A Washington Post-ABC News poll taken the day after news was released of the massive NSA collection of American telephone records showed a majority of Americans supporting the effort.
However, a Newsweek web exclusive posted Saturday, May 13th paints a different picture. In a poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International of 1,007 adults aged 18 and older between May 11 and 12 by telephone found very different results. A majority of Americans (53 percent) think the NSA's program "goes too far in invading people's privacy," while 41% believe it's necessary to fight terrorism.
An AP analysis issued late this afternoon asked the question, "Is Bush Overreaching?"
Newsweek asks the question, "Has the Bush administration gone too far in expanding the powers of the President to fight terrorism?" Despite assurances from the president that American's rights are “fiercely protected,” and that “we’re not mining or trolling through the personal lives of innocent Americans,” 57 percent of Americans aren't buying it, agreeing that administration has “gone too far in expanding presidential power.” Thirty-eight percent think the Administration’s actions are appropriate.
The poll also found that Bush's popularity continues to linger at the lowest in his presidency, at 35 percent, with Iraq being his biggest problem: 86 percent said Iraq and information revealing the way in which the decision was made to go to war account for most of their low opinion of the president.
In virtually every area, Bush fairs poorly.
- Rising gas prices: 17 percent approve.
- Federal budget deficit: 19 percent approve.
- Immigration policy: 25 percent approve.
- Handling of taxes: 39 percent approve.
- State of the Country: 71 percent are dissatisfied.
- The New Congress: 52 percent want to see Democrats in control vs. 35 percent for Republicans.
- Presidential Race: Half want a Democrat while only 31 percent want a Republican.
- Who can better bring about the changes the country needs: Democrats over Republicans by 53 to 30 percent.
The AP story notes, "President Bush has made broad use of his executive powers: authorizing warrantless wiretaps, collecting telephone records on millions of Americans, holding suspected terrorists overseas without legal protections. His administration even is considering using the military to patrol the U.S. border."