33% approval rating... That's a stinger.
This is the problem with running a divide an conquer administration. Bush really has no one to blame but Karl Rove on this.
From the beginning, Bush and Rove ran a 50.1% strategy to win the presidency. This means that the goal is to get 50.1% of the vote, and the other 49.9% can go screw themselves.
You can't really argue with it, since it worked. He was elected... twice.
The problem is that when you intentionally alienate 49.9% of the population in order to win the 50.1%, it leaves you with no wiggle room. Since you have already written off the rest of the population, you have to keep all of the 50.1% happy or you loose your majority support. And, there are a lot of fickle people in the middle. Once you loose them, your approval sinks like the Titanic.
He can't move to the center because he won't be seen as being genuine. And, he would loose the last die hards he had on the far right. Yup... He has painted himself into a corner here.
Now, due to the polarization this has created, running a centrist campaign will not get you the nomination of your party. It might get you a close second, but no convention rights.
Yes, the 50.1% strategy may get you elected, but after that, one false step and you can't govern. I would like to say, "sucks to be him," but it really sucks to be us. We are the ones paying for his blunders. He still thinks his shite don't stink.
Maybe the GOP can put up someone who plays to the middle, but that will be only because of charisma, and not policy
Conservatives Drive Bush's Approval Down