Finding the bright side in all-time low approval rate: Couric asked if White House was "breathing a sigh of relief" because Bush's rating fell only one point

››› ››› JOE BROWN

NBC Today host Katie Couric asked Tim Russert if "in a strange way, the White House is breathing a sigh of relief" because President Bush's approval rating in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was "down just one point." But as a preceding segment on the show pointed out, Bush's new approval rating of 36 percent is his lowest ever recorded in that poll.

On the April 27 broadcast of NBC's Today, host Katie Couric asked NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert if "in a strange way, the White House is breathing a sigh of relief" because President Bush's approval rating in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was "down just one point." But as NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell had noted in the preceding segment, Bush's new approval rating of 36 percent is his lowest ever recorded in that poll, and other recent polls also show Bush's approval at an all-time low. For instance, an April 18-19 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll and an April 21-23 CNN poll recorded Bush's approval rating at 33 percent and 32 percent, respectively -- his lowest ratings ever recorded by those polls.

Although Russert disagreed with Couric's suggestion that the Bush White House might be "breathing a sigh of relief" given the new poll numbers, neither he nor Couric noted that Bush's new approval rating in the April 21-24 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was at an all-time low.

From the April 27 broadcast of NBC's Today:

O'DONNELL: Another low. That's a phrase you've heard before, when you consider this poll and others. It's really been a pattern, a slow decline. Bit by bit, digit by digit. And the White House has had trouble because they have not been able to shore up those numbers.

As the president honored teachers of the year at the White House, a new test result from the public on the president's leadership. A new poll, another new low. Mr. Bush's approval rating down a notch to 36 percent.

[...]

COURIC: Let's start with the poll numbers, Tim. This has been -- no doubt about it -- a rough patch for the administration. His -- President Bush's approval rating is down just one point. Do you think in a strange way, the White House is breathing a sigh of relief?

RUSSERT: No. They understand, Katie, that they have to start rebounding, and rebounding quickly. When you look inside these numbers, Katie, the mood of the country is so unsettled. Two out of three Americans say we're simply on the wrong track. The president has to be -- address that, starting with the high prices of gasoline. And that's why you saw his rhetoric change rather dramatically this week.

Network/Outlet
NBC
Person
Katie Couric
Show/Publication
Today Show
Stories/Interests
Polling
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