Mr. President? They don't trust you anymore

New polls bring bad news and complications for George W. Bush.

Published July 14, 2005 1:01PM (EDT)

Three new polls out over the last few days offer a lot of bad news and a few complications for George W. Bush, underscoring the risk that the Karl Rove scandal creates for a president whose political capital seems pretty well spent.

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has the president's overall approval rating dropping to 46 percent, just one point higher than the lowest rating recorded since Bush took office. Worse for the White House: The poll shows that Americans' trust in Bush has reached an all-time low. Only 41 percent say Bush is "honest and trustworthy." That's down nine points since January, and it comes in a poll taken before the worst of the Karl Rove revelations began to sink in. If Americans come to grasp with the fact that the White House lied about Rove's involvement in the Plame case -- or about the way Bush would respond to proof of a leak -- their trust in Bush could drop even further, making it more difficult for him to vouch for Rove or push through a Supreme Court nominee on the basis of his "I know him, he's a good man" approach.

Meanwhile, a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll released earlier this week suggests that Bush didn't get the boost some of us expected he'd get in the wake of the London bombings. Although Bush's overall job approval rating ticked up a bit in the poll, fewer Americans say that the war in Iraq has been worth the cost. And the percentage of the public that thinks the war in Iraq has made the United States less safe shot up 15 points, from 39 percent in June to 54 percent now.

And then there's a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll related to the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor. While Bush's base expects him to appoint a judge who will roll back abortion rights, the great majority of the country seems to have a different view: Sixty-eight percent of the respondents in the poll said that they do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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George W. Bush Iraq Karl Rove Middle East War Room