05/19/2005 - Americans are critical of President Bush's job performance in many policy areas, but negative opinions of his handling of the economy and Iraq are doing the most damage to his overall approval rating, which now stands at 43%. Just 35% approve of the president's handling of the economy, down from 43% in February and 45% in January.
With the level of violence rising in Iraq, Bush's ratings also have slipped on that issue from 45% in January, to 40% in February, and 37% currently. Over the same period, positive opinions of his handling of foreign policy have fallen 10 points, to 38%. There has been greater stability in Bush's marks on energy policy and Social Security, but he gets positive ratings of only about 30% on both issues (energy policy 31%, Social Security 29%).
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted May 11-15 among 1,502 Americans, shows that Bush gets positive marks from a majority of the public on just one issue his handling of terrorist threats. Currently, 57% approve of his job performance in that area.
An analysis of opinions on Bush's job performance shows that views of his handling of the economy are now the biggest factor influencing his overall rating, with Iraq nearly as important. Terrorism is less of a factor than either of these issues, although it may be preventing Bush's overall rating from slipping further.
Read the full report Country Losing Ground on Most National Problems: Economy, Iraq Weighing Down Bush Popularity on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.