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

Tuesday | October 29, 2002

Dick Morris pessimistic on GOP chances

This Dick Morris column is raising metaphorical eyebrows across the political web community:

Just when control of Congress hangs in the balance, President Bush is losing the popularity he so desperately needs to gain control of the Senate and keep power in the House. According to the Fox News survey of Oct. 22-24, Bush's job approval has slipped to 60 percent, from 66 percent two weeks ago and 69 percent in August. His personal favorability has dropped to 62 percent from 72 percent in August. For the first time since 9/11, Bush's job-approval ratings have dropped below those Bill Clinton maintained throughout his second term, even in the midst of impeachment proceedings.

The last time a mid-term election resulted in a partisan rout, in 1994, the auger of Democratic disaster was a drop in Clinton's job approval in the period immediately before the balloting.

The Note reads Morris' column, and then makes an observation that should be CW in a few days -- that Bush has squandered his "war" popularity by campaigning full-time for GOP candidates. Consider, if Iraq is such an imminent menace, then why isn't he dealing with that problem full-time? Why is he on the campaign trail instead? As a result, not only is Bush's personal popularity plummeting, but so is support for an Iraq invasion.

And by tying himself so closely to the midterm elections, Bush has ensured that any losses will be a reflection on him. These races will no longer turn on local issues but instead become a nationwide referendum on Bush himself.

Of course that notion is ridiculous -- a Mitt Romney victory in MA would have nothing to do with Bush's popularity in that solid blue state. Just as a Siegelman victory would not suddenly transform Alabama into a competitive swing state. But in politics, perception is often reality. So long as Bush tries to impose his personal popularity on contests around the nation, he will suffer the consequences if, as expected, the Dems have a good night next Tuesday.

Posted October 29, 2002 08:59 AM | Comments (29)


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