Saturday, May 19, 2007

Rasmussen poll - Bush at lowest reading ever.

Contrary to the hopes, prayers and predictions of David Broder, Bush continues to fall in the polls. His approval of only 34 in the Rasmussen poll is the lowest that poll has ever recorded for him. But I am less interested in gloating at the public recognition of what I have known since before 2000 than I am in reading the analysis of why he is so low. Iraq and his poor performance in the War on Terror have brought him down, but immigration is what is currently dragging him even lower.
The President’s ratings have tumbled each time immigration reform dominates the news. While the President advocates a “comprehensive” reform focused primarily on legalizing the status of illegal aliens, our most recent survey shows that most voters favor an enforcement first policy. Last year, following a nationally televised Presidential Address on immigration, just 39% of Americans agreed with the President’s position.

Most politicians and DC pundits continue to misunderstand the immigration issue. One article today suggests that Republicans oppose “an open, immigrant-friendly society.” In fact, polling consistently shows that most Republicans favor an open and welcoming immigration policy that welcomes all except national security threats, criminals, and those coming to live off the US welfare system. The last time we polled on that question, Republicans favored such a policy by a 56% to 30%. Numbers for Democrats were essentially the same (54% to 29%).

While favoring an immigrant-friendly society, most Americans also favor a society in which the laws are observed by everyone. By a 3-to-1 margin, voters say it doesn’t make sense to consider additional laws until the government first gains control of the borders and enforces existing laws.

Earlier surveys on immigration have found support for building a barrier along the Mexican border and positive attitudes towards citizen patrols along the border. Another survey found that most Americans consider current immigration laws a threat to both national security and the economy. Three-fourths of all Americans believe it is too easy for people from other countries to enter the United States.

Of course, the President’s Job Approval was already low before the immigration issue hit the news. Confidence is also low when it comes to the overall War on Terror. Most Americans believe that history will judge the U.S. mission in Iraq a failure.
What can I say? Bush is getting justice for his incompetence and failed policies, but more than that, the voters are being shown what happens when they make a really bad decision. Those still capable of thinking are moving away from Bush.

I made my big mistake as a voter when I voted for Nixon in 1968. [Excuse - I was an Army Captain on active duty in Germany with no information other than the Stars and Stripes official Army newspaper and the International Herald Tribune. Nixon appeared to be able to stop the Viet Nam War. I was young, ignorant, and uninformed. I voted absentee. Of course today I am older.] Except for crossing over in the Texas open primaries in 1980 to vote in the Republican Primary for Bush against Reagan, I have never since seen a Republican on an election ballot in Texas worth voting for.

With luck, the average American voter will follow a path similar to the one I did after Viet Nam and Nixon. Conservatives have proven that they are bad news every time they have ever been given power. Never as bad as this time, though.

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