More Bad News for the GOP


Bush and the Republicans' poll position continues to drop–and Iraq is mostly to blame:

A pessimistic mood about the direction of the country—69 percent said the nation is now off track—and disaffection with Republicans has dramatically improved the chances of Democrats to win gains in November.

Democrats are now favored to handle all 10 issues measured in the Post-ABC News poll. The survey also shows a clear majority of the public, 56 percent, saying they would prefer to see Democrats in control of Congress after the November elections.
Bush's job approval rating now stands at 33 percent, down five percentage points in barely a month and a new low in Post-ABC polls.
The president's current decline has been particularly steep among Republicans, who until last month had generally remained generally loyal as independents and Democrats grew increasingly critical. According to the survey, Bush's disapproval rating among Republicans has nearly doubled, from 16 percent to 30 percent, in the past month…..Nearly nine in 10 Democrats and seven in 10 independents currently do not like the job Bush is doing as president.

Public dissatisfaction with Bush has grown in lockstep with opposition to the conflict in Iraq. Not quite a third—32 percent—said they approve of the way Bush is handling Iraq, down five points in the past month and a new low in Post-ABC polling. About a third say Iraq has been worth the cost, the lowest level of support recorded in Post-ABC polls. Two in three Americans believe the war has not been worth it, a view shared by eight in 10 Democrats, seven in 10 independents and a third of all Republicans.

Still, I'll be surprised if this manages to overcome the inertia of incumbency. In the past four elections, House incumbent re-election rates topped 95 percent, and since 1950 have never been lower than 86 percent. In 2004 only one incumbent Senator–Democrat Tom Daschle–lost. I predict a similar, if not as overwhelming, victory for incumbency over unrest this year as well. And I'll be very pleased to be mistaken.