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Yes, Bad News Does Hurt Bush (Part Deux)

Yesterday, I was arguing that this race is a referendum on the incumbent and Kerry backers should take heart from how poorly--and increasingly so--Bush is doing in the eyes of voters. The release of the latest Gallup poll, provides abundant support for that viewpoint.

There's even some good news on the horse race numbers people have been obsessing about. Kerry is now tied with Bush in Gallup's RV matchup (47-47), an improvement from his 46-50 performance in their mid-April poll. The same pattern can be seen in Gallup's LV version of this matchup, with Kerry ahead 49-48, compared to lagging 46-51 in mid-April.

Note also that, continuing a pattern I've noted of late, Kerry is doing better in the battleground states than overall. In an LV Kerry-Bush-Nader matchup (the only relevant data Gallup provides), Kerry is ahead of Bush by 4 points (48-44) in the "purple states", while tied in the national race.

But the really cool stuff here is how dreadfully Bush is doing in every area Gallup asked about. In terms of whether people are satisfied or dissatisfied with way things in the country are going, 36 percent say satisfied and 62 percent say dissatisfied--the worst rating of his presidency.

Bush's overall approval rating is now 49 percent approve/48 percent disapprove, tied for the worst of his presidency. And here are his approval ratings in four specific areas, all the worst of his presidency: the economy, 41 approve/56 disapprove; foreign affairs, 42/53; the situation in Iraq, 42/55; and terrorism, 52/45 (!).

Hope that cheers everybody up.

Comments

First!!!

No, seriously...this really does cheer me up. I've noticed that Bush has been going down while kerry stays about the same. That ought to change as Kerry gets his own message out. That's why i think the new biographical ads are so wonderful.

It seems to me that people are hungry for an optimistic "morning sunshine" campaign, one that gives a positive vision rather than just trash talking the other guy. Kerry can afford to do that now that the Bush Administration is being it's own Democrat-run attack ad.

Does it for me!! Thanks.

What is one good thing that bush can say he's done?.............................that he could get a majority of people to agree with?..........................................give up?????

Nothing, not a single thing that's what.

He trails in all the important catagories that Ruy has listed here. That will be the tale of the tape when people vote this November.

Thanks Ruy!!!!

Bush is caught in a riptide.

Swim harder George!

definitely good news. looks like kerry definitely has his window of opportunity.

the most promising results of the poll----for kerry----seem to be the ever-declining numbers for bush's handling of the "war on terror." once those numbers slip below 50% in any significant way, look for the bush bubble to finally burst.

We have talked a bit about Democrats' panic. Have we thought much about what will happen when the neocon/wingnut Republicans panic? This goes on they will. And they have been shown to be willing to do anything to hang on to power.

I wonder how long it will be until ShrubCo feels the need to follow the "Spiderman 2" approach and buy ads on 1st, 2nd and 3rd bases for a weekend? Or will MLB just give that away.

The issue that is most encouraging to me is competence. In the last two days I have spoken with two lifelong, albeit moderate, Republicans. Both of them agree that no matter whether you agree or disagree with the ideology of the Bush administration (or agree with it more than that of Kerry) it is absolutely true that Bush & Co are incompetent. Both of these people then point out that this is completely consistent with Shrub's entire life, where he has never done anything well. These are both people who voted for him in 2000 and will not do so again. One will vote for Kerry, the other will stay home. It is astounding to me how readily and completely these Republicans agree that Bush is incompetent. Not the slightest argument. I am beginning to think that even a recovering economy or the capture of Osama could not change that perception. Bye bye Shrub!

One final comment. I think that everyone who reads this site (and similar sites) should copy the article about Kerry winning in a landslide and send it to their local new outlets. The more the press publicizes this, the more it becomes the conventional wisdom and the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It is good news, and the only discouraging part of it is that I can't understand why Bush's numbers aren't way, way down by now. Guess it's the red meat Republicans who will never, ever vote for a Democrat.

I also worry about what this administration will do when it becomes increasingly obvious that Bush might lose. I may lose credibility when I say this, but I do see this administration as neo-fascist, and I wouldn't put much past them - even manufacturing a domestic crisis and then postponing the election. Crazy? Yes, but worrisome.

"In an LV Kerry-Bush-Nader matchup . . ."

Relevant question:

In how many states will Nader actually appear on the ballot? When will we know if he's gotten the signatures or whatever? As an independent instead of a Green, he doesn't get on automatically, I believe. I understood he was working first on getting on the ballots in the non-purple states (Texas, New York) where he could rack up votes without changing any actual outcomes.

I believe there is going to be a TIPPING POINT and when it happens and I think it's close, I hope Kerry is ready to seize the ball and run with it.

I see no reason for our side to be pessimistic about our chances at this point. One of the reasons I come to this site is for the refreshing dose of grounded optimism it provides.

Having said that, would it be better for us to "run scared"? If there arises a strong belief that our side is going to win easily, how likely is it that this would result in a net diminution of effort on our side? The same question could of course be raised at least as pointedly with respect to attitudes of deep pessimism or fatalism.

Campaigns often seem to be at pains late in the game to say they expect it to be a close election. In part, they say these things out of a perception that overconfidence could discourage effort all the way to the finish line from their supporters. But that doesn't mean there's reason to believe that less effort is likely absent such statements. Which is why I raise the question.

Personally, I prefer to "run scared". Not as in projecting lack of confidence that we will win, but as in believing in the importance of any and all efforts to help. To a fellow Dem friend who told me two months ago he was feeling a lack of inspiration to work hard to help Kerry my response consisted of two words: find some.

If you look at those polls you'll see there's a large number of "undecideds". IMO, a goodly portion of those people are those who are not real happy with Bush, but who aren't sure that Kerry is any better. If Kerry can convince them he'll do a better job, he'll get those votes. If he fails to do that, Bush will be back (shudder). At this point, I think it's all up to Kerry. And us. We need to help. If you haven't volunteered or sent money, do it now :-}

re: "Personally, I prefer to "run scared". Not as in projecting lack of confidence that we will win, but as in believing in the importance of any and all efforts to help. To a fellow Dem friend who told me two months ago he was feeling a lack of inspiration to work hard to help Kerry my response consisted of two words: find some."

I sez:

I don't think it matters. I think there is a LOT of anger out there towards Bush, and the media has had their finger in the dike trying desperately to cover it over. But the worm has turned, and I think we will see a large Democratic turn out, and I do believe we will have a Kerry landslide in November.

We will probably win back the Senate as well. I think the electorate is tired of the Republican swindle.

Well, if the response to the Abu Ghraib outrages is any indication, you may be right, Billy Boy. This could be the straw that breaks the Administration's back. We'll see what the next round of polls show, but I would not be surprised if there is a strong shift. Rush Limbaugh seems to be about the only American who is expressing anything other than outrage and/or shame. If Rumsfeld is fired it will be a sign of how desperate the Administration feels.

It seems as though a lot of Bush supporters like him because they think he does our country proud. As the pride turns to shame, a lot of his supporters are going to start bailing or cloaking their support for him.

To add to bt's comments, it seems to me that the few Bush supporters I regularly bump into are either Democrat-haters to the core (the immobile base), or else feel like they have to justify their opinion. Many of them say they're for Bush and then launch into a justification without even being asked for one, as if they're embarassed to like Bush.

I frankly think Bush's tactic of appealing almost exclusively to his base is preposterous. But if he's determined to alienate moderates, far be it from me to tell him to stop.

On the topic of predictions, Kerry will win i can feel it. At this point, Kerry is doing exactly what he should. If he were to start jumping all over Bush, Kerry will become cliche by the time the election season is really here. The public would be sick of hearing about it all sort of like my feelings towards all of the current big name trials. Kerry recently put out several advertisements meant to begin painting a picture of him from his side, or that don't lie. No matter what comes out about Bush, the American people (generally) have become attached to him as a leader due to all of the major events over the last 4 years. Kerry needs to continue to increase his positive exposure over the next few months, giving the people an alternative to Bush and what he has gotten us into. Closer to the election, negative bush adds will drill home the point.

There you go, thats my opinion

Kerry is looking better at the moment, but he still needs to give the voters a solid reason to vote FOR him.
This is why the VP choice can be critical in that regard.
Assume that the economy will--barring the unexpected--continue to improve for the next six months. Kerry's relative advantages in that area will largely evaporate.
Assume that the Iraqi mess will drag on and on, possibly with further complications in the Middle East. Bush's relative advantages in the foreign policy and security areas will evaporate.
Given those assumptions--leaving out possible bombshells such as another 9/11 or a Bin Laden capture--which of Kerry's possible VP choices would leave him in the best position in the home stretch?
Any opinions?


Hopeful signs, Ruy. This is no time, however, to forget:

DIEBOLD IS A VERB.

No polls are being published with any kind of Diebold Correction Factor, anywhere, are they?

> It is good news, and the only discouraging part
> of it is that I can't understand why Bush's
> numbers aren't way, way down by now. Guess
> it's the red meat Republicans who will never,
> ever vote for a Democrat.


Probably GOPpers who support him because they think he shares their religious/moral "values" and like him personally.


: In how many states will Nader actually appear on
: the ballot? When will we know if he's gotten the
: signatures or whatever? As an independent
: instead of a Green, he doesn't get on
: automatically, I believe. I understood he was
: working first on getting on the ballots in the
: non-purple states (Texas, New York) where he
: could rack up votes without changing any actual
: outcomes.


Maybe Kerry could promise him a position in his Administration if he goes along with that? Or would Congress most likely throw up roadblocks, much as Gale(sp) Anne Norton and Ashcroft almost didn't make it for "Shrub" in 2001?


| no matter whether you agree or disagree with
| the ideology of the Bush administration (or agree
| with it more than that of Kerry) it is absolutely
| true that Bush & Co are incompetent.

Well, these guys are good at only one thing -- pandering to their dumb base (on style if not substance). You have to give them credit for being well organized and very focused/ruthless. But if you look at their track record e.g. in Iraq and foreign policy in general, we are possibly talking about the most inept Administration in a century. All the more surprising considering how respectably Bush v.41 fared in this respect.


MARCU$

Let's all pray that we can have a civilized change of power come November/January. Shrub & company already can see the writing on the wall. I only hope that what they do is not so awful that we and the world cannot recover. When you look at the 9-11 crisis and you look at all the facts surrounding that event before and after it occured you have to wonder if there was a certain amount of complacency by an administration hell bent on finding any justification to take Iraq'a oil for their own and establish a mighty American presence in Israel back yard. The facts could just support a theory like this is all I'm saying. Right after the attack, they were all over Iraq, how convenient.
So what might happen next to bolster their hold on power?
The track record is clear. Starting with the 2000 election, then the ignoring of the warnings about the pending terrorist attacks, then the falsification of the Iraq war reasons, followed by the ill advised and poorly followed up war. Now they're into their attack mode against a genuine American Hero. We mean nothing to these people. They are only concerned with their own power and the control that goes with it.

Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting anyone in the bush admin knew about the 9-11 attacks in advance. But they did know that something was up. They were informed by more than one vehicle about plans and possibilties.

All very well. But if the rising tide doesn't sweep in Democratic legislators, isn't it only limited good news?

Tripsarecopsem in his/her post above (inquiring about a Diebold Correction Factor) voiced one of my other questions about assumptions underlying the analysis of the promising poll data.

An editorial in today's Washington Post, and news articles in the Post yesterday and the day before outline grounds for concern about whether we'll count the votes correctly this time.

bt: They didn't count them correctly last time so I have no illusion that they will count them correctly this time. We need to make such an overwhelming victory that even their slight of hand will not be enough to overcome our will.

which of Kerry's possible VP choices would leave him in the best position in the home stretch?

Wes Clark. He's the one who can restore dignity to the military, ensure proper measure of attention to war on terror, and he's got the leadership credentials.

Cheney wouldn't have a chance against Clark.

This is only one poll; all the others have Bush in the lead. Given the public's strong sympathy towards Rumsfeld (70% want him to stay), and the media's success at lying to people about the economy and blaming the prison abuses all on this England girl, I think that you will see Bush's support go way up again in the next few months.

I agree with James. Bush owns the media, not in a literal sense, but through intimidation. Look for the Dems to loose even more seats in the senate/house, and a Bush landslide.

I am delighted with the 8 point drop in "good at war on terrorism" survey item. I am looking forward to the next poll publication on a like item for confirmation that this is a confirmed trend downward, and that the rate of decline graphs like a steep canyon cliff.

What is even more satisfying about all this is that the decline is not at Kerry's hand -- the pornographic slide show out of Iraqi Prisons can be argued as caused by Bush's failure to faithfully execute the laws (and Geneva Treaties on War Crimes and the like are the equal of laws). That's the message we have to communicate in all sorts of ways over the next weeks as we get the "second showing" and as a few more matters come home to roost -- perhaps a Plame indictment, 911 investigative matters, and who knows what else. Just as long as it goes to the question of whether Bush is doing a proper job fighting terrorists -- or it can be comprehended that way -- that voting issue trend line ought to keep going down. Come late July and the convention, then Kerry can start interpreting it all as part of the real campaign.

I don't think Bush will have a landslide, but he will win by a comfortable margin. It's a given that Republicans will pick up seats in the House, and in the Senate as well. There is no real alternative for voters. The media lies to them, and the Democrats are running on, "hey, we're not Bush!!" People will always go for the devil they know.

Guess young people react differently....


Washington, D.C. - Sen. John Kerry, who once held a commanding, double-digit advantage over President George W. Bush among young Americans, now finds himself in a statistical dead heat with the president among voters aged 18-29, according to the latest IPSOS/NEWSWEEK/GENEXT poll. While Kerry currently leads Bush within the margin of error, 45 percent to 42 percent, back in February 56 percent of 18-29 year-olds said they supported the senator versus 42 percent who said they would vote for Bush.