If there wasn’t sufficient reason for Republicans up for re-election to start to either distance themselves from the Bush administration or demand a change in Iraq war policy, this poll is it:
A CBS News poll shows Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the Iraq war, President Bush and the Congress, as well as the overall direction of the country.
More Americans than ever before, 77 percent, say the war is going badly, up from 66 percent just two months ago. Nearly half, 47 percent, say it’s going very badly.
Those are staggerly negative numbers. It indicates that argument, spin, even logical scenarios are not going to do it with the American people now. People are watching the news and apparently listening to more than Rush, Sean, or Tony Snow:
While the springtime surge in U.S. troops to Iraq is now complete, more Americans than ever are calling for U.S. forces to withdraw. Sixty-six percent say the number of U.S. troops in Iraq should be decreased, including 40 percent who want all U.S. troops removed. That’s a 7-point increase since April.
That would indicate that the progressives who have been insisting that the public is on the Democrats’ side on this are indeed correct as of July. Sixty-six percent is a strong number and one that could mean voting booth poison for those who insist we must stay the course no matter how long it takes. Translation: John McCain’s presidential hopes are now not just toast but burnt toast. MORE:
Fewer than one in five thinks that the troop increase is helping to improve the situation in Iraq, while about half think the war is actually creating more terrorists.
And President Bush?
The poll has bad news for President Bush, too. His job approval rating slipped to 27 percent, his lowest number ever in a CBS News poll â€” 3 points less than last month and 1 point below his previous low of 28 percent in January. His disapproval rating is also at an all-time high of 65 percent.
Once again: Bush has now approached the Jimmy Carter/Richard Nixon/LBJ level in his presidency. It’s difficult to see how he can reverse this course. Even events like a huge foreign policy crisis or a big domestic emergency may not be enough. There seems to be War
Fatigue and Bush Fatigue.
The danger for the GOP: it’s also likely that more centrist Democrats and a large chunk of independent voters now feel a Republican-federal-control fatigue and will want to get rid of it come 2008.