An earlier poll made it seem that the Clarke revelations were having no real effect on public opinion. This more recent CBS poll shows the opposite, and I think that the other poll was taken before the news had had time to sink in.
Counter-terrorism is really one of the few things Bush has to sell, and he really needs overwhelming support on this issue if he’s going to be reelected.
“The latest CBS News poll, conducted Tuesday through Thursday, shows declines in the president’s approval ratings in a number of policy areas, but especially changes in the evaluation of the president’s handling of terrorism.
Six in ten Americans are following the hearings closely; 56 percent say the administration is cooperating with the panel. But what the administration is saying does not receives high marks: 59 percent say it is hiding something it knew before Sept. 11, and 11 percent even say it is lying. Only one in four think the administration is telling the entire truth…..
When asked whether Bush administration policies have made the U.S. safer from terrorism, 53 percent say they have – but that is a decline of nine points in two weeks.”