Friday, April 18, 2008

Checking the Nation's Pulse

With all the blathering about BitterGate, where ARE the American people on some of those key issues. This latest ABC/WaPo nugget shows us the current snapshot.
Nine in 10 Americans now give the economy a negative rating, with a majority saying it is in "poor" shape, the most to say so in more than 15 years. And the sense that things are bad has spread swiftly. The percentage who hold a negative view of the economy is up 33 points over the past year, and the percentage who rate the economy "poor" has increased 13 points in the past two months. That is the quickest 60-day decline since The Post and ABC started asking the question, in 1985.

Views of the Iraq war have dipped as well. Now, more than six in 10 say that the conflict is not integral to the success of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts. That is the most people to reject what is one of the Bush administration's central contentions and a core part of presumed GOP presidential nominee John McCain's stand on the issue.

And for the first time since President Bush ordered additional troops to Iraq early last year, the number of Americans saying the United States is not making significant progress toward restoring civil order there has risen. Negative views of the war had eased steadily from late 2006 through early March of this year, but 57 percent in the new poll said efforts in Iraq have stalled, up six points.

Moreover, while Bush remains committed to keeping more than 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq through the rest of his presidency, 56 percent of Americans say the United States should withdraw its military forces to avoid further casualties. This has been the majority view since January 2007.

On several measures, the poll finds Republicans inching away from support for the war. Among them, a sense that progress in Iraq has stalled has increased 13 points from early March, and the percentages who prefer withdrawing troops over risking more casualties (30 percent) and who think that the battle against terrorism can be a success without victory in Iraq (39 percent) are each at new highs.
Results like this don't generally bode well for the incumbent party. In the White House, that is GOP, but the Dems control congress. Now the Dems control is murky and restricted, and it would take a few more votes in the Senate to truly flex their muscles. But the Electorate is generally pretty savvy, and when they switch up the White House, they like to have Congress there to keep the Commander in check. It took them a bit longer to realize that during this current administration, and look where that has gotten us. Maybe they'll let congress continue us down the path of reformation, and add a cooperative President to make sure it gets down!

I'm off today, so if I stumble across anything else this AM, before venturing to my appointments, I'll be sure to share!


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