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The Political Cost of Iraq

The numbers from the latest Washington Post poll pretty much speak for themselves:

5. Who do you trust to do a better job handling (ITEM), (Bush) or (the Democrats in Congress)?
The situation in Iraq: Bush 34, Dems in Congress 54
The U.S. campaign against terrorism: Bush 39, Dems in Congress 52
The economy: Bush 36, Dems in Congress 56
The federal budget: Bush 32, Dems in Congress 59
Health care: Bush 25, Dems in Congress 62

Given the decided advantage Republicans have enjoyed on national security issues over the last 20 to 30 years, if someone had told you that five and a half years after September 11 the Republican President who shepherded America through the worst terrorist attack in her history would be running 13 points behind Democrats in Congress on the question of who can better handle the war on terror, you probably would have thought that to be very unlikely, if not a bit nuts. But that's where this President appears to be.

The real question is whether (or perhaps how much) the public's dismal view of President Bush is rubbing off on the Republican party in general, GOP members in Congress, and potentially the party's 2008 Presidential hopefuls as well.