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With the midterms approaching, George Bush's approval ratings have started peaking, Rasmussen reports, with a 47% approval rating. That's his best rating since mid-February, and Rasmussen says that's no coincidence. In February the White House took a beating over the abortive Dubai ports deal, a story that broke just days before that last peak. That issue caused massive conservative outrage, probably unfairly, and dropped Bush into the 30s, where he spent most of the spring.
Now he has rebounded, and in time for the elections -- and that's no coincidence either. With control of Congress at risk, conservatives have rethought their anger towards the Bush administration. Rasmussen notes that 85% of Republicans now approve of Bush's performance, a large improvement from the mid-60s. Whether that comes from 9/11 retrospectives or from a renewed sense of Bush's commitment to the war on terror, it seems to have some coattails.
For instance, Rick Santorum has had his own renaissance in the same period as Bush. Once twenty points down to Bob Casey, Jr in his election bid, Santorum has now pulled within four. Democrats have hung Bush around his neck like a millstone, or so they thought. With Bush rebounding, Santorum has apparently benefitted from the improvement. Also showing signs of a comeback, Virginia's George Allen has rebounded from his verbal gaffe. Rasmussen will report today that Allen has now put seven points between himself and challenger Jim Webb, who tried to tie himself to the Reagan legacy and got scolded by its gatekeeper, Nancy Reagan. He's back at 50% and moving away from Webb.
These are moderate shifts, but for Democrats who hoped to ride the momentum of anger and mistrust into power this November, that momentum appears to be ebbing away. If George Bush continues to rally, they may find it more difficult than they had anticipated.Sphere It View blog reactions
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