The Corner

Sorry–Polls Matter

I’ve heard a number of conservative analysts say over the last year or so–if I remember correctly, including Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer–that the polls don’t matter, that Bush should just do what he needs to do regardless of them. He’s not on the ballot again. He should spend all the political capital he can. Etc. This sounds nice, but the fact is that if his polls sink (the way they have lately) Republican congressmen head for the hills and it becomes that much more difficult for him to do anything. Also, low ratings in the polls speak, obviously, of public dis-satisfaction, which means that 1) people are more inclined to tune out anything Bush says, again making it more difficult for him to do anything; 2) people will be inclined to throw out the Republican majorities in November, leading to all sorts bad consequences for Bush. So, the poll numbers matter, and Bush has to pay attention to them. Now, how he gets them up, I have no idea at the moment.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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