or supply and demand."
  • October 7, 2006: Newsweek Poll: 33% approve of job Bush is doing, down from 36% in August; only 25% "satisfied with the direction of the country", 67% are not ... "Fully 53 percent of Americans want the Democrats to win control of Congress next month, including 10 percent of Republicans, compared to just 35 percent who want the GOP to retain power. If the election were held today, 51 percent of likely voters would vote for the Democrat in their district versus 39 percent who would vote for the Republican. And while the race is closer among male voters (46 percent for the Democrats vs. 42 percent for the Republicans), the Democrats lead among women voters 56 to 34 percent."
  • October 5, 2006, TIME Poll: 2/3 of "Americans aware of the congressional-page sex scandal believe Republican leaders tried to cover it up"; 1/4 said "the affair makes them less likely to vote for G.O.P. candidates in their districts come November"; 54% "said they would be more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress, compared with 39% who favored the Republican"
  • October 3, 2006, Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll: 41% less favorable/18% more favorable toward continued Republican control of Congress (based on recent news developments); 34% favorably inclined/23% unfavorably inclined toward Democratic control; Bush's approval rating at 39%, down from 42% earlier in month.


  • September 17, 2006, Rasmussen Reports poll: "The latest Bush bounce is over. Today, 41% of American adults approve of the way that President Bush is performing his job and 57% disapprove. That’s exactly where the numbers were before the President’s 9/11 speech."
  • September 4, 2006, CNN poll: 29% said things in U.S. going "pretty badly"; 25% said "very badly"; 37% said "fairly well"; and 9% said "very well". "A majority—55 percent—said they are more likely to back a challenger in races on this year's ballot. Such anti-incumbent sentiment is higher than the 48 percent recorded as 'pro-challenger' in a similar survey in 1994, when the GOP took control of both houses of Congress."
  • September 1, 2006, Associated Press/Ipsos poll: "Doubts about the war on terrorism are growing. Most people worry that the cost in blood and money may be too high, and they don’t think al-Qaida kingpin Osama bin Laden will ever be caught." 46% are confident bin Laden "will ever be caught" (down from 67% in December 2003); 43% "say they’re embarrassed by the U.S. image overseas."


  • August 24, 2006, American Prospect Online: See "U.S.A. TODAY Cherry-Picks from Its Own Poll to Show Bush, GOP Rising" for evaluation of statistics.
  • August 24, 2006: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll: 43% said U.S. safer than before 9/11 attacks; 33% believe U.S. is safe; 25% believe U.S. is less safe.
  • August 23, 2006: Associated Press/Ipsos poll: 60% "believe that in the long run there will be more terrorism in the United States because of the war in Iraq."
  • August 22, 2006: New York Times poll: 51% saw "no link between the war in Iraq and the broader antiterror effort", a 10% jump since June.
  • August 21, 2006: CNN poll: 35% "favor the war in Iraq" and 61% "oppose it—the highest opposition noted in any CNN poll since the conflict began more than three years ago." Bush's overall disapproval rating 57% versus 42% approval. 44% believe Bush is honest and trustworthy and 54% do not.
  • August 15, 2006: Gallup poll: 37% approve of job Bush is doing: "His approval rating has bounced between 36% and 40% since early June, after hitting a personal low of 31% in May."
  • August 12, 2006: Associated Press/Ipsos poll: 33% approval rating on the handling of nearly every issue, matching record low; 19% who backed Bush in 2004 now ready to vote Democrat in fall general elections. Note: survey was taken before latest terrorist alert.
  • August 9, 2006: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll: 60% oppose U.S. war in Iraq and 61% said they would support "withdrawal of at least some U.S. troops by end of the year" (of which 26% favored withdrawal of all troops, 35% said not all should be withdrawn, and only 34% favored maintaining troop levels); half the sample was asked about a timetable: 57% favored setting a timetable, 40% did not, and 4% had no opinion.


  • July 28, 2006: Gallup poll: 52% want "all U.S. troops out of Iraq within a year, with 19% advocating immediate withdrawal. In the summer of 1970, Gallup found that 48% wanted a pullout within a year [from Vietnam], with 23% embracing the 'immediate' option. Just 7% want to send more troops now, vs. 10% then." 56% "call the decision to invade Iraq a 'mistake,' with 41% disagreeing. Again this echoes the view of the Vietnam war in 1970, when that exact same number, 56%, in May 1970 called it a mistake in a Gallup poll."
  • July 27, 2006: NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll (conducted July 21-24): 27% think US headed in right direction; 45% approve/38% disapprove of Bush's handling of Israel's battle with Hezbollah in Lebanon and 53% believe conflict will lead to larger war in Middle East; 60% doubt war in Iraq "will come to successful conclusion":
"For the eighth straight survey since October 2005, President Bush's job approval rating sits below 40 percent; for the fourth straight time since March, just a third approve of his handling of Iraq; and also for a fourth straight time since March, only a quarter believe the nation is headed in the right direction."
  • July 13, 2006: Fox News poll: 36% approve job president is doing (down from 41% two weeks ago and 40% in mid-June). "Bush lost ground this week among some key constituent groups, such as Republicans, whites and men. Overall, 53 percent of Americans say they disapprove."
  • July 4, 2006: Bloomberg-Los Angeles Times poll (conducted June 24-27): 54% of respondents "think the situation in Iraq was not worth going to war over" (down 4% since April, but up 4% since January).
  • June 30, 2006: TIME Magazine poll: 35% approve of Bush's performance (down from 37% in March); 33% approve of job Bush is doing in Iraq (35% in March); 36% approve of job Bush is doing on economy (39% in March); 45% approve of job Bush is doing on war on terror (up 1% since March); only 28% said country is going in right direction.


  • June 16, 2006: Washington Post-ABC poll (conducted June 22-25): 47% "now favors setting a deadline for troops to exit from Iraq (up 8 points since December); 51% oppose firm timetable (down from 60%).
  • June 15, 2006: NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll (conducted June 9-12): 37% approve Bush's job performance (up one point since April's survey); 64% disapprove/23% approve Congress's job.
  • June 6, 2006: Pew Research Center (conducted April 27-May 22): 33% approve/56% disapprove of job Bush is doing (11% "don't know"), compared to 2004, when 48% approved/44% disapproved/8% "don't know".
  • June 1, 2006: Quinnipiac University Poll (posted by Editor & Publisher): American voters selected George W. Bush "as easily the worst American president in the past 61 years, with fellow Republican Ronald Reagan picked as the best. ... Bush was named by 34% of voters, followed by Richard Nixon at 17% and Bill Clinton at 16% ... Leading the list for best President since 1945 is Ronald Reagan with 28%, and Clinton with 25%."


  • May 22, 2006: Zogby Poll (conducted May 12-16): September 11, 2001 Investigation: 42% "believe there has indeed been a cover up (with 10% unsure)"; 45% "think 'Congress or an International Tribunal should re-investigate the attacks, including whether any US government officials consciously allowed or helped facilitate their success'" (with 8% unsure)".
"Poll co-author W. David Kubiak concurs, saying 'Despite years of relentless media promotion, whitewash and 9/11 Commission propaganda, the official 9/11 story still can't even muster 50% popular support. Since this myth has been the administration's primary source of political and war-making power, this level of distrust has revolutionary implications for everyone working for peace, justice and civil liberties.'"
  • May 17, 2006: Washington Post-ABC News Poll: 69% said U.S. is "now off track"; 56% "would prefer to see Democrats in control of Congress after the elections"; "Nearly three times as many Americans say they will use the elections to express opposition to the president (30 percent) than to show support for him (12 percent)."
  • May 14, 2006: USA Today/Gallup Poll: Approximately 67% "disapprove of a massive Pentagon database containing the records of billions of phone calls made by ordinary citizens" and approximately 67% "are concerned that the program may signal other, not-yet-disclosed intelligence efforts directed at the general public"; "By 51%-43%, those polled disapprove of the program."
  • May 13, 2006: OpEdNews/Zogby People's Poll: Of "Non Fox News Viewers, 64% support Censure of George W Bush, 75% Want Cheney Impeachment Investigation Started."
  • May 11, 2006: Harris Interactive Poll: 29% think Bush is "doing an 'excellent or pretty good' job as president" and 69% "say 'things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track'."
  • May 9, 2006: New York Times/CBS News Poll (conducted May 4-8): 31% overall approval rating; approximately 67% said "the country was in worse shape than it was when [Bush] became president six years ago"; 39% said going to war in Iraq was a good decision and approximately 67% said they had "little or no confidence" Bush could successfully end the war; 13% approved of way Bush is handling gas prices; and approximately 25% "approved of his handling of immigration".
  • May 8, 2006: USA Today/Gallup Poll (conducted May 5-6): 31% approve of Bush's job performance, "the lowest of his presidency and a warning sign for Republicans in the November elections," and his "disapproval rating also reached a record: 65%."
"Only four presidents have scored lower approval ratings since the Gallup Poll began regularly measuring it in the mid-1940s: Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and the first George Bush. When Nixon, Carter and the elder Bush sank below 35%, they never again registered above 40%. ... Truman twice sank into the low 30s and then rose into the 60s, but the third time his rating fell, it stayed below 40% as well."
  • May 5, 2006: Associated Press/Ipsos Poll: 33% approve of Bush's job performance, with 45% "self-described conservatives" now disapproving of the president; 25% approve job Congress is doing, and a "whopping" 65% of conservatives disapprove of Congress; 51% want Democrats rather than Republicans (34%) to control Congress; 73% say US is on wrong track and 60% of conservatives say "America is headed in wrong direction".
  • May 2, 2006: USA Today/Gallup Poll (conducted April 28-30): 34% approval rating for Bush, plus "the lowest ratings of his presidency on his handling of the economy, energy and foreign affairs. He tied his previous low on Iraq: 32%"; Democrats lead Republicans 54%-39% in preference among registered voters "in a congressional race." "Since 1950, there have been six times when presidents had Gallup approval ratings below 50% in the spring as their party sought to keep control of Congress. The president's party lost House seats in all six years, ranging from five in 1968 to 54 in 1994."
  • May 1, 2006 CBS News Poll: 33% approve of Bush's job performance, 58% disapprove, and Bush's "approval rating among Republicans has dropped" to 68%; 74% disapprove of Bush's handling of the gas crisis; 47% think "Democrats would be more effective than the Republicans at keeping gas prices down" and only 20% "thought Republicans would handle the situation better"; 30% approve of Bush's handling of Iraq and 33% approve of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's handling of Iraq.
  • May 1, 2006: CNN Poll (conducted April 21-23 by Opinion Research Corporation): Only 9% "thought the U.S. mission in Iraq had been accomplished"; 40% believed mission "would be complete someday"; and 44% said U.S. "would never accomplish its goals in Iraq". Also see "'Mission Accomplished' By The Numbers," Think Progress, May 1, 2006.


  • April 27, 2006: NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll (conducted April 21-24 by Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart and Republican Bill McInturff): "Bush has now spent nine consecutive months at 40 percent or below in the poll, a feat exceeded only by Richard Nixon (13 months) and Harry Truman (26 months)" and just 24% believe US "headed in the right direction" and only 17% think economy "will improve in the next 12 months."
  • April 24, 2006: Opinion Research Corporation for CNN: 32% approved of Bush's performance, 60% disapproved, and 8% "said they do not know."
  • April 20, 2006: Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Corp. (conducted April 18 and 19): 33% approve of job Bush is doing, down from 36% two weeks ago and 39% in mid-March. "A year ago this time, 47 percent approved and two years ago 50 percent approved (April 2004)."
  • April 14, 2006: USA Today/Gallup Poll: 64% "want all or some of the U.S. troops in Iraq to come home now"; nearly 50% said US "'should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along as best they can on their own.' Three years ago, just one-third felt that way"; "Public opinion now is reminiscent of the Vietnam War. In 1964, during the buildup of U.S. forces, only 20% said the United States should 'mind its own business.' By 1972, with anti-war protests in full swing, the percentage had nearly doubled."
  • April 7, 2006: AP/Ipsos Poll: 36% approve job Bush is doing; 40% approve of Bush's performance on foreign policy and the war on terror; 35% approve of Bush's handling of Iraq; 30% approve "Congress' job performance, and Republicans seem to be shouldering the blame."


  • March 31, 2006: TIME (conducted March 29-30): 56% disapprove of Bush's handling of illegal immigration; 72% "favor a 'guest worker' program in a head-to-head match-up over a House bill that would criminalize illegal immigration," which only 25% support; 68% say illegal immigration is "an extremely/very serious problem in the United States"; 82% "believe the U.S. is not doing enough to secure its borders"; 56% "favor building a security fence along the U.S.-Mexican border"; and 71% "support major penalties for employers who hire illegals."
  • March 18, 2006: Newsweek: 36% approve of job Bush is doing; 44% approve of way Bush is handling terrorism and homeland security; 29% approve of way Bush is handling situation in Iraq (a full 65% disapprove); 28% approve Bush's energy policy and 28% approve Bush's health policy; 36% approve Bush's handling of the economy; 42% said "they would support Congressional censure of the president."
  • March 15, 2006: CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll (conducted March 10-12): The Democratic Party is leading the Republican Party 55% to 39% "among registered voters in the generic Congressional ballot."
  • March 6, 2006: Washington Post/ABC News Poll (conducted March 2-5): 80% "believed that recent sectarian violence made civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third said such a conflict was 'very likely' to occur. Expectations for an all-out sectarian war in Iraq extended beyond party lines. More than seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Democrats and political independents believe civil war was likely."
  • March 2, 2006: Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times Poll (conducted February 25-March 1): 38% overall job approval rating, down 5% since last month; 54% disapprove of Bush's "performance on terrorism"; "almost two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Bush's handling of Iraq, amid a surge in sectarian violence there"; 64% say U.S. "on the wrong track" and 30% say "it's going in the right direction"; 58% "oppose allowing DP World, Dubai's state-owned port operator, to acquire facilities at six U.S. ports" (most 'strongly' opposed); only 17% support it.


  • February 28, 2006: LeMoyne College/Zogby Poll: "An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately." "While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy."
  • February 27, 2006: CBS News Poll: "President Bush's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high." Regarding DP World control over U.S. ports: "Seven in 10 Americans, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they're opposed to the agreement."
  • February 16, 2006: Harris Interactive Poll: "Any benefit President Bush may have gained from his State of the Union speech didn't last long enough to be measured in the latest poll, as Mr. Bush's ratings are now 40% positive, down from a positive rating of 43% in January, and 58% negative, up from 56% negative."
  • February 13, 2006: CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll (conducted February 9-12): 39% overall approval rating (down from 42% percent in a poll taken February 6-9); 56% disapprove of way president is handling his job.


  • January 27, 2006: Washington Post/ABC News Poll (conducted January 23-26): 46% said Bush was "honest and trustworthy, down 3% since December 18, 2005, but up 6% since November 2, 2005, when only 40% responded positively.
  • January 27, 2006: CBS-New York Times Poll (conducted January 20-25): "The public thinks the federal deficit will grow larger by the end of President Bush's second term and many people think the health care system will be weaker by then"; 51% "expect seniors will pay more for prescription drugs"; "Bush is viewed unfavorably by 48 percent and viewed favorably by 37 percent as he prepares for his sixth State of the Union address next week."
  • January 26, 2006: "Zogby International showed 52 percent of American adults thought Congress should consider impeaching Bush if he wiretapped U.S. citizens without court approval, including 59 percent of independents and 23 percent of Republicans."
  • January 23, 2006: USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll (conducted January 20-23): 51% said Bush administration "was wrong to intercept conversations involving a party inside the USA without a warrant"; 58% "support the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the program."
  • January 23, 2006: American Research Group (conducted January 19-22): 36% approve / 58% disapprove of Bush's job as president; 34% approve / 60% disapprove of Bush's handling of economy and only 14% say economy is getting better, 52% say it is getting worse.
  • January 6, 2006: Associated Press-Ipsos Poll (conducted January 3-5): 65% said country headed in wrong direction; 59% disapprove Bush's handling of job as President; 59% disapprove Bush's handling of economy; 62% disapprove Bush's handling of health care, education and the environment; 54% disapprove Bush's handling of foreign policy issues and the war on terrorism; and 58% disapprove Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.

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