In the latest Gallup survey, taken July 21-23, the president’s approval rating is 37 percent, down from 40 percent earlier in the month but still above the 31 percent Bush hit in May.
As far as single issues are concerned, 37 percent approve of the way Bush is handling the situation in the Middle East, while 56 disapprove. On Iraq, the numbers are 35-62; on foreign affairs in general, they are 38-56; on terrorism, they are 47-50; and on the economy, they are 39-59.
In answer to the question, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?” the results are 33 percent satisfied, 65 percent dissatisfied. The 33 percent is up from 25 percent satisfaction in May; the 65 percent is down from 72 percent dissatisfaction in May.
Comparing those numbers to similar times in recent mid-term election cycles, in the summer of 2002, 49 percent of those surveyed said they were satisfied with things, versus 47 who were dissatisfied. In summer 1998 (as the Lewinsky scandal consumed Washington), 60 percent were satisfied, versus 36 percent who were dissatisfied. And in the summer of 1994, the numbers were precisely what they are today, 33 percent satisfied, 65 percent dissatisfied.