A number of things are brewing that aren't helpful for them, or their strategy in November. The biggest is consumer confidence in the economy. While there is still nearly a 2-1 margin for (36-17%) who think the economy is getting worse, that's a big change from a couple of months ago when it was 4-1 (46-12). The real problem with the number is that nearly all of the folks on the 36% side of the equation are already "likely voters" for the Democratic party. That means more folks from the "undecided" group have slipped into the "economy is okay mode"; narrowing the dems chances of capturing them.
Gas prices falling isn't helping them, either. The number of folks who saw that as the major issue for the midterms fell by 50% in the last 5 months. Since it looks like prices may be below $2 per gallon by election day, it puts a damper on the fear pimps who were just a few weeks ago telling us $3.00 was here to stay and $5 by next summer wasn't out of the question.
The third issue, Iraq, the Democrats fall back, fail-safe key to the election isn't moving in their favor either. The President's message that Iraq and national security are one in the same seems to be getting through. And, again to the Democrats chagrine, the voters who do see Iraq as the number one election issue are, by a 5-1 margin registered democrats; again one of their major issues getting few new voters to their side of the aisle.
The final thing is George Bush's approval rating. It's climbed back into the mid 40% range, making him less of a liability to GOP candidates out there, and hurting the Democrats who only want to equate all Republicans to Bush.
My guess (with no numbers to back it up) is that Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did more to help Bush with their UN speeches this week than he's done for himself in the last couple of months. It wouldn't surprise me to see any democrat who's spoken nicely of either of the men, and who's up for re-election to be tied to them in TV and radio ads shortly.
E.J. Dionne, a guy I love to hate has a good roundup of other problems for the left in today's Washington Post.
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