White House officials have a new theory about why President Bush's job approval ratings are so low—the media keep harping on it so much that it's become a self-fulfilling analysis.
"It's a drumbeat in the media," says a senior Bush adviser. "It's a constant narrative that he suffers from low job approval. It should not be in the second paragraph of every story. The media should report what he's doing."
Officials are pointing to new survey research by GOP pollster Ed Goeas of the Tarrance Group to make their point that many of Bush's policies are very popular. Those data were obtained by U.S. News and are described in the magazine coming out Monday. Among the findings: While 62 percent of likely voters disapprove of Bush's job performance, 73 percent support his policy of going "on the offense against terrorists," 65 percent agree that he has "kept Americans safe from terrorist attacks," and 64 percent approve of his economic stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this year.
--Kenneth T. Walsh