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Bush's Approval Ratings, 2006, and 2008

One would think that the people who were so sure in the spring and summer of 2004 that George Bush would lose because his job approval was only 45% and the right direction/wrong direction polls were so negative, would be a little more circumspect when drawing sweeping conclusions about the state of the Bush Presidency from the current public opinion polls.

This is not meant to be a detailed analysis of the political landscape, but suffice it to say the Bush critics have once again been a little too premature in pronouncing this President's political obituary. As much as Democrats and the press want this White House to end up like Jimmy Carter or Richard Nixon, the reality is quite different.

None of this is to suggest that the President and the Republicans don't have problems, they do. But the hyperventilating among the pundits that you can already pencil in a 1994 type of tidal wave against the GOP in 2006 is ridiculous. While you hear a relentless drumbeat of "Bush ratings at a new low," how often do you hear "Bush ratings at new low, but Democrats ratings even lower"?

Today's Harris Poll is another dose of bad news for the President, but when you read a little deeper into the poll results you see that the public actually rates the President's job performance 9 points better than Congressional Democrats, 34% - 25%. FOX News' last poll showed a similar type of result, giving the President a 36% job approval and Democrats in Congress only 33%. (Republicans in Congress polled better than the Democrats in both polls as well, though not by much.)

Bottom line, the Democratic enthusiasm should really be muted because right now the most likely '06 result is the Dems pick up a handful of House seats and 1-3 Senate seats. That still leaves the GOP in control of Congress, and when we look ahead to 2008 I would at this (very early) time rate McCain as the front runner. And if McCain is the Republican nominee he will win 40+ states for the GOP and carry in a stronger Republican Congress.

That doesn't sound like "Happy Days Are Here Again" for the Democrats any time soon.

 

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