The GOP’s Bush problem

Something funny is happening in red America, and it's got Republicans very nervous, said Richard Morin in The Washington Post. As George W. Bush's approval figures continue to plummet, his support is being eroded even in Republican strongholds. 'œStates that were once reliably red are turning pink,' and some are even starting to turn a light blue. The latest Post-ABC News poll found that 'œa solid majority of residents in states that Bush carried in 2004 now disapprove of the job he is doing,' by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent. Even 'œmore ominously for Republicans,' people in states that Bush won in 2004 say they now trust Democrats more than Republicans to tackle the country's biggest problems. Confidence in Bush is so low that one poll found that a third of those who voted for him are considering voting for a Democrat in this fall's midterm congres-sional elections, or not voting at all.

Republicans are in full panic mode, said John Fund in Some party strategists even fear being on the wrong side of a replay of the 1994 election, in which Democrats lost control of both houses of Congress. The GOP Congress has given the party's dispirited base little reason to go to the polls; this month alone, Congress 'œsaw deals on budget reform, immigration reform, and extending the Bush tax cuts all collapse.' Even when Republicans have acted, the results have generally been disastrous. Their list of failures ranges from 'œtheir scramble to ram through a national legislative solution to Terri Schiavo's plight, to their overreaction to Hurricane Katrina, to their failure to recognize the public's disgust with pork-barrel projects, to the Dubai Ports deal.' Seventy percent of the public thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction, and it just may be incumbent Republicans who take the rap this fall.

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