Poll: Public Uncertain Whether to Blame Bush for Disaster Response

Update: A friend of ours makes an excellent point. These poll results do not include any of the roughly 2 million evacuees and victims of the storm.

Good news for Rove: A new CNN poll shows that Karl Rove has an excellent opportunity to change the public perception of the Bush Administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. About a quarter of respondents are still uncertain whom to blame for the calamitous response to the hurricane.

Performance Good Bad Unsure
Bush 35% 42% 23%
Federal Agencies 35% 42% 23%
State & Local 37% 42% 21%

The buck never lands of the desk of President Bush, of course. So Team Rove is aggressively going after the hearts and minds of the Undecideds, targetting them with a “Spin ‘N Smear” campaign designed to reassign blame for thousands of deaths resulting from Hurricane Katrina to local Democratic officials, including New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

In the poll, 31 percent blame the president and federal agencies – however the poll split the two Republican groups apart, with 13 percent blaming President Bush and 18 percent blaming federal agencies.

State & local officials – the Democrats – were grouped together – 25 percent blamed them for poor response. And a whopping 38 percent said no one is to blame.

As proof the public enables Mr. Bush’s Teflon coating, 63 percent said they do not believe anyone at federal agencies responsible for handling emergencies should be fired as a result.

The worst news in the poll may be this: 79 percent said they believe gas companies are taking advantage of the situation and charging unfair prices to consumers as a result of the hurricane.


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