More than 4 in 10 Americans strongly disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as president, according to the latest CNN/Gallup poll, the highest of any president except Nixon in the waning months of his presidency. Just 40 percent of Americans believe Bush can manage the country effectively; Bush registers a 38% approval rating with a 60% disapproval rating.
When Americans were asked a follow-up of whether they strongly approve or disapprove of Bush, more than twice as many Americans say they strongly disapprove (44%) as say they strongly approve (20%) of Bush. The strong disapproval rating is the highest Gallup has measured for Bush by a percentage point, and is the highest for any president since Richard Nixon during the Watergate era.
Nixon is the only other president to register strong disapproval ratings above 40% in Gallup Polls. Nixon had a 48% strong disapproval rating in February 1974, and a 46% rating days before he resigned from office in August 1974. Gallup first asked about strength of approval during the Lyndon Johnson administration, and has asked it periodically for every president since.
Forty-nine percent of Republicans now strongly approve of Bush, the lowest expression of solidarity with Bush by his own party to date. A majority of Democrats, 68%, strongly disapprove of Bush -- as they have each time the intensity follow-up has been asked since September 2003. For the first time, a majority of independents, 53%, now strongly disapprove of Bush.