Bush Job Approval Highest in Gallup History

by David W. Moore

Widespread public support for war on terrorism

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- President George W. Bush's call to arms in a nationwide address last Thursday evening has elicited widespread public support for a war against terrorism, as well as the highest presidential job approval rating ever measured by Gallup since it began asking the public for its evaluation of presidents over six decades ago.

According to the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted September 21-22, 90% of Americans approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president, up four percentage points from a poll last weekend.

George W. Bush's Job Approval Rating

President Bush's current job approval rating is one point higher than the previous high point, registered by his father at the end of hostilities in the Persian Gulf War in late February/early March 1991. Prior to that time, the highest approval rating ever recorded by Gallup was 87%, received by President Harry S. Truman just after the end of World War II hostilities in Europe:

The record high approval rating for George W. Bush comes in the wake of his address to the nation last week, in which he outlined his approach both to retaliating against the terrorists for attacking the United States on September 11 and to mounting a concerted effort to stop global terrorism altogether. Almost three-quarters of all Americans say they saw the address live, and another 14% saw rebroadcasts or excerpts of the speech.

 

As you may know, President Bush addressed Congress and the nation on Thursday night about the recent terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Did you happen to see President Bush's address to Congress and the nation on Thursday night, or not?

IF NOT:

Did you see parts of the address rebroadcast later on the news or other programs, or did you not see any part of the address?

 

 

2001 Sep 21-22

   

Saw Bush's address to Congress and the nation

74%

   

Saw rebroadcasts or excerpts of Bush's address

14

   

Did not see either

12

   

No opinion

*

   
   

* Less than 0.5%

 


Nine in 10 Americans give Bush high marks for the speech, with 62% saying the speech was "excellent" and 25% "good." Another 8% say it was "just okay." Only 1% of Americans say it was a "poor" speech. Among those who watched the speech live, 71% say it was excellent and 22% good.

From what you have heard or read, would you rate George W. Bush's speech to Congress and the nation on Thursday night as -- excellent, good, just okay, poor, or terrible?

 

 



Excellent



Good


Just
okay



Poor



Terrible

DID
NOT SEE
(vol.)


No
opinion

               

2001 Sep 21-22

62%

25

8

1

*

3

1

               

2000 Aug 4-5 ^

19%

32

17

3

1

26

2

 

^ From what you have heard or read, would you rate George W. Bush's acceptance speech at the Republican convention [on Thursday night] as -- excellent, good, just okay, poor, or terrible?

* Less than 0.5%

(vol.) Volunteered response



The vast majority of Americans also feel that the president did a good job in his speech of explaining the goals of any military action that may occur as a result of the war on terrorism. Among all Americans, 78% say he has explained the goals clearly enough. Among just those who watched the speech live, 83% find the explanation clear.

Do you think President Bush explained the goals of current U.S. military action clearly enough, or not?

 

 

Yes, explained enough

No, did not

No opinion

       

2001 Sep 21-22

78%

15

7



Bush's high approval ratings are no doubt in part due to the widespread support Americans give to the president's plan of action. The poll shows that about three in four Americans say that Bush's proposed military response, as well as his proposed diplomatic and economic pressures, are "about right," while among those who disagree, most would opt for more rather than less action.

QUESTIONS SPLIT SAMPLED

 

Do you think President Bush has -- [ROTATED: gone too far in terms of a military response to the terrorist attacks, done about right, or not gone far enough in terms of a military response to the terrorist attacks]?

BASED ON -- 519 -- NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A; ±5 PCT. PTS.

 

 


Gone too far

Done
about right

Not gone far enough

No
opinion

         

2001 Sep 21-22

4%

75

19

2



Do you think President Bush has -- [ROTATED: gone too far in terms of an economic and diplomatic response to the terrorist attacks, done about right, or not gone far enough in terms of an economic and diplomatic response to the terrorist attacks]?

BASED ON -- 486 -- NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B; ±5 PCT. PTS.

 

 


Gone too far

Done
about right

Not gone far enough

No
opinion

         

2001 Sep 21-22

4%

79

14

3



More generally, 89% of the American public say they favor the United States taking military action in retaliation for the September 11 attacks, essentially unchanged from responses to the same question asked one week previous.

Do you think the United States should -- or should not -- take military action in retaliation for Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon?

 

 

Should

Should not

No opinion

       

2001 Sep 21-22

89%

7

4

       

2001 Sep 14-15

88%

8

4



Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,005 adults, 18 years and older, conducted September 21-22, 2001. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

 

 

 

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

 

%

%

%

       

2001 Sep 21-22

90

6

4

       

2001 Sep 14-15

86

10

4

2001 Sep 7-10

51

39

10

2001 Aug 24-26

55

36

9

2001 Aug 16-19

57

34

9

2001 Aug 10-12

57

35

8

2001 Aug 3-5

55

35

10

2001 Jul 19-22

56

33

11

2001 Jul 10-11

57

35

8

2001 Jun 28-Jul 1

52

34

14

2001 Jun 11-17

55

33

12

2001 Jun 8-10

55

35

10

2001 May 18-20

56

36

8

2001 May 10-14

56

31

13

2001 May 7-9

53

33

14

2001 Apr 20-22

62

29

9

2001 Apr 6-8

59

30

11

2001 Mar 26-28

53

29

18

2001 Mar 9-11

58

29

13

2001 Mar 5-7

63

22

15

2001 Feb 19-21

62

21

17

2001 Feb 9-11

57

25

18

2001 Feb 1-4

57

25

18



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