Bush to Botch Joke About Stupid Troops


Probably not, but he could do worse. Rasmussen, the uber-pollster who tracks such things, finds that even a post-gaffe John Kerry is less unpopular than George W. Bush.

Forty-one percent (41%) of Americans approve of the way that George W. Bush is performing his role as President. Fifty-seven percent (57%) disapprove. These figures include 22% who Strongly Approve and 41% who Strongly Disapprove.

John Kerry, following his recent gaffe, is viewed favorably by 40% of Americans and unfavorably by 49%. Still, Democrats as a political party may be peaking at just the right time. They have a six-point advantage in party identification headling into Election 2006. That's their biggest monthly advantage of the last two campaign cycles.

More and more, I'm feeling like my contrarian take on the Kerry kerfuffle was the right one. Republicans needed to build their narrative and momentum in the final week of the campaign to re-convert voters who, for months, have been leaning Democratic. The Kerry story froze the race in place and distracted Republicans and Democrats alike for two days. Most polls taken during the kerfuffle show Democrats keeping or extending their leads. GOP futures have plunged on trading sites—TradeSports has House odds at 25 percent, Senate odds at 69 percent. The best indicators: Bush has dropped Kerry references from his stump speeches and the RNC has shelved its anti-Kerry web ad.

The real takeaway from the kerfuffle might have been just how terrified Democrats remain when they see their own shadows.

NEXT: Let the Blogosphere Go (Betray America)!

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  1. Not at bad point. It did occur to me also that the more the media and pundits focused on John Kerry – who isn’t running for anything – the less they would focus on attacking the actual Democratic candidates seeking office.

    Repubs seem to be banking on the idea that Kerry’s remarks will prompt voters to assume that all Democrats secretly feel that way. I’m not buying it, myself.

    So could the Kerry gaffe be the first “Rovian” move by the Democrats in some time? Bravo if it works.

  2. I’m still convinced my party will continue its glorious tradition of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and end up short on Nov. 3, but it is some comfort to me that The Weekly Standard doesn’t have anything about the election on the website today. It has an article about a bad math curriculum.

  3. Yeah Dan T, I too was confused at the attention Kerry was getting considering the absence of his dog in the fight. It seems to me he’s getting an early start on 08.

  4. I’m still convinced my party will continue its glorious tradition of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and end up short on Nov. 3

    Well, that could definitely happen if everybody in your party shows up to the polls on Nov. 3.


  5. thoreau,

    See why I have low expectations? Obviously I had that math class the Standard was complaining about.

  6. The 2 polls cited are polling different things: job performance vs. likability. I happen to disapprove of the job Bush is doing, but like him infinitely more than I do Kerry.

  7. Coulter was on Fox this morning with the spin that loss of only 30 or 40 seats would actually be an historic victory for the GOP!
    Rove’s guess is said to be 12 to 18 seats lost. Methinks Coulter’s estimate will prove the more correct.

  8. This is getting insane. Has any congressional election ever been subject to the sort of immense, intense attention this one has been getting? I mean, it’s nonstop. I’ve never seen so much significance implicitly assigned to a frikkin midterm election.

    A big part of it, no doubt, is the entrenchment of the Internet and our information society. Everybody has a voice now, and they sure as hell are using it. But I wonder how long this can be sustained… Is this level of intensity and bombast really gonna resurface every two years now?

    That’s hard to imagine. At some point, all this self-generated drama is bound to wear people out.

  9. Tom – that’s a good observation, this has been the most contentious midterm election I can recall.

    My guess, however, is that it does reflect our country’s collective psychology. Almost nobody’s happy with the way things are going but there’s a divide as to what to do about it.

  10. Sorry to tell you Tom, but we’re past the tipping point now. The election industry has become so large and entrenched, I don’t see it going away anytime soon. There’s just too much graft to be had in Washington, and thus the need to spend millions to get at it. It is still probably worth it to keep the punditry otherwise occupied and out of our way here in the real world.

  11. Tom –

    I was only in high school, but the ’94 midterms seemed to be a pretty big deal at the time. The share of people who pay any attention at all to politics that were significantly geared up for that election seemed just as high as this one.

  12. Just think of politics as blood sport for the chattering class.

  13. This election is a big deal because it could begin to get the US the hell outta Iraq.
    Somebody needs to tell the Dems that, however.

  14. Actually, in the circles I run with everyone’s already voted and moved on.

  15. Democrats as a political party may be peaking at just the right time

    I didn’t think we were allowed to do that. It’s in the charter or something.

  16. While I can recall elections that were as big a deal as this one, I can’t help but feel that the media has turned it into a bigger American Idol freak show than it has been in the past. Every miniscule act is rehashed by pundits for days on end.

    “How will this affect the polls, Bill?”
    “I don’t know, let’s see how much I can spin it before I fall down and vomit all over the teleprompter.”

  17. I never did think Kerry’s stumble would change a lot of peoples’ minds; people read what they want to read out of it.

  18. Ig,

    “Yeah Dan T, I too was confused at the attention Kerry was getting considering the absence of his dog in the fight.”

    Kerry didn’t get the attention. Outside of hate radio and affiliated blogs, no one reported on Kerry’s remarks. They were nowhere in the MSM.

    Bush’s response got a great deal of coverage. The President’s statements about the opposition party in the runup to an election being a fairly big story. And, of course, Kerry’s responses to Bush kept the story going.

    Now, no one except hard core Bushies believes Kerry was talking about the troops. Besides the distraction in the runup to the vote – freezing the race in amber for two-three days while the Republicans tried to shift some momentum – there are two significant outcomes to this kerfluffle.

    1) the tired “anti-troops” argument by the Republicans, already looking a little threadbare, is discreditted even further by the rank dishonesty with which it was employed, and

    2) the country sees John Kerry fighting back against such a disreputable gambit by the President. And Kerry is the perfect figure for this, after the Swift Boat attacks made him the poster boy for slandered Democrats.

    Dan T is right – this was Rovian by Kerry. He engaged in a fight that he doesn’t even have to win. Just being seen to have the fight benefits Kerry. Saying this hurt him is remarkably shortsighted.

  19. I agree totally. So long as GOP is blasting Kerry, the Democrats that are actually running are being left alone, relatively anyway.

    As a dem myself, I like the way this election is shaping up. But is it just me, or has congressional elections this time round turned into a referendum on Bush. All the same, donkey’s rule!

  20. hate radio and affiliated blogs


    Now, no one except hard core Bushies believes Kerry was talking about the troops.

    Except for all the Democrats (Clinton, Harold Ford, etc) that demanded Kerry apologize.

    You’re pretty funny joe.

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