Bush Seeks Negative Approval Rating

Monday, May 08, 2006

Not even Tom Cruise gets as much media attention as President Bush's poll numbers. "All-time low!" we are told, and then the next day we read the same headline. Why even waste the ink to print something that will be outdated in 24 hours? "Even lower than yesterday!" will read tomorrow's newspapers, blogs and journals.

But what does this mean for the president and the GOP? Absolutely nothing!

The Democratic Party, completely devoid of a clear agenda by which to lead (oh wait, they promise to catch Osama bin Laden!), is putting all of its chips on a Republican implosion. They look at Bush's poll numbers with glee, hoping that this November Americans will be desperate enough to vote for Democrats again.

According to the most recent USA TODAY poll -- yep, you've guessed it -- "Bush approval rating hits new low." It's at 31%, which I guess is worse than when it was at 34%, bleaker than when it was at 36%.

For Democrats, polls give them solace. They think bad polls for Republicans translate into election victories for Democrats. Pop-Quiz: How many times have Democrats won a majority vote in a national election to become president since FDR?

Answer: Two! Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Jimmy Carter in 1976. The former was damaged so badly by Vietnam that he opted not to run for re-election, and it took someone like Richard Nixon and his vice-president for Americans to give Democrats another chance. They elected Jimmy Carter, but then fixed that mistake by limiting him to one term in the White House.

But Democrats don't look at history. They look at polls; meaningless polls. As one political pundit put it so perfectly:

And then - despite the fact that every single man, woman and child in America opposed the war in Iraq and despised George Bush - a few months later, Bush won re-election against well-respected war hero John Kerry.
If history is an accurate predictor, Democrats should win Congress easily this year. They should have won it in 2004. Traditionally, the president's party loses Congress in the midterm elections. And we know how bad the Republicans are because Democrats keep reminding us. But then why do Americans continue to keep them in them?

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