IS BUSH VULNERABLE?….Based on a new Pew Research poll, Amy Sullivan urges Dems not to give up in the face of the Bush juggernaut:
Bush’s overall job performance rating is down 14 percent from just a few months ago. Sixty-two percent of Americans think he could be doing more to help the economy (up from 53 percent in May). A whopping 72 percent think Bush isn’t doing enough about health care problems. And while 61 percent said they thought the effort in Iraq was going “very well” in April, only 23 percent say the same today. This is not a Teflon-coated president, people. He’s vulnerable.
Unfortunately, the poll isn’t quite as encouraging as Amy suggests. In fact, the subhead of the press release announcing the results is “Dem Candidates Stir Little Enthusiasm,” and although it’s true that only 23% say things in Iraq are going “very well,” 75% say they are going either very well or fairly well. And there’s this:
There are no signs that the public’s unease over developments at home and abroad are providing the Democrats with much political momentum. In fact, the Democratic Party is losing its historic advantage over the Republicans on health care. By 38%-31%, the public favors the Democrats as the party best able to reform the health care system. That is the smallest edge the Democrats have held on this measure since October 1994 (41%-34%), after the demise of the Clinton administration’s controversial national health care proposal.
Whew! Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to be discouraging, but it’s always best to face up to what you’re up against. And overall, I agree with Amy: it’s still early days, and a lot of the issues that favor Democrats aren’t going to start resonating until the primary season really starts heating up. As the Pew survey shows, Bush’s numbers are heading down and he clearly has some weaknesses that can be exploited. If we pick the right candidate it’s going to be a close fight next November.