War, scandal souring public on Bush

NEW YORK/ELON – After the release of a CBS poll indicating that President Bush’s approval rating had plunged to 35 percent, many conservatives took solace in the notion that it was mainly due to ongoing troubles in Iraq and not bad press related to the CIA leak case. The conventional wisdom has been that much of the public doesn’t take the issue that seriously, or even follow the developments.

But another part of the public opinion survey tends to contradict that assertion, notes Editor and Publisher. Indeed, Some 51 percent of those contacted said the leak case is already of "great importance," with 35 percent choosing "some importance" and only 12 percent labeling it "little or not importance."

Support for the president may even be falling among members of the military. According to a poll conducted by Elon University in North Carolina, which advertises itself as "the nation’s most military-friendly state," more than half of North Carolina military members disapprove of Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq and his overall job performance.

"We see that those most involved in the Iraq situation, the military, are not so different from the general public after all and share the same concerns about Iraq," said Hunter Bacot, the poll’s director.

The poll shows that North Carolinians, especially military families, are turning against the Iraq war in a big way. More than half of those surveyed said the United States should not be in Iraq, while 43 percent agreed with U.S. involvement. The numbers for Bush’s general performance were similar: Only 41 percent approved of Bush’s handling of his job.