More than half think Bush isn't 'honest and ethical'
A new poll shows that nearly half of the American public would prefer
a Democrat to be elected president in 2008, and over two-thirds are
against President Bush's "surge" strategy.
"When President George W. Bush declared earlier this month that the
only way to quell sectarian *** in Iraq was to send more than
20,000 additional American troops, he probably knew the move would be
unpopular," Brian Braiker writes for Newsweek. "Indeed, the latest
NEWSWEEK poll finds that Bushs call for a 'surge' in troops is
opposed by two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans and supported by only
a quarter (26 percent)."
"Almost half of all respondents (46 percent) want to see American
troops pulled out 'as soon as possible,'" the article continues.
The poll also adds that when asked about Bush, "more than half of the
public thinks he is not 'honest and ethical' (54 percent) and lacks
'strong leadership qualities' (57 percent)."
Excerpts from Newsweek press release on poll:
Less than two weeks after President Bush unveiled his plan to increase
troop levels in Iraq, a 68-percent majority of Americans strongly (45
percent) or moderately (23 percent) oppose Bush's "surge" strategy,
according to the January 17-18 Newsweek Poll. Four*** percent
moderately favor the plan and only 12 percent strongly favor it. Half
(50 percent) of those polled advocate a reduction of troop levels in
Iraq, versus 23 percent who want to increase the number of U.S. troops
and 18 percent who want to keep troop levels the same. Generally, only
24 percent of Americans approve of how Bush is handling the war-an
all-time low in the Newsweek Poll; 70 percent disapprove. And
two-thirds (67 percent) say they think the United States is losing
ground in its efforts to provide security and democracy in Iraq; only
24 percent say we are making progress.
Looking ahead to the 2008 presidential election, 49 percent of
registered voters say they would prefer to see a Democrat take office
versus 28 percent who would favor a Republican. In various potential
match-ups, top candidates polled very closely among registered voters:
for Democrat Hillary Clinton versus Republican John McCain, 48 percent
of registered voters said they would choose Clinton while 47 percent
said McCain; for Democrat Barack Obama versus McCain, 46 percent said
they would choose Obama, while 44 percent said McCain; for Democrat
John Edwards versus McCain, 48 percent chose Edwards, while 43 percent
chose McCain; for Clinton versus Republican Rudy Giuliani, 47 percent
chose Clinton, while 48 percent chose Giuliani; for Obama versus
Giuliani, 45 percent chose Obama, while 47 percent chose Giuliani; and
for Edwards versus Giuliani, 48 percent chose Edwards while 45 percent
Meanwhile, taking a closer look at Americans' thoughts on the
situation in Iraq, a majority now say they are not too confident (29
percent) or not at all confident (36 percent) that the Iraqi
government will be able to control the *** and provide security
to its citizens if U.S. troops are withdrawn. Twenty-two percent say
they are somewhat confident and 5 percent say they are very confident,
the poll shows. When it comes to our own leadership, 55 percent of
those polled say they have more faith in the Democratic Congressional
leaders to make decisions regarding Iraq policy, versus 32 percent who
trust Bush to make better decisions. When asked whether Congress
should try to block the additional funding Bush would need for
additional troops, poll respondents were split evenly: 46 percent say
lawmakers should, 46 percent say they should not.
Americans differ on what might result from increasing the number of
U.S. troops in Iraq, the poll shows. Sixty-seven percent say it is
very or somewhat likely that it will lead to increased U.S. casualties
without helping achieve our goals there; 62 percent say it is very or
somewhat likely that it will make the Iraqis more dependent on U.S.
military protection and only delay the time when they are ready to
take responsibility for their own security; 33 percent say it is
somewhat or very likely that it will give the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds
time to settle their differences; and 42 percent say it is somewhat or
very likely that it will help reduce *** in Baghdad. The poll
shows Americans are also split on the United States' priorities in
Iraq. Forty-six percent favor withdrawing troops as soon as possible
to minimize the number of American casualties while 45 percent say we
should maintain troop levels for at least another year or two to give
Iraqis more time to settle their differences and reach a political
President Bush's job approval rating remains at its all-time low in
the Newsweek Poll: 31 percent. Sixty-two percent of those polled
disapprove of how he is handling his job as president. Only 30 percent
say they are satisfied with how things are going in the United States;
62 percent are dissatisfied. On the subject of Bush's leadership, 57
percent say he does not possess strong leadership qualities, 41
percent say he does. This represents a near reversal from Newsweek's
September 29-30, 2005 Poll, in which 50 percent of those polled said
he had strong leadership qualities while 47 percent said he did not.
In another turnaround from the September 29-30, 2005 poll, 54 percent
of respondents in the latest poll say they do not think Bush is honest
and ethical, versus 41 percent who say he is. In the earlier poll, 50
percent found him to be honest and ethical, while 45 percent did not.
Only 35 percent of respondents in the most recent poll feel Bush cares
about "people like them," versus 60 percent who do not.