Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Religious Republicans Staying With Bush?

That's the conclusion of a recent Pew Research poll, which showed that though support for President Bush's job approval has dropped, that still a whopping 71% of Religious Republicans approve, and 61% of other Republicans*.

I will leave aside for the moment how it is even possible for that large a segment of people could approve of Bush's job in office overall. I will also note that he has been far more supportive of social conservatism than he is commonly given credit for, though the stories of his administration's contempt for the religious right in other ways have been well-reported.

My biggest question has to do with the strength of support. I watch and read a lot of Republican commentary on the president, and talk to a lot of Republican activists where I live. It's difficult to find anyone who strongly supports Bush anymore, and all my instincts tell me that a good chunk of the 71% and 61% may approve of the job he is doing, but their support is much softer than it once was. The overwhelming feeling I get in talking to Bush supporters is that they're very disappointed, but he's their guy, and he's still a lot better than Hillary Clinton.

I'm not confident enough in my gut to make any grand pronouncements, but I think if the administration is looking to these numbers for support, it should take them with a large grain of salt.

* - Note that if between 61-71% of all Republicans approve of the job Bush is doing, and his overall rating is 29%, that would mean that among Democrats and Independents, his approval must be around single digits...

No comments: