Latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll Shows More Slippage For Bush On Iraq
The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll out today continues to show a decline in support for Bush’s handling of Iraq, with noticeable declines in support amongst two groups the Karl Rove is counting on next year: men and seniors.
More unexpected was the 21-point decline among men, compared with a 16-point decline among women. That's a red flag for Republicans who have long counted on men as a bedrock of support. Even so, 55% of men say the war was worth it, higher than the 50% level for women.
There were important distinctions among age groups as well. Support by those under 65 fell by 17 percentage points, but for those 65 and over it dropped 27 points. That's another red flag: Seniors are the age group most likely to vote.
And yes, the pathetic weasel did really tell the press today that it was the sailors’ fault that the “Mission Accomplished” sign was put up on the Abraham Lincoln, not the White House.
Bush's manner, subdued at first, was at times defensive. When asked whether he would assure Americans that the level of U.S. forces would be lower a year from now, he called it "a trick question" and refused to answer. He insisted he had never understated to the American people the postwar task in Iraq. And he said the White House had nothing to do with the "Mission Accomplished" banner that was the telegenic backdrop for his appearance on the USS Abraham Lincoln May 1.
"The 'Mission Accomplished' sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln saying their mission was accomplished," Bush said. At the time, the president's appearance — the commander-in-chief landing on an aircraft-carrier deck in full flight gear — was viewed as a triumph of choreography by the president's public-relations team.
I’m sure that will go over well with the armed forces. And you can forget seeing those video clips of Bush in the sock-stuffed flight suit. Even an unnamed GOP strategist thinks the heady days are over.
In one April survey by USA TODAY, Americans by 43%-15% said the war had made them more confident in Bush's ability to handle other problems.
In a subsequent poll taken last Friday through Sunday, they said by 40%-27% that the war had made them less confident in him.
A Republican strategist with ties to the Bush-Cheney campaign acknowledged that voters' views of Bush and the war have changed. "I don't think it's become a liability," he said, speaking on condition that he not be identified by name. "But in the last few months it's obviously been neutralized from the height of the thing."
The same poll shows Bush beating an unnamed Democrat by only three points.