Bush Losing Support of Right

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, May 6, 2006

Dissatisfaction with both Congress and President Bush is widespread and deep among conservatives, according to new polls that show Mr. Bush scoring startling low ratings on immigration in particular.

Thirteen percent of respondents in a new Zogby Interactive poll approved of Mr. Bush’s handling of immigration, and 9 percent approved of his handling of border security. Among conservative and very conservative people, he was below 25 percent.

Meanwhile, a separate Associated Press-Ipsos Public Affairs poll released yesterday found 45 percent of self-identified conservatives disapprove of Mr. Bush’s job as president, and 65 percent disapprove of the Republican-led Congress.

“One of the things clearly that’s happening is a breakdown of the coalition that elected and re-elected the president,” said John Zogby, who said his surveys show Mr. Bush getting less than 45 percent support among groups such as investors, NASCAR fans, gun owners and Catholics, and just over 50 percent among born-again Christians.

He also said he had never seen any presidential ratings as low as Mr. Bush scored on immigration and border security.

“Frankly, I think this comes under the column of piling it on,” he said. “This is more than immigration, but translated, this is the next hot issue. This is what we’re all looking at, paying attention to.”

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Bobby Eberle, president of GOP USA, a conservative Web site that regularly surveys thousands of conservatives, said he hears the same concerns.

He said a recent survey of his members showed spending as the top cause of frustration among conservatives, and immigration as the second-ranking issue. Success with appointing judges was the top reason for satisfaction, followed by tax cuts.

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