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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation




































Tuesday | December 31, 2002

Poll: no more tax cuts; no war

There has been a real disconnect between Bush Administration policies and popular opinion for a while, which is surprising given the strong level of support Bush still receives.

The latest poll to gauge this disconnect is from the AP:

Do you think it is more important to pass additional tax cuts to stimulate the economy now or do you think it is better to hold off on tax cuts to make sure that the budget does not go into a deeper deficit?
  • Better to wait on tax cuts, 64 percent

  • Pass tax cuts to stimulate the economy, 28 percent

  • Don't know-refused, 8 percent
And on the war front:
Thinking about a possible war with Iraq, how worried are you that this might increase the chances of a terrorist attack within the United States?
  • A great deal, 33 percent

  • A fair amount, 32 percent

  • Not much, 32 percent

  • Don't know-refused, 3 percent
If you had to choose, which do you think poses the greater threat to the United States--Iraq and Saddam Hussein or the al-Qaida terrorist network and Osama bin Laden?
  • al-Qaida/Osama bin Laden, 59 percent

  • Iraq/Saddam Hussein, 29 percent

  • Don't know-refused, 12 percent
So who are these idiots that think that Iraq is a greater threat to the US than Al Qaeda? Then again, given the full-court press the administration has engaged in with Iraq, with no effective organized opposition, it's a wonder that less than a third of respondents view Iraq as the biggest threat, or think that an Iraq war won't spur new terrorist attacks.

The administration's 2003 plans are war and tax cuts. Oh, and Social Security privatization. Given the public's unease with all three of these issues, it would seem that the Democrats have an opening to exploit those differences. But they haven't been able to do so to date. And Bush has skill in pushing policies no one likes without taking political damage. It's Rove's new kind of polling: it's not about discovering what people want. It's about finding ways to sell policies people don't want. Like tax cuts, and SS privatization, and war.

Expect a full-court press on all three issues, and expect the public to balk on poll like this one, but continue to give Bush a pass. If Bush is vulnerable (and he is), the damage will come either from an Iraq war gone bad or continued economic woes. Both are hideous things to contemplate -- either mass death and destruction or economic devastation. No one could root for those things, and I sure as hell am not.

Posted December 31, 2002 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | Trackback (0)