Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Another Comeback Kid?

Democrats and liberals, hold you rallying cries and empty determination that 2006 will be your 1994. Why? Because the Bush comeback is starting. The approval ratings started quietly rebounding recently and have him showing strength on terrorism and the economy. Mostly this has been Republicans who were starting to have dissatisfaction come rallying back, but Bush still has a huge weakness among independents. Always interesting are the Iraq polls:

Slightly more than half of the country (52 percent) continues to believe the war was not worth fighting, according to the new poll, although the proportion who said it was rose seven points, to 46 percent. But a majority now believe the war has contributed positively to the long-term security of the country, after dipping below 50 percent during the late summer and fall.


More than half the country (52 percent) said they favor decreasing the number of troops in Iraq, a five-percentage-point increase since early November. But far fewer of those anxious to bring troops home are calling for a speedy exit. Just 12 percent of those surveyed said they favor immediate withdrawal, down from 18 percent in November, whereas 40 percent said they favor a gradual withdrawal, up from 29 percent in November. Just over a third said they favor keeping troop levels where they are now.

Looks like Murtha's call for the U.S. to surrender Iraq to Al-Qaeda isn't playing well politically, and the Democrats best heed this before they continue to trumpet the point to self-annihilation. Another factor in Bush's rebound is probably Sam Alito who a majority of Americans want to see appointed to the Court. While only 54% say he should be confirmed, only 28% oppose him. Another potential political seppuku for the Democrats, who will create all kinds of awesome soundbite for the 2006 midterms while they get hysterical on Alito. I would guess that nominating Alito, which so far has only alienated the predictable strong Democrats, only stirred up indifference amongst most Americans and drastically rallied the Republican base to Bush's side. This probably explains why Bush's numbers have improved so much from November 1, when he was still hamstrung by the Harriet Miers fiasco.

All in all, I don't expect this is a trend that is going to reverse itself. Even with the domestic spying, Bush has coming out wailing and people are responding well to it. He's gathering momentum and no longer are the Democrats going to be able to keep simply lurking, they're really going to have to do the impossible and come up with a real political platform if they want to derail a possible GOP renewal.