29% Thoughts

The Wall Street Journal/Harris Poll has a new approval poll out for President Bush that has him at 29% approval. I am a bit surprised at this number, not because I think that the methodlogy is wrong, but that the trend is still in play right now despite the fact that it is getting harder and harder for Bush to lose supporters.

Josh Marshall noted this too:

The continuing descent is something like a mathematical limit. Each point lower digs deeper into the base of truly committed partisans and unquestioning hacks. So knocking off each new point on the way down requires ever greater displays of incompetence, failure and general infamy.

So assuming no methodological issues with Harris, it is looking like Bush can not reclaim the “Oh shit, I just spent the last of my disposable income this week for my SUV’s filling up” voters, who make up ~10% of the population. Bush’s positive actions of reducing gas prices [stretching out the filling of the SPR, stretching out the repayment of oil loans from the SPR, and knocking down summer environmental regulations on gasoline] was good to knock about a dime off the price of a gallon of 87 octane, but reality is setting in, and reality has a liberal bias.

The Bush administration has lost its credibility to claim anything. It is not trusted by anyone. The Moderate Voice notes the typical reserves an administration can rely upon to weather a scandal:

Usually a President who gets enmeshed in controversy has (a) a safety net of loyal supporters to fall back on (b) a safety net of people not in his party to fall back on (c) a reservoir of sufficient good will and credibility to carry him through the controversy.Bush at this point has mostly (a) — and in ever-decreasing numbers,

The Bush administration run to the base strategy, which, along with the bait and switch strategy of faux bi-partisanship (Thanks Joe for being a sucker), has been the dominant political M.O. for the past six years has a fatal flaw — it counts on the opposition being splintered and unorganized and not significantly larger than the trusting base.

The failure of the “do I have $20 bucks in my wallet” voters to return to approving Bush, or at least not increasing their disapproval and indifference towards Bush means that the run to the base strategy is out of gas.

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