CNN/Gallup/USAToday: Bush's Approval Ratings Continue At 76% : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

Terrorism Controversy Does Little to Damage Bush's Standing

PRINCETON, NJ -- In recent days, the war on terrorism has been thrust back into the national spotlight, first with the revelation that the Bush administration had information about possible plane hijackings before Sept. 11 and, more recently, with renewed warnings about future terrorist attacks. A new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that these news events have done little to affect the way Americans rate the president and the government's ability to protect citizens from terrorist attacks. However, in the face of the new government warnings, Americans increasingly expect further acts of terrorism to occur in the United States.

Public Gives Bush, Administration Benefit of the Doubt on Warnings

The poll, conducted May 20-22, suggests the public agrees with the administration's contention that the information available to it prior to Sept. 11 was not sufficient to prevent the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Sixty-three percent of Americans take this point of view, while 25% believe there was sufficient information to thwart the attacks. When asked to assess the job White House officials did in handling this information, the public is somewhat more divided, with 54% saying the officials did "the best job they could have done" and 44% saying the administration could have done a better job. Among those who say the White House could have done a better job, 52% say the officials' actions represented a "serious error," while 43% say their actions were an "understandable mistake."

So far, the revelations have had little effect on public evaluations of Bush. His job approval rating is holding steady at 76%, unchanged from the previous reading in early May. Only 17% of Americans disapprove of the job Bush is doing as president. Among this group, only 13% (or 2% of all Americans) mention Bush's knowledge of a threat of terrorist attacks prior to Sept. 11 as a reason they disapprove of his performance. Another 15% of disapprovers (and 2% of Americans overall) mention Bush's handling of the war on terrorism as a reason for their negative evaluation.

Other measures of Bush's political standing have changed little following the terrorism controversy. Eighty percent of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of Bush, compared to a 79% favorability rating from an April 29-May 1 poll. Additionally, the public continues to overwhelmingly approve of Bush's handling of foreign affairs (70%) and of U.S. military action abroad to fight terrorism (83%) -- both ratings showing no change since they were last measured, in early April.

-- Cherri's Alter Ego (, May 25, 2002


Just goes to show 'ya what percentage of 'Merican Sheeple Nitwits rely on the major media for their news.

There was a time when news correspondents were in the foxholes with the soldiers to provide eyewitness reports of what was really going on in our wars. Nowadays the media is handed a carefully scripted press release and essentially told what to report. That the Bush Adminstration censors the truth and meticulously shapes what we are told, there is no doubt! The "approval" rating only mirrors how well they've bamboozled the general public who is too lazy to look behind the curtain to see the shamster Wizard playing games with reality.

-- Eyes (, May 27, 2002.

Eyes Wide Shut:

Instead of calling the general public "lazy nitwits", why don't you point the way to raise this curtain, O Wise One? Pardon me, but I get so weary of this condescending attitude.

-- (, May 27, 2002.

Bush is a crooked scumbag, no doubt about it. The sleazebags that work for him have total control over information presented to the public, so most blind sheeple Americans won't find out what a criminal he is until it's too late to change the damage he has done.

-- (polls@major.snowjob), May 27, 2002.


-- (shuckin' and jivin'@sheep.dip), May 27, 2002.

Bush's numbers will stay high for the next six months at least, unless he does something unimaginably vile or idiotic. What this measures is not the depth of support for Mr. Bush, or even for his policies, but because of 911, this particular poll is mostly a measure of the Pearl Harbort Effect -- our continuing sense that America (whatever its faults) did not deserve this attack upon us and there must be no confusion about the guilt of those who perpetrated it or condoned it, or about the need for their punishment. There's nothing like a set of violent foreign enemies attacking American soil to make a president's polling numbers look good. Who is president is fairly incidental.

-- Little Nipper (, May 27, 2002.

Bush the First made a mistake when he let the war with Iraq end too soon. Bush the Second prolly won't make that mistake.

-- helen (, May 27, 2002.


I wonder how far that extends? Taken to an extreme, it sounds like the president leads the country the way a carved wooden figurehead leads a ship. If we're attacked and the president responds, that's guaranteed high ratings even if he's a moron or might have prevented the attack. If the economy is booming and the president rides the wave, he'll get overwhelming support even if most economists agree we're overextended and the president is getting blowjobs from interns in his spare time.

The popularity of a president, then, becomes a function of two basic forces -- external circumstances largely beyond his control; and how well his team can spin the facts, fabricate moods and manage perceptions. The Prime Rule for a president becomes, Don't Fuck It Up, don't say anything unscripted, whatever you do don't tell any jokes. If good things happen, you're golden. Above all else, pay attention to opinion polls. Or rather, let your news managers and speech therapists do that. It seems to be OK to squint when reading the TelePrompTer.

-- Flint (, May 27, 2002.

Lady Vi - the majority of the 'Merican public doesn't want to pull back the curtain because it would interfere with their kids' soccer games and their own Patriotic SHOPPING! The Truth is out's allll over the net if they bothered to look but willful ignorance is bliss and actually thinking for themselves rather than swallow the crap that's handed to them requires more effort and brain power then they care to exert.

-- Oh (, May 27, 2002.

The Truth is out's allll over the net, May 28, 2002.

Taken to an extreme, it sounds like the president leads the country the way a carved wooden figurehead leads a ship.

It does not follow. The power of the president is quite real. This includes the power to alter the course of the nation, through his policies and his effectiveness at implementing them -- or lack of it. Anyone conversant with politics knows the president wields enormous power and influence over the budget, foreign and domestic policy.

My comment was in regard to this public opinion poll only. Responding positively to such a poll is a cheap, easy way to one's express general patrotism. It has no permanence. It isn't even a vote, just an opinion -- and an ephemeral one at that. In spite of the fact that many presidents have registered over 60% approval ratings, sometimes even 90% or 95% approval, damn few of them have ever received more than 55% of the vote in an election.

-- Little Nipper (, May 28, 2002.

Ya'll be coerrect Nippah. Opinion polls be snapshots of efemral emoshuns of de votahs. But they work! Ah knows. Percepshun be reality. Politics be marketing and dat means focus groups and polls up de wazoo until we gits the right results. Heah?

-- (Carville@DN.C), May 28, 2002.

Carville, everyone knows you are just a second-rate Mike Deaver wannabe. Everything you know you learned by watching the Reagan PR apparatchiks putting their spin moves on the press. Just like Kevin Garnet learned all his moves from Mike Jordan.

-- Little Nipper (, May 28, 2002.

My serpent-head is head and shoulders above Deaver. (Lee Atwater is the touchstone).

-- (Mary Matalin @, May 28, 2002.

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