October 31, 2006


Poll Shows Worries on Iraq Eclipse: Bush's Slight Gain on Economy (JOHN HARWOOD and JACKIE CALMES, October 31, 2006, wall Street Journal)

President Bush is getting a bit more credit from voters for positive economic news, but there is little sign the modest bump is benefiting fellow Republicans in a midterm election campaign dominated by voters' anxieties about Iraq.

A week before Election Day, the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows the president receiving improved marks for handling the economy, an issue Republicans are increasingly emphasizing in their 11th-hour attempts to hold their congressional majorities. Amid rising stock values and falling gas prices, Mr. Bush essentially breaks even on the issue with 46% of voters approving his economic stewardship and 48% disapproving. That is up from 39% approval and 56% disapproval in June.

It's easy to make fun of the Democrats for not recognizing that the economy was going to be in fine shape going into this election, but it's mystifying why Bush/Rove hasn't concentrated more on the good economic news than on Iraq and the WoT. Folks like Jim Geraghty, in his book Voting to Kill, swear that 9-11 still matters most, but it seems unlikely that it even mattered much in the '02 midterm, never mind today. Folks just can't feel that threatened at this point.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2006 9:24 PM
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