Friday, February 17, 2006


Buyer's Remorse

In November, 2004, George W. Bush received a majority of votes in thirty-one of our fifty states giving him 286 electoral votes and a victory over John Kerry. Now, a mere fifteen months later, poor old Georgieboy's popularity has dwindled so far that he only holds a positive net approval rating in nine of those same states. Consequently, this means that he has a flat or negative approval rating in the other 41 states. This, of course, bodes well for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections as this may well force Republican candidates to distance themselves from the Bush White House. This could be particularly dicey for incumbemt Republicans who have expressed their strong support for Bush in the past.

While many people are focusing on the House races as the Democrats best chance to capture a majority, I think the impact of these numbers on the Senate races may be a bit more interesting. You may recall that Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated back in December that "If the stars align right we could actually take back the Senate." He was referring to the races in seven states in particular - Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Well, according to Bush's poll numbers, that is looking like a distinct possibility.

In Arizona, Georgieboy is running at a -8% net approval with 53% disapproving. This is a state that went red by a margin of 55% to 44% in 2004. In Missouri, he's running at a -18% net approval with 57% disapproving. Missouri also went red in 2004 by a margin of 53% to 46%. Now in Montana, things are ironically different. In Montana, Bush has a +3% net approval, but the incumbent in this race is Conrad Burns whose ties to uber-lobbyist have put his reelection chances in jeopardy.

On to Ohio, where Bush's numbers are at an amazingly anemic -23% net approval with a full 60% of Ohioans disapproving. Of course we all remember the role Ohio played in the 2004 election when the state broke red by a margin of 51% to 49% virtually ending the contest. Add to that the problems the Republican party has been having within the state, and this should be an easy pick up.

Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are the only two of the "Schumer Seven" that went blue in 2004 and things don't appear to have improved for Georgieboy any in the last fifteen months. In Pennsylvania, Bush is running at a -24% net approval with 60% disapproving. The state went blue in 2004 by a margin of 51% to 49%. But in Rhode Island, things have deteriorated severely for Bush who lost the state in 2004 by a margin of 39% to 60%. His current net approval rating stands at a dismal 47% with a whopping 72% disapproving.

Finally, we have Tennessee. In 2004, George W. Bush received 57% of the vote in Tennessee to Kerry's 43%. But now Georgieboy is running at a -6% net approval rating with 52% disapproving.

So I think our chances are pretty good and looking beter every day. With Bush running at such a low approval rating in these states, it's not out of the question that the Democrats can regain a majority in the Senate. The question remains, however, will they take advantage of Bush's decline in popularity or will they squander yet another opportunity laid at their feet? nly time will tell.

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