From the NBC/WSJ Poll:
As gasoline prices have spiked above $3 a gallon throughout the country, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that the public’s view of President Bush’s job, the economy and the nation’s direction have continued to decline. But with the midterm elections just six months away, the biggest drop in the survey — 11 points in one month — is in the approval rating of Congress, which is locked in a bitter debate over what do about these gas prices, immigration, Iraq and a host of other issues.
“You have never seen such a sour mood in the country,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican Bill McInturff. “It is sour, sour, sour.”
And in that sour mood, the poll shows, registered voters say they prefer Democrats controlling Congress — but by a smaller margin than in the past few NBC/Journal surveys.
According to the poll, Bush’s approval rating fell by one point from last month to 36 percent, his lowest mark in the survey. But the troubling news for Bush doesn’t stop there: Hart explains that Bush has now spent nine consecutive months at 40 percent or below in the poll, a feat exceeded only by Richard Nixon (13 months) and Harry Truman (26 months).
I really don’t see any upside to this for the Republicans, as much as they will spin it that it is all temporary and/or the fault of the Democrats and the “librul media.”
One thing the Democrats ought to be wary of, though, is that a cranky electorate doesn’t always turn to the other guys in an election. They stop caring, and that’s not good for anybody.