Good News For November: Voters Increasingly Preferring Democrats on Matters of Foreign Policy, Iraq and Terrorism
As the November midterm elections rapidly approach, we've seen President Bush, VP Cheney, Karl Rove and other members of the Bushevik monarchy ratchet up the terrorism rhetoric in an effort to scare Americans into the voting booth to pull the lever for Republicans. Just as they did very successfully in 2002 and '04. Except this time the message is not resonating. In fact, the tactic is backfiring.
Americans are smarter, and more frustrated and angry than ever. For over a year now at least, polls have shown dreadful approval ratings for Bush and Congress, with right track/wrong track numbers painting a very grim picture for GOP incumbents this Fall. But what's consistently saved the Repugs has been the perception among voters that the party is stronger on matters of national defense. But that's changed. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows the Repugs losing serious ground to Democrats on foreign policy, the Iraq war and terrorism, the Bushevik's heretofore bread and butter strength:
-Democrats have a 3-point lead on which party's best to handle Iraq; Repugs had a 30-point lead in October '02
-Democrats lead by 9 points on handling foreign policy; Repugs had an 18-point lead in June '02
-Repugs have a 24-point lead on "ensuring a strong national defense," but that's a significant drop from the 41-point lead they held prior to 9/11
-Repugs now have just a 6-point edge on dealing with terrorism, a continuing slide from their 36-point lead in October '02 and 18-point lead in December '04
Compounding this dismal news for the Busheviks and the GOP is the fact that, according to this week's NY Times/CBS poll, 51% of Americans now believe the Iraq war is separate from the fight against terrorism, and nearly half see it as a major distraction.
And finally, in a new Pentagon report issued Friday on Iraq, the news is even bleaker. The report issued a dire warning of an impending all-out civil war if things do not improve quickly. It highlighted that since May there's been a 15% increase in attacks; a 51% increase in casualties; 1800 Iraqis killed in Baghdad in July alone (with 90% of them having been executed); and Shia/Sunni sectarian violence spiraling out of control and moving North and South of Baghdad. And in what could be the most telling sign of all, various militias, not the government, have been taking over as providers of both security and social services.
So what does this all mean for Democrats in November? For one thing, the Busheviks and the GOP have seen major negative changes in the political landscape over '04: the previous advantages of Bush's popularity, American support for the war, and the stronghold on the terrorism issue are gone. And when you combine this with the Middle East crisis overall, the threat from Iran, sagging consumer confidence, staggering gas prices, record deficits, the bursting housing bubble, stock market declines, and Republican scandal and corruption, the conclusion is simple: if Democrats can't win now, they never will.