Many news outlets are puzzling over the failure of Bush's poll numbers to rise over his handling of the economy. The Washington Post points out that "Bush's ratings have not just been impervious to good economic news; they have fallen with it. In April 2003, 52 percent of voters approved of his handling of the economy, although at that time payrolls had not pulled out of a skid that began in March 2001. By late May, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, the president's approval rating on the economy had slipped to 44 percent, with 54 percent disapproving. By then, virtually every economic indicator was heading skyward."
Bush's War -- and the lovely recognition that we are now the most powerful nation on earth practicing torture as official policy -- has soured many people, even Republicans. WaPo quotes a Republican in Alabama who gets it: "We're spending $150 billion on the war. That's what's hurting us."
"It all goes back to Iraq," said Steven Valerga, 50, a Republican in Martinez, Calif., who voted for Bush in 2000 but plans to vote for Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in November. "It's a drain on the economy, when there's so much needed elsewhere. My gosh, we didn't need to be there."