Jewish Journal


October 1, 2008

More than half of Protestant Christians disapprove of Bush’s job



If it’s relevant to evangelical Christians, you can usually count on reading about it in Christianity Today, which is why I freelance more for the magazine that Billy Graham started than any other publication. It’s an important publication to be plugged into both as a Christian and a religion reporter. And three of the RSS feeds I receive are from CT and its blogs.

Yesterday, online editor Sarah Pulliam tipped me to an ABC News/Washington Post poll with the headline “Bush approval ratings dip to a new low.”

Funny, I thought, I just had a conversation the night before about how surprising it is that more than a quarter of Americans still support His Eminence, President-for-Life Bush, and many for the dubious reason that he sticks to his guns no matter how wrong he’s been proven to be. How low could his approval rating have dipped? Ehud Olmert low?

Not even close. In light of the nation’s economic woes—and on this I actually agree with the president’s plan of action—only 26 percent of Americans said he was doing a good job.

But what was even more shocking was that, for the first time, more than half of Protestant Christians disapproved of his job performance. That’s right: 52 percent of Protestants—evangelicals, Lutherans, Methodists, Congregationalists, et al—thought Bush was doing a bad job. Where have the other 48 percent been living the past eight years.

In defense of those who don’t disapprove—actually, I can’t really think of a defense. But in looking for relevant links, I found a post I wrote Oct. 2, 2007:

God only knows how this could be, but between 2001 and 2005, President Bush’s approval rating with evangelical Christians ages 18 and 29—people just like me—ranged from 70 percent to 87 percent. The big news from the Pew Forum is that Bush’s favoritism with young evangelicals has fallen to 45 percent.

Members of this group remain fiercely conservative in your politics—supporting the war in Iraq and capital punishment and opposing socially liberal causes—and aren’t likely to ankle to Republican Party, the report says, even if evangelicals can’t pick a presidential candidate to support in ‘08.

But what shocks me is that Bush still enjoys even that much favor with my co-religionists.

I guess this is a familiar grievance of mine.

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