George H.W. Bush addressed the nation in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riot. It did not help his public standing. His Gallup approval rating ticked down from 42 percent to 40 percent.There is mounting pressure inside the White House for President Trump to make a formal address to the nation from the White House amid the chaos and unrest erupting across the United States, sources tell me & @Santucci— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) May 31, 2020
Jack Nelson in The Baltimore Sun, May 5, 1992:
The Los Angeles riots have sharply reduced support for President Bush, according to a new nationwide poll that shows him drawing only 33 percent of the vote in a three-man trial run, locked in a virtual dead heat with Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and Texas billionaire Ross Perot.
Mr. Clinton and Mr. Perot each drew 30 percent of the vote in the Times Mirror poll, which was released yesterday. The survey of 1,301 respondents, conducted Wednesday -- the day the riots erupted -- through Sunday, has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Only two weeks ago a U.S. News & World Report poll gave Mr. Bush significant leads over both Mr. Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and Mr. Perot, who now is widely expected to run as an independent candidate. That poll gave Mr. Bush 40 percent, Mr. Clinton, 29 percent, and Mr. Perot, 24 percent.
The Times Mirror poll also showed a statistical dead heat in a two-man race with Mr. Bush drawing 46 percent to Mr. Clinton's 43 percent.Robin Toner in The New York Times, May 11, 1992:
President Bush, who pledged his commitment to the stricken neighborhoods of Los Angeles last week, was given poor marks by both blacks and whites for his response to the riots. Moreover, 53 percent of all the whites who took part in the survey and 76 percent of all the blacks said they disapproved of the way Mr. Bush was handling race relations in general.
Reuters report in The Los Angeles Times, May 12, 1992:
President Bush’s public approval ratings and his standing with voters have slumped since the Los Angeles riots, a CNN-Gallup poll said Monday.
The new telephone poll of more than 1,000 people showed Bush with 35% of the vote to 30% for Ross Perot and 29% for Bill Clinton, if the vote were held today. That Bush lead is far narrower than in previous polls, CNN said.
Since early April, Bush has lost nine percentage points while Perot and Clinton have climbed in voters’ eyes, according to the poll, which had a margin of error of three percentage points. The President’s favorability rating declined to 50% while his unfavorable rating hit 46%, CNN said.