Bush's Poll Numbers Up For Some Reason

Even though a poll taken just one week ago had President Bush's approval rating at 40 percent, a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll published today revealed that he now has the approval of 45 percent, meaning he is almost back to the original percentage of the country who elected him in the first place.

Interviews with those polled indicate that the improvement can be attributed to Hurricane Rita, falling gas prices, and other things that President Bush had absolutely nothing to do with.

"Hurricane Rita wasn't as bad as I expected," said Tamara Creed, one of 71 percent who said they approved of Bush's handling of Rita, "and I think President Bush really helped as far as weakening it before it got to shore."

"Gas prices have been falling lately, which I think reflects well on Bush," agreed poll respondent Jim Sweeny. "I just know he was out there at the pumps, making sure those station workers didn't put up numbers that were too high."

Still, only 40 percent felt that President Bush handled Hurricane Katrina well, down from 41 percent last week. Those who still believed the President did a good job had varying reasons for thinking so.

"I liked that the President kept going back to the region after everybody had yelled and made enough of a fuss," said one of those surveyed. "It really made you realize that he did care after all."

"Bumblebees!" exclaimed another, which statistically is counted as a positive answer for Bush.

Other reasons people cited as causing them to be impressed with the President: nice weather; the fact that the Rolling Stones have a new album; and chocolate chip cookies tasting good.

But is this most recent poll the beginning of a reversal of the negative trend the President's approval ratings have been experiencing lately? Many of the poll respondents say that's up to the President.

"Well, if I keep seeing him on the television, doing tours to get ready to fix things and such, I'll sure give him a good rating again," said Sweeny. "I just hope he doesn't raise gas prices again."

Some have noted that the poll was conducted before events like Tom DeLay's indictment and the freeing of a reporter related to the leak of a CIA operative's name -- both issues that could drag the President down by proxy. Still, more hardline supporters like Tamara Creed say they won't be so easily swayed.

"What Karl Rove does isn't really related to the President," she said of the CIA case. "I don't really see why I would lower my opinion of Mr. Bush based on what Karl Rove did."

Also of note: the poll's margin of error is five percentage points, meaning that theoretically, the President may not have improved his rating from last week at all.

"Oh, hmm," said Sweeny when told of this. "Maybe I don't really like him."

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