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> Does it even matter?, 31% approval, 65% disapproval
Paladin Elspeth
post May 9 2006, 02:49 PM
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President Bush has consistently stated that he does not let polls determine his actions. However, the USA Today/Gallup poll stated yesterday that Bush approval rating hits new low.
QUOTE(USA Today)
The survey of 1,013 adults, taken Friday through Sunday, shows Bush's standing down by 3 percentage points in a single week. His disapproval rating also reached a record: 65%. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.

"It is a challenging political environment," acknowledges Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, "but we are confident that ultimately voters in November will recognize that a Democrat Congress would simply not be equipped to ensure either economic or national security for our nation."

Bush's fall is being fueled by erosion among support from conservatives and Republicans. In the poll, 52% of conservatives and 68% of Republicans approved of the job he is doing. Both are record lows among those groups.

<snip>

Only four presidents have scored lower approval ratings since the Gallup Poll began regularly measuring it in the mid-1940s: Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and the first George Bush. When Nixon, Carter and the elder Bush sank below 35%, they never again registered above 40%.

Speaking realistically, can the GOP pull another rabbit out of their hat and save their majority in both houses of Congress this November?

Are the poll numbers abysmal enough to lend crucial support to Carl Bernstein and organizations calling for an investigation of the Bush presidency?

In other words, does the message inferred from these poll numbers really matter to the American people, or will Tracey Schmitt's words ring true?

This post has been edited by Paladin Elspeth: May 9 2006, 02:51 PM
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Jaime
post May 11 2006, 07:19 PM
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QUOTE(nemov @ May 11 2006, 02:14 PM)
It must hurt to be so pessimistic.
*




QUOTE(RedCedar @ May 11 2006, 02:49 PM)
It must hurt to be so blind.
*


Let's stop with the belittling tone. Be civil and don't make the debates personal.

TOPICS:

Speaking realistically, can the GOP pull another rabbit out of their hat and save their majority in both houses of Congress this November?

Are the poll numbers abysmal enough to lend crucial support to Carl Bernstein and organizations calling for an investigation of the Bush presidency?

In other words, does the message inferred from these poll numbers really matter to the American people, or will Tracey Schmitt's words ring true?
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nemov
post May 11 2006, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE(RedCedar @ May 11 2006, 02:49 PM)
It must hurt to be so blind.

Look at Bush's poll numbers on the economy. That's really what we're talking about, isn't it? I mean you can drag out all the stats in the world, but if the public thinks the economy is being run poorly, it doesn't matter.

The difference from Dole/Kemp is that Clinton didn't give huge tax breaks to investors (i.e. focused on the wealthy). The difference is that under Clinton the gap between rich and poor wasn't exploding. But regardless, Clinton needed a lot of help to win both of his elections.



Oh yes, the old “gap between rich and poor” rhetoric… it sure sounds good. Why does this line of thought conveniently end during Democrat administrations? Other than the tax rates our economic policy as remained much the same since Reagan. Most economists agree the tax cuts were the right thing to do, even Mr. Greenspan who you were so ready to cite ealier. This data suggests that the jobs being created aren't all "wal-mart" jobs like some continue to believe. Obviously the spending has been terrible, but it has not effected the ecnomy as of yet. There is a great deal of debate among economists about how much debt we can manage safely. Alexander Hamiton wrote a great deal about that.

Anyway, the poll numbers are what we’re talking about. As I stated before the White House is doing a poor job talking about the economy. Lets face it that is all the Clinton White House talked about for five years. The economy was growing at a rate a little lower that in is today going into the 96 election, but it was doing well enough to be the issue that sunk any hope that Dole had at winning. It is obvious the press does not care to report the good news, as the MRC pointed out earlier this month.

QUOTE
NBC pushed its “Pain at the Pump” theme the hardest, with 48 stories on Today and another 31 on the NBC Nightly News. ABC’s Good Morning America aired 30 stories on gas prices, plus another 29 on World News Tonight. CBS’s Early Show had 28 stories, while the CBS Evening News aired 17.
In contrast, only four network stories during this period mentioned the low unemployment rate, 4.7 percent. And after the government reported strong economic growth on April 28, ABC and NBC each aired one story, while the CBS Evening News has yet to mention that good news.

Given where we stand in Iraq and the standoff with Iran the War on Terror has kept the White House from touting domestic achievements. Now that Americans are tuning out on the war, this is having a bad effect on the poll numbers. Gas prices are the major contributor to this perception (as cited here). As I've mentioned before notice how the press reports the housing boom as a bubble at every opportunity and in contrast the dot com boom was reported as a perfectly great market expansion. I am not a conspiracy theorist but 24/7 has taken a negative bent over the past few years.

This post has been edited by nemov: May 11 2006, 07:47 PM
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A left Handed pe...
post May 12 2006, 12:45 AM
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The Republicans are in a hole right now to be sure, but it is improper to use Bushes approval ratings as an exhibition of that hole. While Bushes low ratings may be dramatic, they are irrelevant. What matters is what voters will do come November, and Bush isn't going to be up for reelection again.

When asked: If the 2006 election for U.S. House of Representatives were being held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate in your district?" (Or variations of that question)

Voters have given Democrats an average of around a 10% lead over Republicans for the past 8 months.

http://www.pollingreport.com/2006.htm

Unless geography pulls off some amazing stunts, I just can't see the Republicans maintaining control of the house with things how they are. Every single seat is going to be subject to an election, and seats are distributed in proportion to population.

The Senate i'm less optimistic about. Only one third of it will be up for grabs, and that third is from the last congressional election in which Democrats won a net positive number of seats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States...lection%2C_2000

Elections are 6 months away, and the Republicans still have an opportunity to climb out of their hole. However, knowing that they haven't done so in the past 8 months, gives me confidence that they might never do it in time for the polls.

An article I recently read, alleged that Bush is now flooding vacancies with very conservative canidates, in an attempt to promote Democratic outrage like that which seemed especially prominent in 2005. At that point, the country was angry at the government, but not specifically at either party. The article also alleged, that divisiveness could wake up conservative voters, many of whom are peeved at the GOP for its actions on things such as immigration.

Media emphasis often seems to try to spark whats not there; to supersize insignificant words and/or occurences. I am therefore led to question whether the articles appraisal was accurate or just a hook. Unfortunately due to goggle newses transient nature, I can't find it to post a URL, but anyways...

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BecomingHuman
post May 12 2006, 02:20 AM
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QUOTE(nemov @ May 11 2006, 12:46 PM)
Most economists agree the tax cuts were the right thing to do, even Mr. Greenspan who you were so ready to cite ealier.

This is not the case. The mainstream economic community was uncharacteristically unified in their disdain for the Bush tax. So much, in fact, that many professors signed in protest of it.

There are some pretty big names on here too, perhaps the biggest being Olivier Blanchard, who literally wrote the book on macroeconomics (it sets the bar for an undergraduate understanding of macroeconomics). No paul krugman to many detractors amazement! Link

The tax cut was also one of many reason Paul O'neill left the white house, which you can find in the book, "the Price of Loyalty."

Of course, Greenspan is not going to publicly come out against the tax cut when in charge of the federal reserve. That type of political ambiguity can lead to unwelcome speculation.
QUOTE
Speaking realistically, can the GOP pull another rabbit out of their hat and save their majority in both houses of Congress this November?

Magic tricks seem to be something this administration does fairly well. The negative poll numbers reflect on Bush, not the members of congress. Overall, as I believe another poster has said, people tend to think their senator/representative is doing well, but have a negative perception of congress as a whole. The real danger for a congressman right now is being too associated with Bush in states were the tide is turning against this administration. As the election draws nearer, the promising of spending reductions and moral righteousness seem to be picking up exponentially. I doubt most voters will be angry enough to vote out their representatives, though I hope I'm wrong.
QUOTE
Are the poll numbers abysmal enough to lend crucial support to Carl Bernstein and organizations calling for an investigation of the Bush presidency?

Doubtful. The real power for change lies in the hands of disgruntled republican congressman. They are probably much too fearful of a republican backlash to vote for something like an investigation into the whitehouse.
QUOTE
In other words, does the message inferred from these poll numbers really matter to the American people, or will Tracey Schmitt's words ring true?

No matter how you slice it, these poll numbers are not a good thing for republicans. The real question is just how bad will they effect the elephants tight grip on our nation. Sadly, I doubt they will have enough impact to actually change anything.

*Edited for spelling

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nemov
post May 12 2006, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE(BecomingHuman @ May 11 2006, 10:20 PM)
QUOTE(nemov @ May 11 2006, 12:46 PM)
Most economists agree the tax cuts were the right thing to do, even Mr. Greenspan who you were so ready to cite ealier.

This is not the case. The mainstream economic community was uncharacteristically unified in their disdain for the Bush tax. So much, in fact, that many professors signed in protest of it.

There are some pretty big names on here too, perhaps the biggest being Olivier Blanchard, who literally wrote the book on macroeconomics (it sets the bar for an undergraduate understanding of macroeconomics). No paul krugman to many detractors amazement! Link

The tax cut was also one of many reason Paul O'neill left the white house, which you can find in the book, "the Price of Loyalty."

Of course, Greenspan is not going to publicly come out against the tax cut when in charge of the federal reserve. That type of political ambiguity can lead to unwelcome speculation.
*



Greenspan took a lot of heat for publicly endorsing tax cuts. It was an uncharacteristic move for a Fed chief. I studied economics, it was my major in college, the professors at my school (which I guess is not mainstream) seemed to think the tax cuts were a good idea as well as many other economists (Including one of the authors of my econ textbooks). I have to admit though; I think I'm going to start phrasing everyone who agrees with me as the "mainstream community." It is very persuasive.

The current deficit problems are due to the out of control spending, and the fact that during the post Cold War pre 9/11 period we reduced the funding for the military. However, it is very difficult to argue that the tax cuts did not help jumpstart the economy after the dot com bust.
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AuthorMusician
post May 12 2006, 01:43 PM
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Since some are gearing up for the 2008 election season with economic arguments, which don't sell well during midterms, I just want to point out the stats that people really care about:

About 200,000 jobs were added the last reported month. For a robust recovery, 400,000 need to be added per month. For a boom, you need more than that. People don't care so much about the overall economy as their little immediate economy, or in a common term, the pay check.

Reported unemployment is between 4 and 5 percent; however, this is still too much. At least that's what it is looking like as we get ever more into the global economy. Reported unemploymet between 3 and 4 percent is more like it, maybe even between 2 and 3 percent. That's because of outsourcing and foreign workers here on visa.

The question has been posed if I'm better off now than four years ago. Over the past four years, I've worked a total of 18 months. I'm between gigs again. Does this answer the question? Ask me if I'm better off now than in the year 2000.

Oh, and because the 18-month gig was as a contractor, no record of unemployment. How about that.

Anyway, the economic arguments are pretty meaningless right now. Local issues will be more important, like how do we get more jobs in Colorado, or reclaim jobs from illegal aliens, or provide water for future growth, or a plethora of non-national situations. The one exception I can see is the Congress angle. Get more non-Repubs in Congress.

Oh, one other thing. Repubs have been backpeddling so much on the economy that suddenly taking credit for recovery, which is actually moving along at half speed, rings hollow. Either White House policy is responsible for the economy or it isn't. Make up yer minds.

Meanwhile, Congressfolk Rs ought to start brushing up the lobbyist resumes. There very well might be a flood in that job market coming up.
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Vermillion
post May 12 2006, 02:14 PM
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QUOTE(nemov @ May 11 2006, 05:22 PM)
The deficit for the first 6 months of FY2006 came in $52 Billion less than the first 6 months of FY2005


Yes, and what is that deficit exactly? How does it compare to the pervious administration, to previous administrations? And we still have an unfinished occupation and 2 years left to go...

QUOTE
The GDP has been strong the last 2 years.  I’m not sure what you mean here.


The GDP growth in real terms has been at or below average for the last two years, it has surged the last quarter, but as I said, lets just wait on that. It may continue, it may not, a quarter's growth is hardly enough to base predictions on one way or the other.

QUOTE
Kind of like the dot com boom of the 90s?  Kind of like “irrational exuberance?”


Uh, yes, much like the .com boom of the 80s, and with the same damaging effects when it bursts, except with an economy that has far less leway,m a far higher debtload and people with far fewer avings to adapt. What was your point with that retort?

QUOTE
US Cole?


Ah, my bad, when you said terrorists attacks against America, I assume you meant terrorist attacks against America. Silly me.

If you mean Americans killed in attacks anywhere... well, I believe the running tally for Bush Jr post 9/11 is about 2200 dead in Iraq, and another few hundred in Afghanistan...

QUOTE
It has?  This is big news.  Wow, the spinning is very


No, its not big news, its standard reality. Barring small aftereffects of recessions, point out a time during the last 15 years when the stock market was NOT at an all time high. Oh, and for what its worth, its rate of growth under Bush Jr has been far less than under the previous administration...

QUOTE
The “4.7 unemployment rate is bad” argument is a silly defense. 


And as far as I know, nobody has said such a thing. People have pointed out that the unemployment rate, which spiked under Bush Jr the last few years, has dropped, but is still higher than it was when Bush Jr came into office. Is that fact wrong?

QUOTE
Things are rosey on the economic front right now.


Well, both retiring and new federal reserve chairs, the Economist, the Wall street Journal.. and oh yeah, over 2/3 of the American people disagree with you.
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brendanf
post May 14 2006, 12:23 AM
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HERES THE REAL ANSWER:

IT DOESN'T MATTER - TO AN EXTENT...

Bush's success cannot and should not be determined for a long, long time. His policies are one's of length meaning we can't evaluate their success or failure at the immediate time.

**Edited to remove content which has been determined to be SPAM and therefore violates the forum Rules

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carlitoswhey
post May 17 2006, 02:16 PM
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I just read another headline about "Iraq war drags Bush approval to all-time low" yada yada. If you read the news, it would seem that this is the all-time least popular president ever. Which is ridiculous. Here is an article which shows poll numbers for recent presidents, along with some historical context. This morning, Bush's average approval rating at realclearpolitics is 33.8%. Which puts his low point about the same as our last several presidents. In my humble opinion, Carl Bertstein is 1 for 5 in impeaching Republican presidents, and he's itching to get back in the game.

Approval ratings

Prez avg. high low
Kennedy 70 83 56
Eisenhower 65 79 48
Bush 61 89 29
Johnson 55 79 35
Clinton 54 73 37
Reagan 53 65 35
Nixon 49 67 24
Ford 47 71 37
Carter 45 74 28
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Vermillion
post May 17 2006, 03:41 PM
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QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 17 2006, 02:16 PM)
I just read another headline about "Iraq war drags Bush approval to all-time low" yada yada.  If you read the news, it would seem that this is the all-time least popular president ever.  Which is ridiculous.


Yes, it is rediculous, which is why nobody is claiming that. I don't know why you would presume that anybody would.

After all as you yourself showed in your chart, Bush is certainly among the lowest, but has several points to go before he becomes the lowest. Why would you create a strawman argument that nobody is making so that you can disprove it?

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Ted
post May 17 2006, 04:43 PM
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QUOTE
Speaking realistically, can the GOP pull another rabbit out of their hat and save their majority in both houses of Congress this November?



As they say “all politics is local" so this may not be as bad as it seems. Also the Dems really have no “message” that distinguishes them from the Repubs. They do the usual negative spin on everything Republican. Is this enough to get them elected??? Not sure

QUOTE
Are the poll numbers abysmal enough to lend crucial support to Carl Bernstein and organizations calling for an investigation of the Bush presidency?


Not really. Typical political nonsense. The approval rating for the “Congress” is 25%. Should we “investigate” them?

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BoF
post May 17 2006, 04:52 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 17 2006, 11:43 AM)
Also the Dems really have no “message” that distinguishes them from the Repubs.


This in itself, is but another talking point. Ken Mehlman couldn't have said it better.

If you check www.dnc.com, you will find a detailed agenda.

http://www.dnc.org/agenda.html

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nemov
post May 17 2006, 05:22 PM
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QUOTE(BoF @ May 17 2006, 12:52 PM)
QUOTE(Ted @ May 17 2006, 11:43 AM)
Also the Dems really have no “message” that distinguishes them from the Repubs.


This in itself, is but another talking point. Ken Mehlman couldn't have said it better.

If you check www.dnc.com, you will find a detailed agenda.

http://www.dnc.org/agenda.html
*



If by detailed you mean pretty rhetoric that offers no specifics then I agree. It's funny, you click on a link for "more specifics" and there's one paragraph and then a list of "bush this" and "GOP that."
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BoF
post May 17 2006, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE(nemov @ May 17 2006, 12:22 PM)
If by detailed you mean pretty rhetoric that offers no specifics then I agree.  It's funny, you click on a link for "more specifics" and there's one paragraph and then a list of "bush this" and "GOP that."


If you look immediately below the "blue box and video," there are statements on a number of issues. There's no mention of Bush or the GOP unless you click one of the sub links.

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DaytonRocker
post May 17 2006, 05:59 PM
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It will matter no matter how long the republican party apologists try to talk people out of it.

I am so mad at the apologists for this sorry excuse for a republican party, I could scream. It took years and years to take away control from the democrat party. They finally gained control in 1994 only to remind people why nobody trusted them with the keys to the house and the senate for all those years. They are frauds.

The numbers are low and will matter because a decent percentage of republicans - like me - to say it nicely, "disapprove". Content people don't vote. Malcontents like me want change. Unfortunately, my fellow republicans tout their 2nd amendment right to violently overthrow their own tyrannical government, but are too cowardly to vote for somebody out of their party. With enough republican defectors like me, the balance will shift. I am not afraid to vote for a democrat because I have no problem putting principle over politics.

Apologizing for the republicans who have started a war of choice, bloated the government, increased spending more than all other presidents combined, and now are in our daily lives by spying on us, has enabled these phonies to continue pushing this agenda - right into the ground. Had we had this revolt when we should have had it, we might not be in as bad shape as we are. But they let it continue.

Thanks for nothing, republican apologists. We will be forever in your debt. Literally.
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Vermillion
post May 18 2006, 09:20 AM
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QUOTE(DaytonRocker @ May 17 2006, 05:59 PM)
It will matter no matter how long the republican party apologists try to talk people out of it.


Oddly enough, though we agree on the fundamental principle, the complete failure of the Bush Jr. presidency and its deleterious effects on the US economy and society, I disagree with the issue. While the country may remember Bush himself as an abject failure, that does not necessarily translate to the republican party. Popularity of an outgoing 2-term presient, high or low, does not translate to the next election. Clinton left ofice with opinion polls of him in the low 70% range (And how Republicans hated him for that) yet the Democrats still lost the next election.

The dislike of Bush Jr WILL translate to dislike for republicans if they elect as their candidate another from the Bush mold: big government, foreign interventionist, religious conservative. But that may well not happen. Should somebody like McCain get the nomination for example, who is pretty much the diometric opposite of Bush, the republicans may well recover.

The republicans in order to hold onto the White House need to do two things:

One: Put Bush Jr as far behind them as possible, don't get dragged into defending him when putting forward the new candidate.
Two: Stop mocking the democrats as if they were not there, and take people like Hilary Clinton seriously. They may not like her, but that does not stop her from being a serious threat. As The economist pointed out a week ago, if she pulls the same numbers as Kerry, and then due to her gender gets a mere extra 1% of the female vote nationwide, she wins the election.

Backing up to the issue, the polls show that it does matter, and whats more important, it matters to a growing majority of republicans as well. That bodes well for the party, that they as a whole have the capacity to realise their mistakes, even if the administration does not.
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carlitoswhey
post May 18 2006, 02:06 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion @ May 17 2006, 10:41 AM)
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 17 2006, 02:16 PM)
I just read another headline about "Iraq war drags Bush approval to all-time low" yada yada.  If you read the news, it would seem that this is the all-time least popular president ever.  Which is ridiculous.


Yes, it is rediculous, which is why nobody is claiming that. I don't know why you would presume that anybody would.

After all as you yourself showed in your chart, Bush is certainly among the lowest, but has several points to go before he becomes the lowest. Why would you create a strawman argument that nobody is making so that you can disprove it?
*


My comment was that the tone was ridiculous. The wire services like AP and Reuters manage to get Bush's "all time low" approval ratings into every story, whether it's on gas prices, Iraq, "domestic" wiretapping, immigration, etc. I don't remember the drumbeat being this consistent in Clinton or Bush, or even Reagan's second term. I mean, 62 million people did just vote for this guy. That said, I guess I'd have to agree with DaytonRocker, as even I "disapprove" of the job being done. Which doesn't mean I would take someone like Hillary Clinton to be a desireable replacement. I don't think that these ratings should be newsworthy, given that every president ebbs and flows. The media tell us day after day that the president "is" something, then survey us and are amazed that we believe it. Well, duh.

So, was I using hyperbole, yeah. Kind of like claiming the stock market is at an all-time high 99 days out of 100 I guess.
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post May 18 2006, 02:27 PM
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The media's absolute fascination with polls seems to me a lazy substitute to real reporting. Okay, so let's say Bush's popularity is around 29 percent to 33 percent. WHY?

Sure, the war in Iraq is an anchor dragging Bush down. His happy talk seems to be about an Iraq that doesn't yet exist. But despite gas prices, there are a lot of economic indicators that the President and Republicans can point to as positive news.

However, there seems to be an echo chamber of negativity around the White House. Poll numbers are low. Let's start shaking up the White House staff. Still low? Have a few Congressmen resign. Still nothing? Make a prime time speech about controlling the borders by deploying the National Guard.

STILL nothing? Maybe after a certain time perception becomes reality and Bush really is that unpopular because he has earned it. How that translates into the November elections is unclear. I don't sense a seismic political shift coming, but if you believe the polls, the trends are all unfavorable for the GOP.

But the money isn't through changing hands yet... unsure.gif
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entspeak
post May 18 2006, 04:49 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion @ May 18 2006, 01:20 AM)
While the country may remember Bush himself as an abject failure, that does not necessarily translate to the republican party.


In this case, it is translating. Because the Republican Party has been outspoken in their support of this President and in the Republican controlled Congress has been unwilling to stand up to him. This is why the approval rating for Congress is also extremely low at the moment.
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carlitoswhey
post May 18 2006, 05:02 PM
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QUOTE(nighttimer @ May 18 2006, 09:27 AM)
The media's absolute fascination with polls seems to me a lazy substitute to real reporting.  Okay, so let's say Bush's popularity is around 29 percent to 33 percent.  WHY? 

Sure, the war in Iraq is an anchor dragging Bush down.  His happy talk seems to be about an Iraq that doesn't yet exist.  But despite gas prices, there are a lot of economic indicators that the President and Republicans can point to as positive news. 

However, there seems to be an echo chamber of negativity around the White House.  Poll numbers are low.  Let's start shaking up the White House staff.  Still low?  Have a few Congressmen resign.  Still nothing?  Make a prime time speech about controlling the borders by deploying the National Guard.

Just to take a different point of view on this...
Ratings are low - co-sponsor 'no child left behind' act with Ted Kennedy. Still low? Give seniors prescription drug benefits. Still low? Kowtow to illegal immigrants and Tyson chicken with 'guest worker' talk. Rinse / Repeat.

His approval ratings are prima facie evidence that the nation doesn't want a 'moderate' republican. Clinton could get away with this moderation; it appears that Bush cannot. Every piece of good news is followed by "BUT."
Economy is great BUT gas prices are still high ...
Toppled Hussein BUT can't 'win the peace'
Home ownership at all-time high BUT no one is saving
etc.

I just don't remember reading this type of tone in the late 90's. Those to his left will never approve, and those to his right are fed up. Apparently we were all happier with a DLC prez and a Republican Congress. Except for, notably, the Republican Congress at the time, who impeached him.
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