I just love the headline. After all, it's been what I've been writing about for some time.
Less than four months before Election Day, the latest FOX News Poll finds that voters strongly favor the Democrats on key issues such as the economy and gas prices, and give the minority party a double-digit lead for control of Congress this fall. For most of President Bush’s second term in office, more Americans have said they disapprove than approve of his job performance and that is again the case in this new poll.
The president’s approval rating dropped to 36 percent, down from 41 percent approval two weeks ago and 40 percent in mid-June. Bush lost ground this week among some key constituent groups, such as Republicans, whites and men. Overall, 53 percent of Americans say they disapprove.
40% is a key number. Below that, Bush is a drag on the ticket in November, and his mini-bounce has run its course. What that really means is that even Republicans who tend to drift toward him whenever there's 'good news' as defined by the RNC have their doubts about this President, and drift away when not constantly tended to.
"It is important to remember that the president got his bounce after the killing of al-Zarqawi in Iraq," comments Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. "While administration officials were careful not to overplay the significance of this, it naturally created hope that things would get better. Several weeks of bloody footage from Iraq have pretty much dashed those hopes."
To put that in perspective, see Harris and the WSJ. Reagan and Clinton at this point in their presidencies were in the 55-70 range. GWB remains in Nixon territory. This is a failed presidency, with a razor-thin reelection to a second term. All the post-GWB candidates on the Republican side will be running away from his legacy, just as many congressional Rs will in November.
The point is that Lamont's challenge in CT is not an aberration, any more than Chafee's woes in RI are. Opposing Bush is not only good policy, it's good politics.
Bush-hatred drives — or poisons — almost everything in liberal politics now. Chait himself wrote a bilious cover story for the New Republic in 2003 explaining why he hates everything, and I mean everything, about Bush. And just this week, Chait defended the proposition that Bush is a greater threat to the U.S. than Osama bin Laden because Bush has "wreaked enormous damage on the political and social fabric of the country" and has "strained the fabric of American democracy." And Chait is seen as a moderate by the Daily Kos crowd.