Bad Headlines

You’re seeing this headline a lot today: Bush’s Disapproval Rating Worst of Any President in 70 Years. Don’t believe it. Bush has the worst disapproval rating ever (in the latest Gallup poll, 69% disapprove of the job he is doing). They’ve only been doing the poll for 70 years, and in that time, no one has a higher disapproval rating than fearless leader.

Worse still is this nugget from within the article: “the disapproval sets a new high for any president since Franklin Roosevelt“. You’d be forgiven if, in reading this, you thought that Roosevelt was unpopular. In fact, prior to Bush, Truman had the highest disapproval rating (67%). The poll began in 1938, at the beginning of Roosevelt’s third term. Actually, Bush holds three of the top of five places in the history of the poll (in addition to Truman (at the height of the Korean War), Nixon had a disapproval rating of 66% in August of 1974 – within a month, he had resigned).