In a Gallup survey taken Dec 5-7, 2004, President Bush was viewed favorably by 55% of the public while 43% disapproved. Shortly thereafter, on December 13, Iraq President Saddam was captured by U.S. forces. In a subsequent survey conducted on December 15-16, the president’s margin climbed to 63% approve, 34% disapprove. The bump in Bush’s ratings persisted until Jan 12-15, 2004, when he slipped back to a 53% approve-44% margin.

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.