After months of political erosion, President Bush’s approval rating improved markedly in the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll, largely tracking Americans’ more positive attitudes toward the economy.
But his presidency is still plagued by widespread doubts about his handling of the war in Iraq, with 52 percent of poll respondents saying the Bush administration intentionally misled the public when its officials made the case for war. A majority of Americans want the United States to set some timetable for troop withdrawal; 32 percent want the number of American troops reduced, and 28 percent want a total pullout.
The survey, conducted Dec. 2-6, showed Mr. Bush’s approval rating at 40 percent, up from 35 percent a month ago, which was the low point of his presidency. His gains primarily came among men, independents, 18-to-29-year-olds and conservatives. He remains a fiercely polarizing figure, with an approval rating of 79 percent among Republicans, 12 percent among Democrats and 34 percent among independents.
Really, at some point, there is no where to go but up- especially when you were bottomed out at 35%. You can see the complete results here (.pdf), and I like that the NY Times is now attaching the complete results all the time, so I don’t have to waste time figuring out how the writers parsed the results.