Since December, the percentage seeing Bush as too rigid has increased 12 points, with the most significant change among Republicans. Just after the 2006 midterm elections and the release of the 79-point plan from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, 55 percent of Republicans thought Bush was willing enough to change course in Iraq; in this poll, 55 percent of Republicans said he is not.
Bush's overall approval rating equals its all-time low in Post-ABC News polls at 33 percent, with 65 percent disapproving. Fifty-two percent said they "strongly" disapprove of his job performance, the highest figure of his presidency and more than three times the 16 percent who strongly approve.
Three-quarters of Republicans approve of the way he is handling his job, but just one in 10 Democrats and three in 10 independents give him positive marks.
The war has been the single biggest drag on the president's approval ratings.
Thirty-one percent give him positive marks on handling the situation in Iraq, which is near his career low on the issue. The last time a majority approved of the president's handling of the war was in January 2004.
The poll also highlights the negative numbers that Congress is getting. But before any pundits go about decrying the downturn in the public mood as a result of "partisan polarization" they should take note of this:
Congress's approval rating has declined over the past three months because self-identified Democrats have soured in their assessment.
Many would like Congress to assert itself on Iraq, and about half of poll respondents said congressional Democrats have done "too little" to get Bush to change his war policy. Democrats are especially eager for more action from their party's lawmakers: 61 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of liberal Democrats said not enough has been done to prod Bush on the issue.
This means that Congress' numbers will inevitably come up if Congressional Democrats take a harder stance on President Bush, especially on the war. This is not good news for Republicans, but it is good news for the rest of us, provided Democrats pay attention to the polls and not Beltway pundits living in the 90's.
UPDATE: Kevin Drum puts it more succinctly than I:
78% think George Bush is too unwilling to change policies in Iraq. 55% support legislation to withdraw from Iraq by next spring. 55% trust congressional Democrats on the war (only 32% trust Bush). 62% think Congress should have the final say about when to withdraw troops. 49% think Democrats have done too little to get Bush to change his Iraq policy (only 17% think they've done too much).
Note to columnists: this is the mainstream of U.S. opinion. People don't like the war, don't trust Bush to prosecute it, and don't think Democrats have gone overboard in opposing it. Got that?
I doubt they do, as sensible as such a conclusion is.