Friday, April 16, 2004

Spin o' Matic

Ruy Teixeira's discussion of how Republican pollsters are currently spinning Bush's approval rating makes for thoughtful reading. We're now getting authoritative word from Republican analysts that 45-49 percent approval rating for Bush means it will be a close race, with the "advantage" going to Bush. Likewise, according to the same Republicans, an approval rating of 40-44 percent -- exactly where Bush currently is in at least one national poll -- "would translate into a dead heat race." To this curious new math, Teixeira says, "Don't be taken in. They're worried. Real worried."

Yesterday, on Tax Day, Teixeira presented polling data that "49 percent say their overall tax burden -- federal, state and local -- has gone up in the last three years. That's almost four times the number (13 percent) who say their tax burden has gone down over that time period. And here's an even more devastating datum: in a new ICR-Money magazine poll, 60 percent say they personally did not benefit from the 2003 tax cut, compared to just 34 who say they did." Teixeira doesn't see Bush's much-vaunted self-moniker as the "Taxcutter in Chief" as helping him with the vast middle class, since the piddling cuts most got are being offset by state and local taxes needed to make up the federal cuts to services.

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