Bush's Boy Genius
Does Karl Rove, President Bush's adviser and "man with a plan," wield too much influence over the commander-in-chief? About four in 10 Americans think so, according to a Gallup/USA Today poll. Twenty-three percent said that Rove has the right amount of influence, and 10 percent said he has too little.
Six in 10 respondents recognized Rove's name, with 22 percent viewing him favorably and 38 percent unfavorably. Twenty-three percent said they'd never heard of him, and 16 percent had no opinion. (8/28/06, 1,007 adults, margin of error +/-3%)
Labor of Love
Unions got a thumbs-up from Gallup Poll respondents this Labor Day, with 59 percent voicing approval and 29 percent disapproval. A majority of Americans has approved of labor unions since Gallup began asking the question in 1936. That approval has ranged as high as 75 percent in the 1950s and as low as 55 percent in the early 1980s.
This time around, 53 percent said that unions help the U.S. economy, and half said that unions help companies with union workers. (9/1/06, 1,007 adults, +/-3%)
The first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina brought a round of reports from major pollsters, and most of them made one thing clear: Americans aren't impressed with the handling of the storm and the recovery effort by any level of government.
The federal government has done a "not so good" or "poor" job with hurricane recovery over the past year, said two-thirds of respondents to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Six in 10 think that federal money spent on the recovery has mostly been wasted; only 27 percent said that the funds had been well spent. Fifty-eight percent frowned on President Bush's handling of the storm and its aftermath, according to an Associated Press/Ipsos Public Affairs poll.
But a CNN/Opinion Research poll revealed an even more negative view of the local government response to Katrina. Sixty-one percent said that state and local governments are not doing enough to aid the rebuilding effort. And a slim majority (53 percent) said that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D) and local government were more responsible than Bush and the federal government (40 percent) for the problems the Crescent City faced after the storm. (ABC News/Washington Post, 8/27/06, 1,109 adults, margin of error +/-3%; Associated Press/Ipsos Public Affairs, 8/28/06, 1,001 adults, +/-3%; CNN/Opinion Research, 8/29/06, 1,033 adults, +/-3%)
Divided We Stand
Americans are split down the middle on the lasting effects of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a new Associated Press/Ipsos Public Affairs survey. Half of respondents said events of that day have had an impact on the way they live today; half said 9/11 had no effect on their daily lives.
For those who said their lives had been affected, a plurality of 23 percent said the attacks made them more aware of the world around them. Substantial percentages also said 9/11 made them more cautious of suspicious people, more wary of flying, and more appreciative of their lives. (8/31/06, 1,000 adults, +/-3%)
53% of Americans say they haven't lost any of their own
personal freedoms in the fight against terrorism.
Republican Party officials may be praying that U.S. forces nail Osama bin Laden before the midterm elections. Asked in August by AP/Ipsos which party would "do a better job of protecting the country," 37 percent of respondents chose the Democrats, while 32 percent chose the Republicans. Homeland-security issues are usually a strong suit for the GOP. (8/28/06, 1,001 adults, +/-3%)
Meanwhile, an Opinion Dynamics poll for the Fox News Channel suggests that domestic problems may eclipse world affairs at the polls this November. The public generally perceives the Democratic Party as stronger on domestic issues.
Which will be more important in deciding your vote for Congress this fall?
Problems in the United States 64%
Problems around the world 17%
Both (volunteered) 17%
Don't know 1%
(Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, 900 registered voters, +/-3%)