By now you’ve no doubt seen the first post-Thanksgiving poll, from Annenberg, showing President Bush with a 61% job approval rating and a 72% personal approval rating. It’s not hard to see why his numbers would be rising, in view of his trip to Iraq, the passage of Medicare legislation and a steady stream of good economic news.
Beyond that, I wonder whether the jump is due in part to the fact that for the first time in quite a while, the public actually saw President Bush in unedited form. The average American is most definitely not a news junkie, but just about everyone saw the raw footage of President Bush in Baghdad, addressing the troops and being cheered by them. I suspect that after months of hearing about Bush almost exclusively in the context of attacks on him, many people were reminded by seeing him in Baghdad why they liked him in the first place. In next year’s election, Bush will once again be able to command the stage and speak for himself. If I’m right about the public’s reaction to seeing him in Baghdad, it could be a tough year for the Democrats.
Also, Bush’s personal approval rating is remarkable, given that around once a week a new book about him is published that has the word “liar” in the title. The left’s all-out personal attack seems to be making relatively little headway. So if the Democrats nominate a candidate whose platform consists mainly of “I hate George Bush,” they could be in trouble.
As regular readers know, I’ve been somewhat bipolar on next year’s election. (Whatever happens, I will have predicted it.) James Zogby has been admirably consistent, if not necessarily right. Last night, he predicted that: “You will not know who is going to win at 10 or 11 o’clock election night.” Characterizing the President as “a 50-50 president in a 50-50 nation,” Zogby says: “Whoever the Democrat is, they’ll walk in with 45 percent of the vote automatically. I don’t think the Democrats are assuming George W. Bush is going to win. The Democrats smell blood in the water.”
He thinks Hillary will be elected in 2008, too.
CORRECTION: Dafydd ab Hugh points out that I confused the Zogbys: “While James Zogby has indeed been admirably consistent as a Jew-bashing Arab activist, I suspect you refer, in this comment, to his brother JOHN Zogby.” I did, of course, mean John.
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