The Note: Home Is Where the Polls Are


Before we get to the Ronald Brownstein and Heidi Przybyla write-ups of the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg national poll (neither of which, to be sure, contains boilerplate "There is some good news in the poll for Mr. Bush" language), let's remind you of three things.

1. A poll is a snapshot of a single moment in time, not a predictor of the future [or so the Senators Dole (R-Watergate) have told us].

2. The President's State of the Union address was intended in part to win back support for the war in Iraq and the War on Terror, and in part to convince the country that the President (and his party) have a comprehensive vision for dealing with jobs and the economy. (Missions accomplished? You make the call.)

3. The Bush-RNC-RGA-NRCC-NRSC plan for "winning" the midterms includes going to the country on the Bush national security record; raising more money than God; painting the Democratic candidates on a race-by-race basis as devoid of any ideas (except regarding how to raise taxes and weaken America's defenses); begging borrowing, and bribing in whatever ways necessary to keep House Republicans from retiring; getting outside groups revved up, by "dealing" with spending and through voter contact and ballot measures; getting more credit for the economy and the prescription drug benefit; doing uncommonly well by Republican standards with African-Americans, Hispanics, women, and older voters; and improving the President's poll numbers.

The plan, as conceived of last year, did NOT include the Vice President shooting someone in the face; various unnamed officials shooting (and recording) the Katrina preparedness meetings; the White House shooting itself in the foot over a ragingly unpopular ports deal; and congressional Republicans shooting bullets down Capitol Hill towards the corner of 16th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue over national security and the budget.

(Note to the United States Attorney and the United States Secret Service: "bribing" and "bullets," as used above, are meant metaphorically.)

In any event, this new national poll -- written up with haunting clarity by the formidable Przybyla/Brownstein duet -- is, uhm, bullet proof, even anticipating shots from the right-wing bloggersphere with this from the Times:

"Contributing to the fall in Bush's approval rating since January was a slight increase in the new poll in the number of respondents who identified themselves as Democrats."

"'Party identification is a dynamic variable that changes with the popularity of the party in control,' Pinkus said. 'The proportion of people who identified with the Republican Party was higher when Bush had more positive approval ratings.'"

(For the poll details, see below.)

President Bush, who is wildly popular with multiple hundreds of millions of Indians (and fewer numbers of Pakistanis and Americans), delivered the high-profile speech of his overseas trip at 8:15am ET in New Delhi before departing for Islamabad.

Per the Associated Press: "The United States will not give into the protectionists and lose these opportunities," Bush said in his speech at Purana Qila, a historic fort. "For the sake of workers in both our countries, America will trade with confidence." LINK

The address contained some inside jokes (the nerve!!) that The Note didn't understand. Mr. Bush is scheduled to arrive in Islamabad at 11:15 am ET.

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