Mark Blumenthal | July 25, 2007
Topics: George Bush
This morning, The Washington Post's Peter Baker takes a closer look at why President Bush, with a disapproval rating of 65% on the latest Post/ABC survey, "is in the running for most unpopular president in the history of modern polling." While poll junkies ought to read the whole thing, this bit of historical context from pollster Patrick Caddell is especially intriguing:
"It's astonishing," said Pat Caddell, who was President Jimmy Carter's pollster. "It's hard to look at the situation today and say the country is absolutely 15 miles down in the hole. The economy's not that bad -- for some people it is, but not overall. Iraq is terribly handled, but it's not Vietnam; we're not losing 250 people a week. . . . We don't have that immediate crisis, yet the anxiety about the future is palpable. And the feeling about him is he's irrelevant to that. I think they've basically given up on him."
Baker goes on to float the theory that "the changing nature of society," and in particular of the way Americans receive their news, is partly responsible for the difference:
"A lot of the commentary that comes out of the Internet world is very harsh," said Frank J. Donatelli, White House political director for Ronald Reagan. "That has a tendency to reinforce people's opinions and harden people's opinions."
Hmm. Thoughts anyone?