What’s interesting is that the same polls that show rising disaffection with the war in Iraq shows that Bush is either neck-and-neck with John Kerry or slighly ahead. the CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll finds that Bush maintains a very slight lead over Kerry and the issue of Iraq seems to be providing Kerry with little traction. Bush is still seen as the better Commander-in-Chief by a margin well outside the margin of error. (51% for Bush 43% for Kerry)
Powerline also notes that the latest FoxNews/Opinion Dynamics poll shows Bush ahead outside the margin of error. The poll found that the good economic news is boosting Bush’s numbers in key battleground states as well. This also coincides with a recent Harris poll that showed Bush with a 10% lead in a 3-way race with Nader. (Although the Harris poll does seem to be a statistical outlier).
Based on all the current polls, the only one that shows a significant problem for Bush is the Washington Post/ABC News poll. That poll did have a slight oversampling of Democrats (38% Democrat to 30% Republican) that may explain why it showed different results from all the subsequent polls.
What this means for the President is that he’s very narrowly ahead of John Kerry. The economy is a major boost for Bush and Iraq is a major drag. However, voters tend to vote their pocketbooks, and there are two trends working in Bush’s favor: if the economy continues to improve voters tend to reward the incumbant, and Kerry himself is a virtual non-factor. Kerry is in many ways the Democrat’s Bob Dole, an uninspiring candidate being driven solely by partisan anger, but unable to elucidate an alternative strategy against the incumbant.
This election is going to be close regardless of what happens, but despite the unending array of bad news, Bush continues to maintain his narrow lead against Kerry.