New poll shows Bush slipping in South; Conservative columnist blames handling of Iraq PR

RAW STORY
Published: Thursday March 23, 2006

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Republicans are losing ground in Georgia and Florida over Bush's handling of the Iraq war according to a new poll previewed by a conservative columnist, RAW STORY has found. The poll, which surveyed 4,000 in Southern states, finds that Bush has higher disapproval ratings than approval ratings. Bush won both states in 2004.

Excerpts from the column by Matt Towery, a onetime staffer of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

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The final, comprehensive results of the poll weren't yet complete when this column was filed. Over 4,000 interviews have been conducted, however -- enough to render persuasively alarming news for the GOP. For example, in the populous states of Florida and Georgia, more respondents want the Democrats to control Congress next year than they do the Republicans.

President George W. Bush won both states in 2004, and yet he now has higher disapproval ratings than approval ratings. In Georgia, his disapproval rate approaches 50 percent. In Florida, it's 55 percent.

It gets worse for Republicans. Initial polling results seem to show that the disapproval of Washington Republicans is starting to translate into possible votes against GOP candidates this fall in statewide races back home. Most of these are races in which Republicans would expect to hold obvious upper hands.

Towery blames Iraq:

The deceptively simple truth about all of this is that while most Americans aren't wild about the Iraq venture, it's not something that dominates their lives and thoughts.

More accurately, it wouldn't cause them dark dreams if the president would stop picking at this geopolitical scab on his face before it becomes a gaping wound.

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The press is scoring at will, to quote the sports phrase. To cite another one, George W. Bush is getting an assist on each of their goals.

Every day, with each new speech or press conference on Iraq, he voluntarily digs himself deeper and deeper into a hole. The media simply reports on his descent. Soon he may dig himself through to the other side of the globe and pull his party mates in Congress through with him.

READ THE FULL COLUMN

Correction: Matt Towery's name was misspelled in the first edition of this article.