41 percent

Bush’s speech came amid record slump in his approval rating on CBS poll to 41 pc against challenger Kerry’s 49pc

This is potentially trouble for the president, as an incumbent who polls 40 percent or below during the summer usually loses, while one who polls 50 percent or better usually wins. However, as a general rule of thumb, I always add 5 percent to the Republican in the poll, which usually more closely approximates the actual results. There are exceptions to this, Bush-Gore being a good example, but it holds up most of the time.

Still, at 46 percent, Bush is in the neutral zone. I still think that any summer activity by al Qaeda will only help Bush, though, not hurt him as some observers are thinking.