Olmert, Peretz popularity plummets

Poll: 43% satisfied with Olmert before war, 78% during war, only 40% after.

Olmert Peretz AP 298 (photo credit: AP [file])
Olmert Peretz AP 298
(photo credit: AP [file])
The approval ratings of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz have fallen to their lowest depths since they took office 100 days ago this week, according to polls published in three Hebrew dailies on Wednesday. Olmert and Peretz's popularity rose during the month-long war in Lebanon, primarily due to what is called the "rally around the flag effect." But that support proved temporary as their numbers fell lower than they were before the war began. A Smith Research poll published in the business daily Globes found that 62 percent felt that Olmert did not handle the war properly and only 34% said he handled it well, compared to 73% who praised his performance a week ago. A Dahaf Institute poll in Yediot Aharonot found 47% approved of Olmert's performance and 51% disapproved. A Teleseker poll in Ma'ariv revealed that 43% were satisfied with Olmert before the war, 78% during the war and only 40% on Tuesday. The polls found that Peretz's situation was even worse. Teleseker found that 28% approved of his performance before the war, 61% during and 28% now. Dahaf gave Peretz a 36% approval rating and 63% disapproved. In the Smith Research poll, 31% thought that Peretz handled his duties well, compared to 62% a week ago. Asked whether Israel won the war in Lebanon, 30% of respondents in the Dahaf poll said yes, 18% in the Teleseker poll and 44% in the Smith Research poll, which was taken on Sunday, two days before the other two polls. Regarding whether Israel was correct in accepting the cease-fire that took effect on Monday morning, 70% in the Dahaf poll and 53% in the Teleseker poll said no. IN the Smith poll 6% of respondents felt the cease-fire achieved a majority of Israel's goals, 25% said it was the best that could be achieved under the circumstances, 38% said it was not good but Israel had to accept it and 28% called the cease-fire a "bad agreement that would lead to future battles." The Teleseker poll asked respondents who was to blame for failures in the war. Forty-nine percent said Olmert, 41% said Peretz, 40% IDF chief of General Staff Dan Halutz, 18% said OC Northern Command Udi Adam and only 3% said there were no failures in the war. The poll found that were elections to be held today, the Likud would jump from 12 seats to 20, Labor would fall from 19 to 15 and Kadima would remain unchanged at 29.