I’ve been criticized for being unduly anxious about the upcoming election, and objectively, grounds for anxiety are present. The President’s approval rating is down around 50% in the latest polling, and the Rasmussen tracking poll, which was cheering us up just last week, now shows Bush and Kerry in a dead heat.
Still, here are two grounds for optimism. First, John Kerry is a simply awful candidate. His record is both long and bad, and worse, he has all the personal magnetism of a root canal. His whiny, sing-songy, yet arrogant tone starts to grate after about fifteen seconds. Nine months may be longer than most Americans can take. And so far, all Kerry has shown is that he can beat Howard Dean–not exactly the acid test.
Second, while the current Rasmussen Poll doesn’t show President Bush with a lead, it does indicate that 51% of respondents now believe that their taxes will go up if Kerry is elected. That’s the problem with constantly criticizing the Bush tax cuts: it communicates the unpleasant reality that if they get the chance, the Democrats will raise them back up again. And notwithstanding the Democrats’ insistence that they only want to raise taxes on the “rich,” most people know that their taxes were cut last year and sensibly don’t trust the left to leave the money in their pockets.
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