Although I'm very pleased at the results of the new Fox News poll (Bush's approval: 33%), I want to see results, dammit. I want this discontent to lead to a change in the makeup of the federal government.
And I still don't think that's going to happen. That's because, in addition to the Fox poll, I've been poring over the results of this Pew poll, which was also released today.
Now, any other Bush-basher who read this Pew poll would be saying, "More great news!" And it's true -- the poll seems like one happy stat for Democrats after another.
* Bush's favorability is at an all-time low in the poll, and his job approval is at 35%.
* Democrats are up by 10 points on the "generic ballot" question.
* Independents prefer Democrats to Republicans in '06 by 20 points.
* Democrats lead Republicans among groups they've lost in previous elections, such as white non-Hispanic Catholics.
* The South is a statistical dead heat (!!), and Dems have double-digit leads in the East, Midwest, and West.
So why am I gloomy? Because of the third stat here:
"Like to see your member reelected": 57% yes.
The typical voter wants incumbents out but doesn't want his or her own incumbent out. Notice that voters didn't want incumbents reelected in October 1994 -- the pro-incumbent number was 49%. Now it's in the high 50s.
That number has to go lower or we're going to see the damn Republicans hold both houses of Congress again.
(A Washington Post poll from earlier this month had a similar result: Asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is doing its job?," 35% approved and 62% disapproved -- but asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?," 59% approved and only 34% disapproved.)
I know it's early, but the Democrats have to start nationalizing this election -- and I have no faith in their ability to figure out how to do that.
If the GOP retains Congress, Bush can go to 15% approval and it will be utterly meaningless. Nothing will change. So, no, I'm still not satisfied.
ALSO: I think this is a bad sign for the Democrats:
Overall public opinion about the war remains relatively stable. Roughly half of Americans (47%) believe the war was the right decision and the same number (47%) believes that the military effort is going very well (13%) or fairly well (34%). Attitudes on both of these measures have changed little since the start of the year.
There just seems to be a limit to the number of people who'll ever turn against this war altogether -- it's half the country and no more. I think the rest of America just can't separate the war and the country -- they think criticizing the war is criticizing America. I'm afraid all these people will come home to the GOP in November.