Saturday :: Jun 5, 2004

Ev'rybody's Talkin' At Me

by pessimist

One of our pet trolls like to spout about the obviously slanted Rasmussen poll everytime it comes out showing (SURPRISE!) George Warmonger Bush leading. Each time, I post other polls which carry more weight in the respect department to show that ain't necessarily so.

This time around, things are a bit light. We must be between polling cycles or something. As a result, I don't yet have any national polls to offer, but I can point out three things I did locate - two state polls and a personal testament.

Kerry ahead as Bush approval drops in Pennsylvania

Democratic challenger John Kerry has moved into a thin 44 -- 41 percent lead over President George W. Bush among Pennsylvania voters, with 6 percent for independent candidate Ralph Nader, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This compares to a 45 -- 39 percent lead for President Bush, with 8 percent for Nader in an April 21 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

Bush's job approval has dropped to an all-time low of 41 percent in Pennsylvania, with 55 percent disapproving. Voters say 51 -- 42 percent that going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, reversing a 49 -- 45 percent vote in favor of the war April 21.

Voters say 50 -- 41 percent that Kerry would do a better job on the economy, ranked by 49 percent as more important than Iraq or terrorism in deciding how they will vote for President. Voters split 48 -- 45 percent that Bush would do a better job in Iraq. "Sen. Kerry has taken the lead over President Bush in this key battleground state following a 7-point loss in support for the war in Iraq," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Pennsylvania voters turned against the war for the first time when it dramatically came home with the beheading of a Philadelphia businessman and the involvement of soldiers from a Pennsylvania reserve unit in the Iraq prison abuse scandal."

By a 66 -- 31 percent margin, Pennsylvania voters say the prison abuse scandal is unacceptable and not something that normally happens in war.

Kerry tops Bush by 10 points in Connecticut

Democratic challenger John Kerry tops President George W. Bush 46 - 36 percent among Connecticut voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Independent candidate Ralph Nader gets 8 percent. President Bush gets a negative 39 - 55 percent approval rating, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds, his lowest ever in Connecticut.

By a 52 - 42 percent margin, Connecticut voters say going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do. Voters say 66 - 29 percent that abuse of prisoners in Iraq is a major issue and unacceptable, not something that routinely happens in war.

Offered several choices, 28 percent of voters say the economy is the most important issue in deciding how they will vote for President, followed by 25 percent who list Iraq, 17 percent who say terrorism and 10 percent who say health care.

Voters give Bush a negative 38 - 56 percent approval for his handling of the economy and a negative 37 - 57 percent score for his handling of Iraq. The President gets a 51 - 43 percent approval for his handling of terrorism.

"President Bush's approval rating has dropped to an all-time low in Connecticut. The President gets low marks for his handling of the economy and the situation in Iraq which has helped Sen. Kerry build a 10-point lead," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

Slippage Among True-Blue Ohio R's Bad News for Bush
By Bill Rentschler, Hamilton, Ohio

Bill Rentschler is a longtime author and former Republican US Senate candidate in Illinois, now semi-retired in Hamilton, Ohio. This originally appeared in the Hamilton Journal-News.

Some Bush huggers of my acquaintance think it's positively awful what those dratted liberals and confounded Democrats are saying about their president. But I'm hearing even stronger stuff from some bona-fide longtime Republican bleeders for their cause. I detect a still fairly modest slippage among these normally diehard GOP stalwarts that could tilt another likely razor-thin election the other way, change the leadership of this divided nation, and send the incumbent president back full-time to Crawford, Texas.

Let me cite several examples:

At a college alumni dinner in conservative Cincinnati last week, the Rev. Robert W. Croskery, who guides the Pilgrim Chapel in Mount Adams, delivered this moving invocation, which he called "an Irish Blessing":

Let peace descend upon the cities and hamlets of the earth As the mists of the morning cover the cornfields. Let the bombs, guns and munitions be retired and locked away. Let the peoples abandon violence with its death, destruction, fear and hate. Let there be partnership, harmony and cooperation in the United States, the Middle East and throughout all the earth. Let human energy proliferate in the progress of science, the expansion of learning, the growth of wisdom, and the flowering of faith. May hope hold the hearts of the peoples of the earth, map liberty and justice and brotherhood bind in one mighty accord and bond of mutual respect the races and religions of humankind and may the light and truth of America's greatest universities lead the way.


At evening's end, I went to tell Rev. Croskery I was inspired by his words. He volunteered that he was a longtime Republican utterly turned off by the actions of President Bush and the national administration, which he sees as mostly contrary to his "blessings."

"Bush got us into a pointless war and hasn't the vaguest idea of how to get us out with honor," he said. "Iraq is in a shambles, and the cost to rebuild it will be vast. Meanwhile, Americans in need right here are being ignored and shortchanged. I cannot vote Republican in this presidential election."

I chanced recently to read a potent oped column in USA Today by James Webb, who served as secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. Webb was a combat veteran in Vietnam, and I remember him as a dedicated conservative Republican activist. His column was titled Veterans face conundrum: Kerry or Bush? and this is some of what he wrote:

"The Bush campaign now claims ... that Bush has proved himself as a competent and daring 'war president,' And yet his actions in Iraq, and the vicious attacks against anyone who disagrees with his administration's logic, give many veterans serious pause. Bush arguably has committed the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory. To put it bluntly, he attacked the wrong target.

While he boasts of removing Saddam Hussein from power, he did far more than that. He decapitated the government of a country that was not directly threatening the United States and, in so doing, bogged down a huge percentage of our military in a region that has never known peace. Our military is being forced to trade away its maneuverability in the wider war against terrorism while being placed on the defensive in a single country that never will fully accept its presence."

Can you imagine Secretary Webb voting for Bush or touting him to friends and acquaintances?

Completely out of the blue, I received a phone call the other evening from a long-ago Republican friend who'd helped me greatly years ago win election as president of the Illinois Young Republicans. He'd learned from a mutual friend that I am now living in my hometown of Hamilton, Ohio, and he got my phone number from directory assistance.

"I don't know where you stand these days, Bill," he said, "but Bush and the crowd around him make me sick and aren't even real Republicans. I remember when Republicans were genuine guardians of tax dollars, but these guys spend our money like creek water. The huge tax cuts, especially for the very rich, with a war going on make no sense at all. They're cutting back environment protection, and fouling the air again. You knew (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld, didn't you? Well, he and Cheney are strictly for war. They want to work our will by brute force. That's why the whole world hates us."

My old friend went on and made it clear Sen. Kerry will get his vote in November.

None of the above is scientific. These are merely random vignettes. But how these three formerly staunch Republicans are talking and thinking ought to strike fear into the hearts of the White House brain trust and the president himself.

This is why there is hope for a Kerry victory this fall - Bush is alienating his base. I doubt there is time for George to reverse the damage, and I also doubt that increased numbers of lower-pay service jobs will help much with this group either.

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pessimist :: 1:44 AM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!