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Still More Even Worse News for Bush

DR's last two posts have discussed the Newsweek and Quinnipiac University polls and how bad things are going for Bush. Now come newly-released data from the venerable Gallup poll, which paint an even more negative picture of how Bush is doing.

In the Gallup poll, Bush’s approval rating is just 49 percent, with 48 percent disapproval–almost net negative. And rest of his ratings in this poll are net negative. On the economy, he has declined from 54 percent approval in early January to 43 percent approval/54 percent disapproval (-11 points). On health care, he has declined from 43 percent approval to a miserable 35 percent approval/57 percent disapproval (-22). On foreign affairs, over the same time period, he has declined from 58 percent approval to 46 percent approval/51 percent disapproval (-5). And check this out: on the situation in Iraq he has gone from 61 percent approval/36 percent disapproval in early January (+25) to 46 percent approval/53 percent disapproval (-7) today. That’s a swing of 32 points in less than a month.

Bush’s favorability ratings have also taken a dive: from 65 percent favorable in early January to 52 percent favorable/47 percent favorable today. In contrast, John Kerry now has a 61 percent favorable rating to just 23 percent unfavorable. And when matched up as the Democratic nominee against Bush, he wins by 7 points, 53 percent to 46 percent.

Kerry also does very well when matched up against Bush on a variety of characteristics. He beats Bush by 50 percent to 41 percent on “shares your values”, by 56 percent to 33 percent on “is in touch with the problems ordinary Americans face”, by 52 percent to 38 percent on “puts the country’s interests ahead of his own political interests” and even by 46 percent to 43 percent on “has a likeable personality”. Bush also has his areas of strength, of course--+14 on strong and decisive leader, +15 on patriotic and +19 on stands up for what he believes in--but Kerry seems competitive indeed with the president.

Especially when you add in results like these: Americans by 50 percent to 45 percent say they would trust Kerry, rather than Bush, to make the decision to send troops off to war, if necessary. The public also says it has more confidence in Kerry than Bush to make sure good jobs are available to all Ameicans (53 percent to 41 percent); to protect their family's economic interests (53 percent to 41 percent); and even to make sure business conditions and the stock market are as good as possible (46 percent to 45 percent).

Finally, consider this result: when asked "All in all, do you think it was worth going to war in Iraq or not?" (note there is no mention of the war's costs), public sentiment is now split right down the middle, 49 percent to 49 percent. Just three weeks ago, that question was at +21 (59 percent to 38 percent) in favor of the war being worth it.

My, my, how times do change. Wasn't the capture of Saddam supposed to make Bush a lock for re-election? No more.

Note: As soon as the exit poll data become available on primary night, DR will post an analysis of the data and overall election results. So look for that in the evening sometime after the polls close.

Comments

well, all that means is it must be time for:
a) an early October surprise
b) an early easter pull the rabbit Osama out of your hat
c) a terror alert to code red for weeks on end
d) an actual attack against the suddenly disfavorable to Bush American citizens
or,
e) some variation of all of the above

I admit. I am way too cynical about this pResident and his administration of Rove, Bolten, Rummy, Rice, Cheney, Wolfie, Card, Ashcroft and Snow.

Did I leave anyone out?

Oh yeah. The invisible man. Powell.

Unfortunately, none of this takes into account that W has $200m in the bank. Does anyone really think these numbers will remain at this level when he starts spending that $$$????

still not low enough.
I'm with "G" feeling paranoid that there will be an October surprise: terror attack, assassination attempt, or some such madness. however, I am heartened by 2 things: first; Bush has already blown $33M of that "war chest" (not yet at $200M) and has nothing to show for it; second, it would seem that the torrent of bad news coming out of DC (wmd, deficits) Bush is not getting much traction on his so-called reelection agenda. chickens are starting to come home to roost, and even Janet Jackson's nipple can only change the subject for so long.

The numbers look good, however they represent nothing more than potential vulnerability on Bush's part. It is a very long way till November.

I think it is useful to try to project where we will be a few months down the road. Iraq will probably still be a problem for Bush, although the admin may be able to paper over the underlying ethnic conflicts long enough for Bush to declare victory and pull out.

The budget deficit news is likely to get worse as the costs of the war combined with the lost revenue caused by the tax cuts become clearer to the general public. It will be interesting to see if the Repubs actually go through with their plan to make more of the tax cuts permanent. If they do, the dems need to show unified opposition. An extended fillabuster to draw attention to the incredibly fiscal irresponsibility of the Repubs is a must. This is Kerry's "creed of greed" in action. Making the cuts permanent will cost $1.7 trillion over the next ten years. Wow, the Repubs seem hell bent on destroying the country.

The jobs picture will likely show modest, superficial improvement for Bush as the recovery continues. The unemployment rate is going to drop as more and more people exhaust their benefits and therefore are no longer counted as unemployed. Dems should raise as much fuss as possible about this callous statistical manipulation. It really puts the lie to the claim of compassionate conservatives.

The real wild card is the security issue. This is Rove's "ace in the hole," the one issue that has reliably given Bush a significant bump every time something happens. Count me among the cynical.

Bush does have that big war chest, but since Kerry has eschewed public financing, I believe he'll be able to raise enough to keep Bush from having the field to himself until the convention.

"The real wild card is the security issue. "

This is very true, but if there is another terrorist attack, or the alerts continue, which they are likely to, we are getting very close to a tipping point in public opinion. Voters asking "are we safer with President Bush?", will, increasingly, answer "apparently not". Any alerts or attacks which are spun by the Administration could ricochet back onto the them. The American voter has invested three years into trusting Bush, and the closer it gets to "re-investment time", the more voters will reconsider whether it has been a worthwhile investment.

Ruy-
(your posting appears to be in a backwards order...)

The numbers on Bush look great. But Ruy's enthusiasm on Kerry's potential is premature. The Kerry negatives will soar once the attacks that are starting now take hold.

Kaus has been having a field day rolling out the dirt on Kerry this week.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2094809/

--LB

The best numbers of the day

The best numbers of the day are in South Carolina, where turnout might double 1992.

So, what was that about no new voters? All the Democrats need to win in the fall is a massive GOTV effort. The voters are there - but they'll need to be harvested.

Polls this far out mean next to nothing - really. When Rove decides to jump in - watch out. How much to get that guy to play on our team? Would we have to become evil, too? Shoot.

I agree w/ at least one other commenter - security/war thing is Rove's ace in the hole. If there's another terror attack, Rove will capitalize off it. If there's not, Rove will capitalize on it. :(

As for Kerry not taking public financing, who cares? You need to have a candidate that appeals to the core - Kerr is not that.

What amazes me about Ruy is his distaste for liberals and how they are unelectable in America. I read his book. Great book backed by the DLC(Ruy's guys). Alot of what they say makes sense. But alot of it is an apologist attitude towards the Repub platform and not enough of standing up for what is right. Like I always said about Ruy's guys, if they were around during the civil rights movement they wouldn't support it because most of the country was racist. Ruy also showed such a dislike for Dean and how he was perceived to be liberal by the media. Eventhough he is more of a centrist. Kerry on the otherhand is a liberal who now has the perception of a centrist and Ruy likes him. Either Ruy cares only about perceptions and how America sees things or he has no real convictions about anything.