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Bush, GOP Poll Numbers Fall After President's Speech

The reviews are starting to come in for the President's Monday Night Address to the nation and they're not what the White House was hoping to see. Just 39% of voters agree with the President's approach on the immigration issue while an equal number are opposed. To fully comprehend how bad that number is, remember that most Presidential addresses produce a bounce adding a few extra points of temporary support for the White House position. Just 35% believe the President's approach will reduce illegal immigration.

But the bad reviews don't stop there. Before the President's speech, Rasmussen Reports found that Democrats had a 10-point advantage on the Generic Congressional Ballot. Following the speech, the Democrats lead grew to 15 points, 48% to 33%. While the Generic Congressional Ballot is not particularly valuable in projecting House elections, it is a useful measure of the national mood and that mood is decidedly turning against the GOP at the moment.

The same trend can be found on the President's Job Approval Ratings. At Rasmussen Reports, we measure this rating every night and report the results on a three-day rolling average. Data released today (Thursday) is the first where most of the interviews were conducted after the Monday night address. The result, President Bush's Job Approval fell to the lowest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports--36%. Just 15% Strongly Approve, that's also the lowest on record. One telling detail is that just 65% of Republicans Approve of the job Mr. Bush is doing.

On the immigration issue itself, we asked survey participants to choose between two immigration bills. "One would improve control of the borders but do nothing about the status of working immigrants who are here illegally. The other would legalize the status of working immigrants who are here illegally but would do nothing to improve control of the border." By a 63% to 19% margin, voters prefer the bill that controls the borders but does nothing about the status of illegal aliens. Voters overwhelming believe that strict employer penalties are the best way to accomplish this goal.

Finally, there is one other bit of news that will grab the attention of Republicans everywhere. While the President's ratings have fallen over the past couple of weeks, Hillary Clinton's numbers are bouncing back. We've been conducting a Hillary Meter poll every other week for over a year and this week's survey produced the best numbers ever for the former First Lady.