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January 30, 2006

Pre-SOTU Polls

The last week  brought a batch of new surveys from the national pollsters.  While these include new questions that go into great depth on perceptions of the state of the union, corruption in DC and NSA wiretapping, on balance they do not indicate any significant shift in overall views of George Bush's job performance during January.  The President will address a nation that rates his performance in office roughly ten points lower than when he won reelection in November 2004. 

Here is a complete list of the most recent polls, along with links to all available data summaries and results for the President's job approval rating: 

  • Time/SRBI: 41% approve, 55% disapprove (1002 adults interviewed 1/24-26,  article, SRBI summary and results)
  • Fox News/Opinion Dynamics: 41% approve, 51% disapprove (900 registered voters interviewed 1/24-25, summary and results)
  • Cook/RT Strategies : 47% approve, 50% disapprove (1,000 adults interviewed 1/22-25, Cook's analysis and results)
  • LA Times/Bloomberg: 43% approve, 54% disapprove (1,555 adults interviewed 1/22-25, results)
  • CNN/USAToday/Gallup:  43% approve, 54% disapprove (1,006 adults interviewed 1/20-22, CNN story, USAToday story & results, Gallup summary [subscription only]). 

Six of these surveys were in the field in both early December and last week.  All but Cook/RT Strategies also fielded a poll in early January.  Although the individual polls show what appears to be random variation, the wider view continues to be one of stability, at least with respect to Bush's overall job rating.  By averaging across these comparable polls, we have an "apples to apples" average of 43% in early December and 43% as of mid last week.


PS:  For the table above, I averaged results for the Rasmussen automated tracking survey for the six days (1/21-26) that were closest to the field dates of the other late January polls.  Today, Rasmussen reports a 50% positive job rating for the interviews conducted over the last three nights (1/27-29).  It is worth noting that Rasmussen also reported a three-night result of 50% during the week between Christmas and the New Year.   Whether real or just random statistical noise, that "bump" faded quickly.

UPDATE:  Gallup has new pre-State of the Union analysis online that should be available to non-subscribers for the next 24 hours.

UPDATE II:  Franklin updates his graphics and includes this bottom line on the recent trend (or lack therof):

While some individual polls have registered relatively high approval ratings, these have not been sustained in the same poll, which in January have shown results consistent with the range of other polls, and an overall approval estimate of 42.5% as of January 26 polling.

Related Entries - Polls in the News, President Bush

Posted by Mark Blumenthal on January 30, 2006 at 02:34 PM in Polls in the News, President Bush | Permalink


Rasmussen is currently reporting another "bump" for Bush -- indeed, for the last two days his disapproval has been only 50-49. Any opinion on this?

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw | Jan 30, 2006 3:07:31 PM


Mark and Charles examined Rasmussen about a month ago: https://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2006/01/rasmussen_a_cle.html

Posted by: Robert Chung | Jan 30, 2006 3:40:16 PM

NBC/WSJ: Bush at 39, unchanged from last month.


It's generally accepted that each major party has a rock-solid base of 40%. Even the worst presidential losers in modern history got around 40% (elder Bush, 38% in '92; Mondale, 41% in '84; McGovern, 37% in '72).

By this standard, George W. Bush is right around rock-bottom. Barring some kind of huge setback that would collapse his support among Republicans, I can't see Bush going lower than the high 30's.

Posted by: Alan Reifman | Jan 30, 2006 11:02:04 PM

We have Rasmussen checking in today with an
approval rating of 50%, the only current poll with more approving than disapproving.

NBC/WSJ (1/26-1/29) has Bush's approval rating at 39%. Something's off here.

I think Rasmussen excludes some marginal Democratic voters. The rise from 43-45% to 50% in the Rasmussen poll may be due to Bush's offensive on domestic spying and reaction to Hamas' election victory.

I would like to hear some comment on this.

Posted by: mikelow | Jan 30, 2006 11:37:16 PM

Interesting comment from ABC's the Note today on SOTU:
ABC News' Polling Director Gary Langer also offers these two contextual points.

1. "Partisans watch these things; rather than torturing themselves, people who don't like the guy can just turn to another of their 100 channels. When we polled on the SOTU in 2003, we found that the president's approval rating among speech watchers was 70 percent, versus 47 percent among those who didn't watch. As we put it at the time: 'Simply put, people who don't like a particular president are considerably less apt to tune him in.'"

2. "These speeches tend to be composed of poll-tested applause lines, so the people who watch are already predisposed to like what they hear."

"We haven't done immediate post-SOTU reax polls in years (pre-war 2003 was an exception) because, given 1 and 2 above, they are so dreadfully predictable."

Posted by: DemFromCT | Jan 31, 2006 3:45:23 PM


Is there any chance on a post regarding the new Democracy Corps poll? This appears to be the first poll taken with Congressional vote actually asked by naming the incumbents or candidates in each district - which could make for a very interesting memo in itself. thanks!

Posted by: anon | Jan 31, 2006 3:47:03 PM

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