New Poll: Bush’s Numbers Rising

The Penn/Annenberg survey that showed President Bush with a 61% approval rating just after Thanksgiving was widely reported; now Ipsos has published a poll, based on interviews conducted between Dec. 1 and Dec. 3, that is intended to focus on economic news and its impact on Bush’s standing.
The complete results are here. Newspaper reports on the poll have emphasized its finding that 50% approve the President’s handling of the economy, up from 45% in October. Overall, the poll’s respondents approved of Bush’s job performance by a 53% to 44% margin.
As we have pointed out in the past, public perception of the economy lags far behind actual economic trends. What is interesting to me about the Ipsos results is how many people apparently haven’t gotten the word that the economy is starting to boom. By a 40% to 37% margin, respondents say they are less comfortable about making a major purchase now than they would have been six months ago. And, while very few–just 11%–expect their local economy to be weaker in six months than it is now, more people say their local economy will be the same (51%) than expect their local economy to improve (47%).
This suggests that there is still considerable up-side for President Bush on this issue, as awareness of positive economic news continues to percolate through the electorate. Also, the Ipsos poll is of “randomly selected adults;” a survey of likely voters would undoubtedly produce better numbers for the President.

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