August 13, 2004


Bush's job-approval rating climbs back above 50% (Judy Keen, 8/12/04, USA TODAY)

President Bush's job-approval rating, a key indicator of an incumbent's chance of being re-elected, has turned upward, the Gallup Poll finds.

The share of Americans who say they approve of the job Bush is doing inched over the 50% mark to 51%. No president who was at or above 50% at this point in an election year has lost.

All that remains to be determined is the margin of victory and how many congressmen he carries in with him. Assume that he can add just 3% to his approval ratings as Iraq recedes and the economy continues to grow--that would give him 54 or 55% to Senator Kerry's 43-4%. It's certainly possible though that he could pull a Reagan. Following the Democratic Convention in July 1984 the Mondale/Ferraro ticket pulled ahead of Reagan/Bush, but the President's approval ratings continued to climb all Fall--from lows in the 30s during the Recession--and he ended up with 58.8% of the vote, slightly better than his 58% approval poll rating. President Bush probably can't get to quite that level, but the presence of Ralph Nader could depress Senator Kerry's percentage down close to 40%.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 13, 2004 11:45 AM

I hope so.

But this is the only place I hang out at that is so optimistic.
I look at DU and see many happy people as well.

Plesae be right BrothersJudd

Posted by: RoboDruid at August 13, 2004 12:09 PM

Fret not RoboDruid, OJ is absolutely correct. I've been saying for over a year now that Bush's share of the two party vote would be approximately 58.6% based upon economic growth indicators and the WoT (including Iraq).

Americans are a naturally optimistic people who favor optimistic politicians. The sole hope for the team of Waffles and Grits is to sell the American public on the myth of a bad economy and/or pray for a catastrophe in Iraq. Yet the economy is booming and people know it. The best efforts of the MSM to porter water from the banks of the Acheron could not possibly help Commando Kerry and the Breck Girl now.

As for the WoT and Iraq, well as it becomes patently clear that Generalissimo Kerry's "secret plan" is to cut and run, leaving Iraq to the terrorists and abandoning our true allies, let's just say that dog won't hunt.

Posted by: Robert Modean at August 13, 2004 12:38 PM

I'm not anywhere I can blog right now, and I'm so hopelessly partisan that no one should take my analysis seriously, but Real Clear Politics has a nice commentary today about why all this "It's Kerry's to lose" talk is overblown.

RD: I, too, surf through DU. Even there, I'm starting to see Kerry's belated attempt to sound hawkish on the war undercutting him with the base. The only defense raised is that he has to lie to us sheep to get elected.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 13, 2004 12:44 PM

Morris said W's got to be 9% up by September 15.

Posted by: Sandy P at August 13, 2004 12:45 PM

the Cat?

Posted by: oj at August 13, 2004 1:05 PM

Kerry-Edwards, 40%, and that's with the 15% kicker provided by the "Mainstream" media.

Posted by: ed at August 13, 2004 1:52 PM

ed - The mainstream media kicker is 30% in May but 5% on election day. That's why the pools always shift toward the Republican in the last 3 months. It's going to be a blowout.

Posted by: pj at August 13, 2004 3:41 PM

Robo - I also come here to get a more optimistic spin than other sites.
Sandy - Morris' track record has been pretty poor lately - I can't see Kerry catching Bush after the RNC (assuming Bush get a lead) unless there is a major event
PJ - agree that Kerry is being propped up by the media and that this effect should fade as the election gets closer.
Bottom line - I'm waiting to see the polls after the RNC - if Bush gets a decent bounce (5 pts or more) he should be in good shape. If no bounce and they are tied or Kerry ahead then I'll really begin to worry.

Posted by: AWW at August 13, 2004 4:29 PM

Considering how the conventional wisdom has been so wrong so often this year, I'd expect the "convention bounce" to take place before the convention.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 13, 2004 9:11 PM