Rasmussen Says Dubai May Have Tipped 2006 To The Democrats
Scott Rasmussen points out today that between Iraq and the Dubai ports deal, Bush has lost his edge over Democrats on national security and terrorism. Add to that the disconnect many voters will see with Bush’s strong efforts to accelerate India’s rise as a nuclear weapons state, and Democrats have a strong opportunity to argue that they are better equipped to bring sanity and caution back into our national security policies.
Rasmussen points out that Democrats stand on the verge of retaking several Senate seats this year as a result of Bush’s self-inflicted wounds, and this is coming in a year where the GOP had an edge. In the 2008 and 2010 elections, the GOP has more seats to defend, so any pickups this year would only make the Democrats’ recoupments that much stronger in the coming years.
Yes, events can still work in Bush’s favor, but which ones? As Rasmussen says, as well as the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato, the key for Democrats was to be able to regain credibility on national security issues so that Democrats can break through the media filter on the issues they already claim large advantages over the GOP. And with this terrible mistake on Dubai and tossing aside decades of nonproliferation work with the move to accelerate India’s nuclear program, the White House has handed Democrats two fresh reasons why voters should rein in the GOP this fall. And Carville and Greenberg this week noted that 2004 Bush voters are defecting to the Democratic column at twice the number that 2004 Kerry voters are trending towards the GOP, so there is every reason to believe that a “change” election is upon us.
The White House and GOP will trot out another set of social wedge issues to drive voters to the polls this fall, such as banning gay adoption. And yes, there may be more talk about Iran and Syria. But given Dubai, what Bush just did in arming India, and how little chance there will be that Iraq will get better, the White House’s chances of using national security and moral issues to scare its base to the polls this fall may be muted. And that is what is scaring the GOP professionals inside the Beltway these days.