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How Can the Democrats Become the Party of Change?

That's question number one for the Democrats to answer, because the public is ready--indeed, eager--for change. Consider these key results from the latest round of public polls:

1. The latest Gallup poll finds Bush's overall approval rating at 46 percent and his approval ratings on the economy, Iraq and Social Security at 40, 40 and 33, respectively, all three of which are the worst he has ever received in those areas. Bush also receives his poorest evaluation ever on whether he has "the personality and leadership qualities a president should have", one of his traditional strong suits: right now, only a narrow majority (52 percent) agrees and 45 percent disagree. And on whether "you agree or disagree with George W. Bush on the issues that matter most to you", 57 percent of the public says they disagree and just 40 percent says they agree (another worst ever). Finally, the public believes, by 47-36, that the country would be better off if the Democrats, not the Republicans, controlled Congress.

2. The latest Quinnipiac University poll has Bush's overall approval rating at 44 percent (39 percent among independents), his lowest ever in this poll. And, as Bush seeks to move the judiciary to the right, the poll finds 55 percent saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases and a very strong 63-33 majority expressing support for the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a woman's right to an abortion.

3. The latest CBS News poll has Bush's overall approval rating at 46 percent (40 percent among independents) and his approval rating on foreign policy at 40 percent (31/independents), on the economy at 38 percent (32/independents), on Iraq at 38 percent (29/independents) and on Social Security at 26 percent (24/independents). Right direction/wrong track is at 34/60 and, by 61-34, the public says Bush does not share the same priorities for the country that they have. They are even more skeptical of Congress, believing, by 68-20, that their priorities for the country are different from those of Congress.

More on "How Can the Democrats Become the Party of Change?" Tomorrow....