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Bush Weathers the Storm, So Far

It’s hard for me to see how President Bush can withstand the current hate campaign against him. No American public figure, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, has ever been subjected to such a vicious, unprincipled assault.
Yet recent poll data are looking surprisingly good. The latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll has the President leading John Kerry by six points overall, 48% to 42%, and by seven if Ralph Nader is included.
In addition, the poll shows Bush ahead in the key battleground states: up by nine in Florida, up by two in Michigan, up by four in Ohio and up by five in Pennsylvania.
The principal reason for Bush’s improved position seems to be that the good news about the economy is finally starting to get through to voters. The only black spot for Bush continues to be Iraq. Interestingly, however, the hysterical denial of a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda by the elite media, Al Gore, Michael Moore et al. has so far had little impact. By a wide margin, 56% to 28%, respondents say that there was a partnership between Iraq and al Qaeda when Saddam was in power. And by an even wider 68% to 23% margin, respondents believe it is either “very” or “somewhat” likely that Saddam knew about the Sept. 11 attacks.
John Gorman of Opinion Dynamics comments on the impact of the recent Sept. 11 staff report:

It is notable that while many critics have seen the 9/11 commission reports as hurting the administration, they may actually have helped with the voters. The commission is saying something that a majority of Americans don’t believe, while the president has been given the platform to repeat his belief in something they do believe. Right or wrong, he’s preaching to the choir.

Other recent data, while not as favorable to the President as the Fox poll, are also positive. Bush led Kerry by one point in the recent Gallup poll, and is currently up by two points in the Rasmussen tracking poll.

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