The USA Today/Gallup poll seems to validate Republicans' decision to frame the 2006 midterm election around national security/terrorism.
Asked whether they approved of the job Bush was handling terrorism 55 percent of the sample said they did while 43 percent said they did not -- a 12 point net approval rating for Bush.
Contrast that with Bush's overall job approval rating in the poll (42 percent approve/54 percent disapprove) and his even more negative ratings on a variety of other issues including "foreign affairs" (39/55), the "situation in the Middle East" (39/56), the economy (39/57), the "problems caused by Hurricane Katrina" (37/56), the "situation in Iraq" (36/61) and energy policy (30/60).
Those results were mirrored in other polls conducted over the past month. In a survey conducted for Time Magazine 46 percent said they approved of Bush's handling of the global war on terrorism while 48 percent disapproved. Those numbers look a lot better when compared to the dismal 32 percent approve/64 percent disapprove numbers when asked to rate the president's handling of Iraq. His approval numbers were only slightly better on the economy (37/58).
The Post's own poll -- conducted in conjunction with ABC News -- showed much the same. Overall, 40 percent approved of the job Bush was doing while 58 percent diapproved. Bush's best numbers came on his handling of terrorism where 47 percent approved compared to 50 percent who disapproved. On Iraq (36/62), the economy (39/59), and the Middle East (43/50) Bush's numbers were less positive.