I know we've all enjoyed watching President Bush's numbers head further and further south (even if there are potentially dire pony-related consequences), but to get the full flavor of it you really have to see the SurveyUSA 50-state poll. He's above 50% in only four states, and below 40% in 25. At long last, it would seem, Dubya has finally managed to unite us.
More amazing are his numbers in Texas - 42% approval, 54% disapproval. Honestly, I never thought I'd see a day where he was in net negative territory here. Presumably, given the steep dive he took since last month, what we're seeing is a Katrina anti-bounce. As such, this may well be a trough from which he'll climb back up, but for now, I'm just going to savor it.
And as long as I'm savoring, consider this: If Bush is still in the 42% approval zone next year, that ought to have an effect on all of the statewide and Congressional races, because for the first time in a long time, Democratic candidates for office won't have to defer to Bush's popularity here. For once, they'll be able to really run against him and make the kind of case for change that a challenger needs to make against an incumbent and a majority party. For once, their Republican opponents won't be able to simply portray themselves as Bush's bestest buddy. I'm not going to say that this will be a rising tide that will lift anyone to victory, but not having to explain why you'll be able to work just fine with a partisan President from across the aisle at least makes the turf you're running on a lot less inhospitable. You can already see this with the candidates we've got so far. Again, I'm not going to say that this is enough to win races they're not expected to, but it sure won't hurt.Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 19, 2005 to National news | TrackBack