When a Fox News poll released last week showed George W. Bush's approval rating jumping five points to 38 percent, we suspected that it would prove to be an anomaly: Every other major poll released recently had Bush in the low 30s and falling, and there was little reason to think that the White House was succeeding in turning things around so dramatically so soon.
It looks like we were right. A new USA Today/Gallup Poll out today has the president's approval rating dropping three points in a week, all the way down to 31 percent. How low is that? Only four presidents have done worse since Gallup started keeping track: Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and the current president's father.
Overall, Gallup says, 65 percent of the public disapproves of the president's performance. Only 52 percent of self-described conservatives approve. "You hear people say he has a hard core that will never desert him, and that has been the case for most of the administration," University of Wisconsin polling expert Charles Franklin tells USA Today. "But for the last few months, we started to see that hard core seriously erode in support."