WASHINGTON IDB — WASHINGTON -- Americans are reassessing the Bush presidency and setting the stage for a competitive election next year because of a striking loss of confidence in President Bush's economic leadership, according to the latest nationwide New York Times/CBS News Poll.
Only one American in four now approves of Mr. Bush's handling of the economy, a level of discontent unmatched since the days of double-digit inflation under President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Bush's overall job approval rating is now at 51 percent, a 16 percentage point drop since mid-October. The declines seemed to reflect a month of bad economic news and turmoil in the White House.
Mr. Bush can take comfort from the fact that his overall approval rating is still well above the lows reached by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Also, such ratings of presidential popularity often swing sharply, and past incumbents with similar or lower ratings have gone on to win.