ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Long Slide Towards Defeat

Man... it must be so disappointing to be a Democrat. I mean, every two years you get the press talking about how great you're going to do in the next election cycle, with breathless speculation about who will be the next Speaker of the House, etc...

and then, as the election nears, you realize that it was all just a bunch of hopeful b.s.:

Poll finds rebound in Bush approval
By Jill Lawrence and Susan Page, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Amid falling gas prices and a two-week drive to highlight his administration's efforts to fight terrorism, President Bush's approval rating has risen to 44% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. That's his highest rating in a year.

The poll also showed likely voters evenly divided between Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress, 48%-48%. Among registered voters, Democrats had a 51%-42% advantage.

The registered voters number doesn't mean anything... for the most accurate prediction, you have to use likely voters because a higher percentage of them will actually turn out. So, the 2 to 1 advantage that the Dems supposedly enjoyed in the spring has evaporated... (assuming it was there to begin with.)
The results come seven weeks before closely contested elections for control of Congress. Republicans have struggled to overcome problems, including Bush's low ratings, continuing violence in Iraq and the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina.

They also come as terrorism is making headlines: an alleged plot to blow up planes headed from Britain to the USA, the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and weeks of focus by Bush and other top Republicans on terrorism and whether Democrats can protect the country.

The new findings reflect "a consistent, persistent, tenacious effort to make ... the Republican Party's ability to deal with terrorism the No. 1 issue in the campaign," said political scientist Richard Eichenberg of Tufts University, who has studied presidential job ratings during wartime. He called it "a carbon copy" of the successful 2004 playbook.

Bush's approval rating has edged up largely on the strength of Republicans coming back to the fold — 86% with him now compared with 70% in May.

This is the key metric. As we saw in 2004, the GOP's aim is to get its base to turn out. In the Spring, the base wasn't too pleased with Bush... Oh, and there were family vacations to plan, baseball games to go to, etc... so no one really thought that much about politics.

But, as the Dems get more and more vocal about their opposition to the War On Terror and the front in Iraq, those that lean in the GOPs direction rightly recognize the importance of this election... The last thing that we want is for the Dems to take the reigns of Congress and cut funding to our troops in the field - something that they've done in the past (a policy which was actively promoted by one John Kerry during the war.)
Scott Reed, a Republican strategist who ran Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign, said GOP fortunes have turned since Labor Day: "This has been the best two weeks Republicans have had since Bush was re-elected."

Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin said Bush's approval goes up and down with each poll, and the even division of likely voters has been constant for a month. "There's no momentum here," he said. "The story is Republicans at a standstill."

The new poll found likely voters more prone to vote for candidates who support Bush on terrorism, 45%-28%, and evenly divided on those who support and oppose Bush on Iraq. More than a quarter said Iraq is their top concern this fall. For the first time since December 2005, a majority of people did not say the war there was a mistake; the split was 49%-49%.

The last two items are crucial. The American people agree with Bush when he talks about needing tools (ie terrorist communication and financial surveillance) to stop the next attack.

Poor Nancy... will the Dems kick her aside in December like they did to Tom Daschle? Or will they simply chalk about a 4th election to voter fraud, infamous Diebold machines, and insist that to be successful in 2008, they'll need to be more "progressive" than they were in 2006?

It will interesting - and humorous - to watch.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler