New Polls Show Bush's Recent "Terror Tour" Backfired Against Him and the GOP. Voters Are Finally Saying Enough
For the better part of the past several years, whenever the news out of Iraq got too negative, the Rovian strategy was to roll out President Bush on a national PR tour to bolster support for his failing foreign policy. There'd be a lot of smoke and mirrors and bait and switch involving the war in Iraq and the war against terrorists. And the strategy usually worked, at least in the near term, towards boosting Bush's approval ratings and diverting Americans' attention away from the war's failure. But just 27 days away from the critical midterm elections, it's clear that this game-plan no longer works. In fact, Bush's recent swing through several states to garner public support for the war and his administration's handling of it, is backfiring big time. Voters are rebelling, as polls increasingly indicate November 7th will likely be a dreadful day for the president and the Republican Party.
A new NY Times/CBS News poll released Monday, shows that:
-Those approving of Bush's handling of terrorism dropped to 46% from 54% in the past two weeks
-Americans are now evenly divided (41R-40D) on which party they think would better handle terrorism, the first time in Bush's presidency that Democrats didn't trail. Before Labor Day, Republicans had a 42-34% edge
-Bush's job approval rating dropped from 37% to 34%
-83% believe Bush is either hiding something or lying when he discusses Iraq
-57% believe Bush knew of pre-9/11 intelligence reports that warned of impending attacks using airplanes. This is up from 41% in May 2002
-47% of voters now believe Democrats are the party of moral values, not Republicans (38%)
Additionally, a Newsweek poll released last week virtually mirrors the Times/CBS poll on voter sentiments on the major issues including Iraq, terrorism, values, the GOP and the economy. Politically speaking, the numbers are pretty bleak overall.
In short, the GOP has lost its crucial edge on terrorism and values, and is sinking fast in the wake of the Mark Foley scandal and the explosive revelations that came out of the recent National Intelligence Estimate (that the Iraq war has fueled terrorism and made America less safe) and the new Bob Woodward book (that the Busheviks have been in a colossal dysfunctional state over the war, and that they've been lying to Americans about its progress or lack thereof). Voters are clearly disgusted and ready for change. With the Foley scandal having more legs than a centipede, victory in the House and Senate, once a remote fantasy, is now very much a reality.