Friday, December 09, 2005

In polling data out today, the President's approval rating inched up, to 42% approval (and 57% disapproval). While this is up slightly since November (well, there was only so low it even COULD go owing to the zombie factor), and as disasters like Katrina and Social Security reform recede into the past (except, of course, for people who now may never get their homes rebuilt), one likely reason is that even Bush starts to look better compared to the continuing decline in the ratings of the GOP led Congress. According to the same poll, the perception of corruption has overrun Congress is picking up steam.

Sixty-five percent of respondents disapproved of lawmakers’ work in Washington and only 31 percent approved, the worst numbers since AP-Ipsos began asking the question in January.

Several of those interviewed said corruption was endemic to a political system awash in colossal amounts of lobbying money and beset by an insatiable demand for campaign cash...

People questioned in the survey had no trouble reciting the names associated with offenses and inquiries:

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, faces money laundering charges.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is under a federal investigation for a well-timed stock sale.
I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has been indicted on five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI in the outing of a CIA officer.

Also, a small but important turnaround: In last months poll, Republicans in Congress actually polled one percent better than Democrats in Congress. In this months poll:

Democrats were considered more ethical by 36 percent, while 33 percent cited Republicans. That difference is within the poll’s 3 percent margin of error.

Some 40 percent of women said Democrats were more ethical than Republicans, while 32 percent of men offered a similar view.

Now, nearly all of the scandals we have seen have involved Republicans, so it is perhaps surprising that the difference is this small, but compared to the past when Republicans polled higher, it is a significant change, and a change which can only get larger as more of this stuff comes out.

We will see how much larger in eleven months.

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