America's Sour Mood: Ratings of Bush, Cheney, Rice and Congress Sink to Worst Levels Ever





The latest Harris Poll finds the nation in a foul political mood. President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice all register their worst ratings ever. More people than ever also think the country is on the wrong track.

But this does not seem to help the Democrats. The Democratically-controlled Congress gets even worse ratings than the President and Vice-President, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ratings have also fallen to their lowest point.

These are some of the results from the latest Harris Poll of 1,001 U.S. adults surveyed by telephone between June 4 and 8, 2008 by Harris Interactive (registered copyright).

Some key findings are:

President Bush’s latest ratings are 24 percent positive and fully 75 percent negative. Previously, his worst numbers were 26 percent positive and 72 percent negative in April of this year. His ratings are substantially worse than those of any president, except for Jimmy Carter (22%-77% in July 1980), since Harris first started measuring themin 1963.

Vice President Cheney’s ratings are even worse, 18 percent positive and 74 percent negative, compared to his previous low of 21 percent positive, 74 percent negative last July.

Secretary of State Rice’s ratings are much better than those of the President and Vice President, but also have fallen to their lowest point ever, 39 percent positive and 54 percent negative, compared to 42 percent positive and 51 percent negative last October.
Only 14 percent of the public think the things in the country are going in the right direction and fully 80 percent think they are on the wrong track. These compare to the previous worst numbers in President George W. Bush’s term, 75 percent thought things were on the wrong track in April. The highest number of people who said the country was on the wrong track was 81 percent in June of 1992 during the term of the first President Bush.

However, this dismal news for the administration has done nothing to help the Democrats. Most people seem to wish "a plague on all your houses". Congress, which of course is controlled by the Democrats, gets its worst ratings ever, only 13 percent positive and fully 83 percent negative. Its previous low point was in December of last year when it was rated 17 percent positive and 79 percent negative. And, Speaker Pelosi’s ratings have fallen to 24 percent positive, 57 percent negative compared to her previous low of 25 percent positive and 61 percent negative in February.

Clearly the economy and record gas prices are a big part of the problem. When asked, without being prompted or shown a list, which are the two most important issues for the government to address, the economy (38%) gets the most mentions, followed by the war (25%, but another 9% mention Iraq) and gas and oil prices (20%) Those mentioning gas and oil prices have jumped from only 1 percent in February and 10 percent in April to 20 percent now. The only other issue mentioned by more than 9 percent is health care (17%).



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