Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Worst Quarter Ever!

Bush 35% Approval Average in Most Recent Quarter Lowest to Date
Lowest quarterly average of his presidency

by Jeffrey M. Jones


PRINCETON, NJ -- George W. Bush's presidency reaches a milestone of sorts on Thursday as he completes his 25th quarter in office. But his 25th quarter is not one on which he will look back fondly, given that he averaged only a 35% job approval rating, the lowest quarterly average of his presidency to date. His previous low was the 36% he averaged in the quarter spanning April - July 2006. Those are both far cries from the quarterly averages in excess of 70% he received from late 2001 through early 2002.

During the most recent quarter, which began on Jan. 20 and concludes April 19, Bush's approval rating ranged between 32% and 38%. It is 36% in the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted this past weekend. Bush's lowest single approval rating during his presidency is 31% from a May 5-7, 2006 poll taken during his 22nd quarter in office.

Bush has now gone seven months since he last had an approval rating above 40% in any Gallup Poll. He has averaged below 40% in each of his last five quarters in office, and has averaged below 50% in each of the last eight quarters. In his second term in office, which began in January 2005, he has had just one quarterly average above 50% -- a 50.4% reading in the initial quarter of his second term. He is averaging 40.8% so far in his second term, after averaging 62.2% his first.

Bush in Historical Perspective

Gallup has computed quarterly averages for 246 presidential quarters since 1945. Bush's most recent quarter ranks near the bottom, placing 228 out of 246, putting it in the 7th percentile.

Only four other presidents besides Bush have served 25 quarters or more since Gallup began tracking approval ratings in 1945. Not surprisingly, Bush's 25th quarter average does not compare favorably to the other presidents' at the similar points in their presidencies.