Poll Shows Bush And GOP Congress’ Numbers Slipping
This has not been a good few weeks due to the furor over the intelligence report, the Bob Woodward book and the Foley underage teenage sex scandal — and now it’s showing up in the polls:
After what they have seen and heard over the past few weeks — events including the news of a Republican congressman’s improper correspondence with a teenage page and the recent release of journalist Bob Woodward’s unfavorable portrayal of the Bush administration’s handling of Iraq – respondents to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, by more than a 2-to-1 ratio, say they have a less favorable impression of the Republicans maintaining control of Congress.
What’s more, a strong plurality believes the Iraq war is hurting the country’s ability to win the war on terrorism, a significant shift from a month ago.
Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with the Republican Bill McInturff, says that there is the point in every election when it becomes crystallized for voters. And the events from the past week, he notes, could very well be that point for the upcoming midterms.
Bush is down now to 39 percent in this poll, a drop in 3 points.
Conversely, 34 percent believe the events over the past few weeks have given them a more favorable impression of Democrats becoming the majority party in Congress, while 23 percent say the events have given them a less favorable impression. Thirty-seven percent say the events have had no effect.
And Hart, the Democratic pollster, says this finding is good news for Democrats looking to win control. “It is not a full-scale endorsement, but it is a positive indication.”
It means the GOP has to do something to stem the bleeding. On the other hand, polls are snapshots. This story could mean little if before the election there was some big external event to rally voters, some major Democratic blunder that sparks screaming headlines, or if a certain terrorist is captured. Not to mention the GOP’s big bankroll and megaeffective get-out-the-demographics vote software. For the GOP it can hinge (again) on the base; for the Democrats its base and how angry independent voters are this year.
ALSO READ Jonathan Singer who looks at Bush’s falling numbers in two polls.