Mark Blumenthal | September 19, 2006
The latest USAToday/Gallup poll out this morning (USAToday story, results, Gallup summary) confirms the modest increase in the Bush job rating in evidence in some (but not all) recent polls conducted in September. Among all adults, Bush's job rating approval rating has increased to 44%, which Gallup characterizes as "an improvement compared with the public's assessment of his performance in recent months" and "his highest rating so far this year."
The new survey also provides results to the generic Congressional ballot question among likely voters. While the Democrats lead among all registered voters (51% to 42%), the result is dead even (48%
44% each) among those classified by Gallup as likely voters.
This is one poll, of course, subject to the same random variation as any poll. The Gallup summary notes how "fluid" the Bush job rating has been ("measuring as high as 42% in mid-August, but dropping back to 39% earlier this month"). As has been Gallup's recent practice, the summary also includes a three-poll rolling average and a "smoothed estimate" based on the Samplemiser program developed by Yale Professors Donald Green and Alan Gerber. Both estimates suggest that Bush's current job rating has increased but to a slightly lower level (42%) than the result of this most recent poll.
Clearly anticipating the first question many will ask, however, the Gallup summary also includes this important point about party identification:
The improvement in Bush's ratings appears to result from a more positive evaluation of him from all party groups, rather than a short-term shift in more basic party loyalties. In the current poll, 34% of Americans identified as Democrats and 31% as Republicans. In the prior September poll, when Bush had a 39% approval rating, 35% identified as Democrats and 30% as Republicans.