I’m home from a few days of business travel, one consequence of which is that I’ve been reading the USA Todays that hotels put in front of my door. Yesterday’s edition included a report on the latest Gallup Poll. The numbers are frighteningly good: President Bush’s approval rating is at 60%, the public’s perception of the economy is good and rapidly improving, and by a 61% to 36% margin, respondents approve of his handling of the Iraq situation.
In a match against Howard Dean, Bush wins by twenty points, 57% to 37%. This graphic, shows, I think, why so many Democrats are panicked by the idea of Dean as their nominee:
Note the “likely voter” results; this far before an election, most data tend to be “registered voter,” not “likely voter” results: Bush absolutely crushes Dean, with 47% saying they are certain to vote for him. There will be lots of ups and downs between now and next November, but it is hard to see how Dean can climb a hill this steep. Which ties in with this Gallup Poll data: Clark has closed to within four points of Dean.
Whether President Bush should fear the weasel is debatable; but it seems clear that Howard Dean should be worried.
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