Does Everyone Hate President Bush?

Some certainly do. And one could easily get the impression that the Bush-haters have become a majority. To be sure, President Bush’s approval ratings continue to languish in the 30s. But Presidential approval ratings are a very blunt instrument, and these data from the Tarrance Group suggest that the full story is more balanced.
Most striking to me is that 56% of respondents approve of the President personally. This seems remarkable in view of the endless, savage attacks that have been launched on Bush by the Left and repeated, often uncritically, in the mainstream media.
Beyond that, a number of President Bush’s policies are popular: reauthorizing the Protect America Act (70%), a budget that is lower than proposed by Democrats and that contains no tax increases (65%), the recently-enacted stimulus package (64%), the surge in Iraq (52%), and others. In addition, 73% agree with the proposition that the Bush administration went on the offensive against terrorists, and 65% say that it has kept Americans safe from terrorist attacks.
For many reasons, 2008 will be a challenging year for Republicans. But these data indicate that the Democrats may be mistaken if they think that “tarring” any Republican candidate by association with the President is a sure-fire strategy.
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