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Presidential Poll Numbers


As I noted in the wake of passage of the prescription drug bill, presidential
approval numbers, when reported, are typically not broken down by
Republican/Democrat or Conservative/Liberal (or perhaps they are and this
number is not reported). Therefore, when the President’s job performance
falls (as I predicted it would), it is implied that this is a rejection of the
President’s more conservative policies (such as the war) when in fact it may
represent at the margin increasing disatisfaction among
conservatives and libertarian voters with his big-spending, no-veto domestic
policy. I saw a glimmer of this this morning in one poll reporting that more
voters trust Kerry to control government spending than they do Bush. This
seems clearly to reflect disapproval of the President by conservative and
libertarian Republicans and independents from his right. The question is:
what can he possibly do about it now?

The irony here is that Bush’s retreat from a conservative-libertarian stance
on the domestic front now threatens his more aggressive (but under-defended)
persecution of the war initiated against the US by radical Islamic
fundamentalists and their state supporters. If Bush had governed more like
Reagan (who I admit had his own domestic governance problems) and less like
the triangulating Clinton, it might be morning in America.


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