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13 October 2005


Not long after the botched response to Hurricane Katrina, Kanye West stirred up a ruckus by going off script on live television and declaring that George Bush hates black people. Personally I'm inclined to think that it's more the case that George Bush hates poor people, many of whom also happen to be black.

At any rate, apparently African Americans aren't so fond of George Bush either. In the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, President Bush's job-approval rating among African Americans has dropped to 2 percent.

Unbelievable. Admittedly Bush's job approval rating is hovering between 37 and 39 percent overall, depending on which poll you look at. And admittedly polls aren't the final or most reliable way to measure such things. And admittedly African Americans tend to vote Democrat by a wide margin. But 2 percent? That's like Condi Rice and Alan Keyes.

It appears that African Americans in this country feel completely abandoned by this administration. If you want to understand a culture other than your own, stop listening to corporate Hip-hop and start paying attention to why an entire race of people in the United States feel like their President isn't doing his job.

Notes Dan Froomkin in the Washington Post:

The drop among blacks drove Bush's overall job approval ratings to an all-time low of 39 percent in this poll. By comparison, 45 percent of whites and 36 percent of Hispanics approve of the job Bush is doing.

A few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found Bush's approval rating among blacks at 51 percent. As recently as six months ago, it was at 19 percent.

But Bush's bungled response to Hurricane Katrina -- seen by many blacks as evidence that he didn't care about them...may have brought support for the president in the African American community down to nearly negligible levels.

Tim Russert called attention to this startling statistic on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams yesterday: "Brian, listen to this," he said. "Only 2 percent -- 2 percent! -- of African-Americans approve of George Bush's handling of the presidency -- the lowest we have ever seen in that particular measure."

So this morning, I called Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, to get a better sense of the significance of the results.

"African Americans were not supporters, but I don't think that they outright detested him -- until now," Hart said. "The actions in and around Katrina persuaded African Americans that this was a president who was totally insensitive to their concerns and their needs."

Hart said he has never seen such a dramatic drop in presidential approval ratings, within any subgroup.

Comments on "Ouch"


Anonymous zalm said ... (10/14/2005 01:33:00 AM) : 

And with a 3-4% margin of error, perhaps -2% of all African Americans approve of Bush's performance!

Actually, to be fair, you cut off Froomkin just before he points out that the sample size for the 2% figure is 89. So take that with a big ol' grain of salt.

Still, Froomkin also points to a recent Pew poll with a larger sample size that has Bush polling at 12% among blacks. And that's plenty dismal.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (10/14/2005 08:31:00 AM) : 

Ah, good point. Thanks for pointing that out. But, yes, anything between 2 percent and 12 percent is pretty sad indeed.


Anonymous Stephanie said ... (10/14/2005 10:19:00 AM) : 

i think kanye is funny. i was proud of him for speaking up period. was it just me, or was that the first time anyone spoke to the elephant in the Oval Office?


Blogger MEP said ... (10/14/2005 10:41:00 AM) : 

Great post and follow-up comments. Any president that has accomplishes an approval rating that low is pathetic. And the worst part it, he's probably scratching his head thinking: "Now why do they think I don't like them? I like Condi and Colin Powell - what more do they want?"


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (10/14/2005 04:52:00 PM) : 

ouch ouch ouch! Speaking for the anabaptist population, I'd guess he's at less than 10%...

Speaking for the Trabues, it's hovering closer to 0%.


Blogger ding said ... (10/17/2005 02:09:00 PM) : 

but does this mean the GOP are going to kiss trying to land the black vote goodbye? it will be interesting to see their efforts during an election year.

and it'll be equally interesting to see how the DNC will totally screw up this opportunity...


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