While George W. Bush's approval rating hovers around the make-or-break point of 50 percent and an increasing number of Americans fret that the country is heading down the crapper, here's more potential bad news for the son of a one-term prez.
First up is this Cox News story that announces, "Job losses in key states a threat to Bush." A snippet:
WASHINGTON—In his bid for re-election, President Bush is facing an economic minefield in 17 battleground states…where nearly three-fourths of the counties he carried four years ago have lost jobs since he won the White House.
A Cox News Service analysis found that 72.5 percent of the counties in these key states that voted for Bush in 2000 have seen their jobless rates rise during his presidency, some by as much as 6 percent.
Second up is this Knight Ridder piece, "Poll: U.S. Faces Suspicion in Terror War." According to an international polls done in nine countries by the folks at Pew Research Center before the Spanish bombings,
The surveys found considerable cynicism and anger among the Muslim-majority countries a year after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. And they found a growing desire among European countries for a balance of power.
"Europeans want to check our power," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. "There's considerable support for making the European Union as powerful as the United States."
People in the surveyed Muslim countries remain angry about U.S. policies—and are even supportive of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi terrorist who took credit for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The good news for Bush, of course, is that he's running against John Kerry. It is, of course, way too early to tell what the hell is going to happen in November, but I suspect that much of the anti-Bush animus in the country is actually an inchoate reaction to undivided government. Clinton's first couple of years in office, when the Dems cotrolled Congress and the White House, were pretty much an unmitigated disaster; once the GOP gained some Congressional control in the '94 elections, things got much better for everyone. I think American voters are missing that sort of power-sharing–which is not quite the same as gridlock, even as it produced any number of positive outcomes.