Friday :: May 14, 2004

Zogby And Harris Polls Show Major Trouble For Bush


by Steve

On a day when the Pentagon backtracked and suddenly released over 300 Iraqi detainees (which calls into question why they were incarcerated in the first place) and softened the interrogation procedures that Rummy had previously approved, the political landscape reflects that the prisoner abuse scandal is doing damage to Bush’s election prospects. A Time/CNN poll released today by Harris Interactive shows that John Kerry has moved out to a five-point over Bush even with Nader included, and Kerry now has crossed the 50% level, leading Bush 51%-46%.

Yet as bad as that sounds, a Zogby poll scheduled to be released Sunday, shows that the bottom has dropped out of Bush’s numbers on Iraq, with only 36% of those questioned by Zogby saying they approve of his handling of Iraq. The Zogby poll will show that Bush’s overall approval rating is headed to the lethal low-forties (42%).

Bush’s approval rating in the Time/CNN poll is down to 46%, but the poll’s results are more noteworthy for the damage Bush has suffered against Kerry on his signature issues of handling Iraq and terrorism, as well as voters’ concerns about Bush’s overall abilities.

Kerry and Bush are essentially tied over who would handle Iraq better -- 46 percent to 43 percent.

Bush appears to have an advantage over Kerry on the war on terrorism with 49 percent saying he would do a better job, compared to 42 percent for Kerry. He also had the edge in "moral values" -- 46 percent to 42 percent.

On the question of who would do a better job, Kerry had big leads on health care, protecting the environment, reducing the deficit and reducing unemployment. He even did better than Bush on the question of taxes.

In the fight against terrorism -- one of Bush's strengths in many polls -- this poll showed a split over whether Bush is doing a good job. Forty-six of those polled said he was, but 47 percent said he was doing a poor job.

The poll also indicated that Bush's troubles may hurt the GOP in other races. On the generic ballot for congressional races, Democrats have a 13 point lead among likely voters.

Overall, those polled said they believed things are going well in the country, but they expressed growing concern about Bush.

Those with "doubts and reservations" about Bush's ability to lead the country rose from 55 percent to 59 percent while those who believe the president can be trusted as a leader dropped from 44 percent to 39 percent, since early February.

So Bush is losing his edge against Kerry on terrorism, has lost his edge against Kerry on Iraq, is getting blown out against Kerry on domestic issues, is possibly leading his party to defeat this year in congressional races, is losing voters’ trust as a leader, and finds himself facing voters who think things are going well but still are concerned about having Bush as a leader.

And all this is happening while Kerry crosses the 50% line while forgoing an aggressive attack mode against Bush, letting events and Bush’s own actions hang himself.

Is it possible that voters have had enough of Bush, no matter how hopeful things may be with the economy?

Steve :: 4:41 PM :: Comments (20) :: Digg It!