Networks Skip Over ABC's Poll Finding That Bush Approval Rating Hit a Seven-Year High, Even with Obama

Did anyone notice anything missing during Diane Sawyer’s interview with President Bush last night?  She didn’t mention his surge in the polls, which was conducted by ABC News.  Yes, ABC decided to omit their poll in order to have Sawyer bait President Bush with left-leaning questions, like his views on gay marriage.  The American people are now giving the forty-third president a second look, and it seems to be driving liberals crazy.

On April 23, the Washington Post’s Fix blog reported that Bush’s approval ratings have hit a seven-year high.  They are equal to that of President Obama’s at 47%.

Almost as many people (47 percent) approve of how Bush handled his eight years in office as disapprove (50 percent), according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. That’s the highest approval rating for Bush since December 2005.  Bush’s approval dipped all the way to 23 percent in Post-ABC polling in October 2008 and was just 33 percent in January 2009 when he left office. (His approval rating was below 40 percent for 26 consecutive months before his term ended, the longest streak of sub-40 presidential ratings since polling began in the 1930s.)

And, what’s fascinating is that it’s not just Bush’s overall job approval numbers but the intensity measures. In the new Post-ABC poll, 34 percent say they “strongly” disapprove of the job he did while in office; that’s the lowest strong disapprove number for Bush since January 2005.

Bush’s biggest gains over the past few years have come among seniors (30 percent approval in 2008, 57 percent approval today), non-college whites (34 percent in 2008, 57 percent now) and moderate/conservative Democrats (10 percent in 2008, 33 percent now).


Needless to say, it hasn’t changed amongst blacks and Democrats, who still hate him.  Yet, the Big Three – ABC, CBS, and NBC – failed to cite this poll in yesterday’s coverage.  On the Today show, Matt Lauer seemed more concerned about whether the president’s library would have exhibits that would “force” critics “to take a second look" at his legacy.  David Gregory, also of NBC, thought it would be more appropriate to slam President Bush during the dedication ceremony that "formed the backdrop to criticism that the President underestimated the challenges he faced.... And grew stubborn in the face of mounting setbacks…what grew into a reputation for incompetence stained the administration and the GOP brand after Hurricane Katrina."

Yet, not one network had a segment that broke down the poll, and discuss the implications of Bush’s surging approval ratings.  ABC thought