When Richard Nixon left office in 1974, his approval rating was 24. He had resigned under threat of guaranteed impeachment for a criminal scandal, had escalated a violent, disasterous war in Southeast Asia (attacking Vietnam's neighboring nations Cambodia and Laos for no reason), and several of his friends and cohorts had been indicted, convicted, and jailed.
According to Newsweek's most recent poll, Bush's approval rating is 29%.
Historically, presidents whose approval ratings fall below 30% have either not run or lost re-election bids. Even Truman, beloved by many Democrats today, saw his approval ratings hit 24% when he relieved General McArthur of duty in Korea. He did not seek re-election after that.
Bush cannot run for re-election (thank God, but I'm 100% positive he would if it wasn't constitutionally prohibited), so he's done in 1.5 years. But my question to you, Kos readers, is this:
How low will Bush's approval rating go? Will it have to fall below 20%, maybe 15%, before Congress impeaches him or (cold day in hell) he willingly resigns?
According to USAToday/Gallup, Bush's approval was at 29% before his press conference on Thursday. I expect that polls conducted to reflect his approval after that press conference will reflect a lower rating.
• Bush's support is eroding among Republicans: 68% approve of him, down from an average 92% in his first term, 82% in his second. Nearly 4 in 10 Republicans say the immigration debate, which ended in defeat for Bush's overhaul proposal, caused them to lose confidence in him.
• Bush now has had both the highest approval rating in Gallup's history -- 90% in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks -- and one of the lowest. Among modern presidents, only Richard Nixon, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter ever had a lower rating...
Meanwhile, The New York Times' Caucus blog says recent polls suggest that Vice President Cheney "has replaced Dan Quayle as the most unpopular vice president in recent history."