Even Gallup, With A GOP-Heavy Sample, Says Bush Vulnerable On Bin Laden
If you are looking for proof that focusing on Osama Bin Laden and 9/11 is fertile ground for Democrats, I give you this:
The recent firestorm over former President Bill Clinton's culpability for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was fueled on Tuesday when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice contrasted President Bush's efforts to pursue al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden with Clinton's efforts. Clinton has strongly denied various suggestions that his administration missed key opportunities to kill bin Laden and left the Bush administration without a comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy. However, Bush -- whom Clinton says did nothing about al-Qaeda for the first eight months of his presidency -- has the bigger image problem with Americans on the issue.
According to a recent Gallup Panel survey, the American public puts the primary blame on Bush rather than Clinton for the fact that bin Laden has not been captured. A majority of Americans say Bush is more to blame (53%), compared with 36% blaming Clinton.
It would be expected that respondents put the blame on a guy who has had five years to find Bin Laden, and who had 9/11 happen on his watch, rather than a guy who has been out of office for nearly six years now. Yet this poll is remarkable because Gallup salted the sample with just as many Republicans as Democrats (34% each), and yet they still got this result. Almost every other pollster that I know of since the 2004 election has used samples representative of the overall population that generated at least a 3-point Democratic advantage, and in many cases, the samples turned up Democratic advantages as large at 8-9 points. But this being Gallup, we shouldn’t be surprised that as Bush makes his push towards the midterms, up pops a series of their polls showing an evenly split universe, something no other pollster is finding.
I’m sure this GOP-friendly sample will generate a nice job approval rating for Bush in a later release today or tomorrow. But Gallup took a shot at helping push the “Bush is recovering” narrative along, and still got this poll result. Democrats should keep hammering Bush on Bin Laden, 9/11, and Iraq.