CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Zogby International says a new poll shows President George W. Bush's approval rating rose 5% in the last week, a period of time when he was out of the nation and traveling in Latin America. The polling firm noted the president's absence, but said the rebound was probably helped by a slight uptick in those who support his handling of the War in Iraq.
The big, and perhaps hard to believe, swing -- a 5% shift in the number of Democrats who gave the president good marks on the war. It went from 3% to 8%.
Zogby said Bush's approval rating was at 35% in a telephone survey of 1,028 likely voters across the nation. The poll was taken March 7-9. His negative rating was 65%, the lowest since last October. Zogby offered some analysis that pointed out Republican support of Bush's handling of the war declined while Democrats and Independents gave him a slight bump up. Still, the numbers were clear that most Americans rate the handling of the war as flawed.
"In addition to a positive job rating boost for Bush, the same poll finds a slight increase in his ratings for handling the war in Iraq overall. 26% give him a positive performance rating on the war, up from 23% in polling in early March. While nearly half of Republicans (47%) said they approve of how Bush in handling the war, Republican support is down slightly from our last round of polling, when it stood at 49%.
"As Republican support slips slightly, gains have been made among Democrats and independents. Although there is significantly less support for Bush's handling of the war among Democrats, 8% give positive ratings to his handling of the war, up from just 3% in our last round of polling. Among independents, 25% approve of Bush's handling of the war, a boost from 15% who said the same earlier this month.''