This fall’s elections will be largely a referendum on the Bush Administration. Whether the Republicans can hold on to control of Congress depends partially upon whether Bush can rebound. In 2004 George Bush trailed John Kerry but took the lead in August primarily with negative campaigning. Dick Cheney and other Republicans have certainly gone negative lately, but it does not seem to be helping the Republicans this time.
I recently reported on the Harris Poll, the AP-Ipsos Poll, and the Fox News Poll which all showed low approval for Bush and the Republicans. More polls are out with the same results. Zogby shows a drop in Bush’s approval of two percent over the last three weeks with his current approval at 34%.
The CBS News Poll shows Bush’s approval rating at 36%, unchanged from one month ago. After years of Republican propaganda, a majority continues to believe that the Republicans handle terrorism better than Democrats, but at least Democrats have taken a lead on being considered better at handling Iraq. While Republicans have used terrorism to justify the war in Iraq, only nine percent now believe the war has reduced the threat of terrorism. (Josh Marshall has an interesting post on Iraq and terrorism today).
The Fix looks at all the recent polls, finding “the national environment is clearly slanted in Democrats’ favor at the moment and barring some sort of major national event will stay that way all the way through November. A slanted playing field has the capacity to bring normally non-competitive Republican-held seats into play — widening Democrats’ margin for error if they hope to take back the House.”