In a brief April 10 Washington Post article reporting on a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll of likely Republican presidential primary voters in South Carolina, staff writer Chris Cillizza stated that apart from the results of the "hypothetical primary matchup" among GOP presidential candidates in that state, an "interesting" aspect of the poll was "the sky-high approval ratings registered by President Bush." Cillizza noted that the poll, which was conducted April 1-3 among "600 likely South Carolina Republican primary voters," found that 70 percent of those voters approved of the job Bush is doing as president, while 23 percent disapproved. However, the article did not explain why the poll's finding was "interesting." Indeed, recent nationwide polling of self-identified Republicans regarding Bush's job performance have yielded similar results, which themselves represent a significant decline in support for Bush among Republicans since his 2004 re-election.
A March 27-28 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 70 percent of Republicans polled nationally approved of the job Bush is doing as president and 24 percent disapproved, nearly identical results to those Cillizza cited for South Carolina. A March 7-11 CBS News/New York Times poll reported Bush's approval rating among Republcans at 75 percent. Similarly, a February 9-11 USA Today/Gallup poll found Bush's approval rating to be 76 percent among those identifying themselves as Republican.
Moreover, these numbers signal a significant drop in Bush's approval numbers since his re-election in 2004. According to polling by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Bush's support among Republicans stood at 89 percent in January 2005 but had fallen to 73 percent by March 2006. Additionally, The New York Times' political weblog, The Caucus, recently reported that according to New York Times/CBS News polling data, Bush's approval rating among Republicans has dropped 13 percentage points since late last year, from 78 percent in October 2006 to 65 percent in March 2007.