Friday, February 24, 2006

Taking One For the Team

The Moderate Voice points out how the President is slipping again. They use the Right's favorite right of center pollster Rasmussen's numbers:
February 24, 2006--Just 17% of Americans believe Dubai Ports World should be allowed to purchase operating rights to several U.S. ports. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 64% disagree and believe the sale should not be allowed (see crosstabs).

Just 39% of Americans know that the operating rights are currently owned by a foreign firm. Fifteen percent (15%) believe the operating rights are U.S. owned while 46% are not sure.

From a political perspective, President Bush's national security credentials have clearly been tarnished due to the outcry over this issue. For the first time ever, Americans have a slight preference for Democrats in Congress over the President on national security issues. Forty-three percent (43%) say they trust the Democrats more on this issue today while 41% prefer the President.
MV's Gandelman comments:
But this means GOPers will likely continue to keep a distance from the White House on this issue, unless polls show the public cooling down. The delay in the deal will give the company and White House more time to explain what the deal means and what security measures will be in place. At the same time, the deal likely means there could be some more unflattering news stories coming out about the deal, or how it was approved, etc. Both Congress and the press now have more time to scrutinize what it means.
The President's approval rating is also taking a hit. After knocking on, but failing to reach, the 50% mark just a few weeks ago, he is now back in the low 40s:
Forty-four percent (44%) of American adults approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove.
I don't suspect these numbers will rebound anytime soon. But don't count out the Rovian machines ability to deflect this setback with a plan of their own.


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