AP/Ipsos Poll: Bush, Incoming Congress Faces Public Criticism

President's Policies Receive Tepid Evaluations

Washington, DC -- As Senators and Representatives returned to Washington this week for the start of the 109th Congress, half (53%) of Americans voice disapproval of the way Congress does its work. Nearly one in five (18%) strongly disapprove. Four in ten (41%) approve of the way Congress handles its job. By party, Republican registered voters (61%) -- and especially Republican women registered voters (66%) -- approve of the job the Republican-controlled Congress has been doing. By contrast, registered Democratic voters (68%) and a plurality of registered Independents (49%) disapprove. People under 30 tend to approve of Congress (52%), while people age 50-64 (61%) and seniors 65 and over (62%) disapprove of the job their representatives are doing. Men (58% disapprove) are harsher critics of Congress than women (48%), and men who are college graduates (65%) and live in the suburbs (63%) are especially disparaging. What stands out in these assessments of Congressional approval is how soft opinion is. Barely one in four either "strongly approve" (8%) or "strongly disapprove" (18%) of the job Congress is doing. As Inauguration Nears, Public Divides On Bush's Performance In contrast to their views of Congress, a majority of Americans hold strong views of how President Bush is handling his job. Overall, as many approve (49%) as disapprove (49%) of Bush's performance. Moreover, over half the public either "strongly approves" (27%) or "strongly disapproves" (30%) of Bush's handling of the Presidency. As usual, one of the strongest links is with partisanship: most Republican voters approve of Bush's job as President (89% approve; 58% strongly), and most Democratic voters disapprove (82%; 54% strongly). People under 30 disapprove (57%) of Bush's performance, whereas people in their thirties (55%) and forties (54%) tend to approve. Whites (53%) are favorable, non-whites are not (65% disapprove). College graduates (56%) disapprove of Bush's performance, while people with some college background approve (56%). Married men (56%) and married women (54%) approve of Bush's job in office, while six in ten single women disapprove (62%). Views Divided On Bush's Foreign Policy, Negative Toward Iraq And Domestic Policy Bush gains as much approval (50%) as disapproval (48%) for his handling of foreign policy. On other issues, Bush's ratings lag. Slightly more disapprove (51%) than approve (47%) of his handling of the economy. Solid majorities disapprove of Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq (54%) and domestic issues (56%). Four in ten Americans (39%) "strongly disapprove" of Bush's handling of Iraq (24% strongly approve). Likewise, on domestic issues, nearly twice as many "strongly disapprove" (33%) as "strongly approve" (18%) of the job Bush is doing. Methodology The Associated Press Poll is conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Between January 3-5, 2005, the AP-Ipsos poll interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults nationwide, including 836 registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 for all adults and +/- 3.4 for registered voters. Margin of error for subgroups may be higher.

For more information on this press release, please contact: Janice Bell Director, Ipsos Public Affairs Washington, D.C. 202.463.7300

About Ipsos Public Affairs Ipsos Public Affairs, headquartered in Washington D.C., is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research company made up of campaign and political polling veterans as well as seasoned research professionals. The company conducts strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research but often elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research. It has offices in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, with affiliates around the world. Ipsos Public Affairs conducts national and international public opinion polling on behalf of The Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization, and conducts the young voters poll for Newsweek.com. Ipsos Public Affairs is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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