Public Opinion Polls Still Question Republican Leadership

Sunday, August 27, 2006 at 06:23 PM

More poll results on terrorism, Iraq, and the leadership in general.  Overall, a very mixed bag, with Bush approval ratings somewhat on the rise, but a majority of respondents unhappy with the state of the country, and a plurality of the opinion that, to date, the terrorists are winning the "war no terror."

1. Time Magazine:

The bad news is that this poll shows Bush's approval ratings on the rise, up to 38% from the previous poll's 35%.  Approval of the handling of the economy was up 5 points to 38%, while the handling of Iraq actually edged up 4 points to 34%.  And opinion on which party can best handle the terrorist threat has shifted from 44% for Democrats and 33% for the Repubs, to 41% for Repubs and only 33% for the Dems.

However, 54% thought U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq has hurt America's standing in the war on terrorism (40% thought it had helped), and 51% thought the U.S. handling of the conflict between Hizbollah and Israel had caused harm (29% thought it has had a positive effect). 59% agreed that Bush doesn't have "a clear and well thought-out policy to deal with terrorism" (36% disagreed) and 49% said Bush is using the threat of terrorism for political reasons (45% disagreed).

On the state of the nation generally, the respondents remain unhappy: 66% find the country in "deep and serious trouble today" as opposed to only 30% who find the problems we face today "no worse than at any other time in recent years." A mere 5% thought things are going "very well" in the country, 47% said "fairly well," 30% said "fairly badly" and 17% "very badly."

As to how people would vote if elections for Congress were held today, 51% of registered voters said they'd pick a Democrat, while 40% said they'd vote Republican.

2. SurveyUSA:

"Who is winning the war on terror? The United States? Or the terrorists?"

++45% say the terrorists

++41% say the United States

++15% aren't sure