Matthew R. Perry

Bad and Getting Worse (Gary Bauer)

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2006 at 9:08 pm

Every conservative (read: Republican) in town has been losing sleep over President Bush’s falling poll numbers. Today’s Fox News poll will provide them no rest. The president’s approval rating hit a record low of 33 percent this week, down from 36 percent two weeks ago and 39 percent in mid-March. Is the country becoming more liberal? Not at all! The president’s decline, which appears to be picking up momentum on the down-side, is largely explained by falling support among self-described Republicans. For the first time, his approval rating from Republicans has dropped below 70 percent to 66 percent.

So, what explains the horrendous numbers? Two issues have been in the headlines in the last week or so: rising gasoline prices and illegal immigration amnesty. On the gas prices, the media has been relentless with a new story every night. Meanwhile, the Republican Party and the White House have been largely silent, even though there is a strong case that can be made to explain the increase. By the way, this will get worse. Spot shortages are now showing up here in the East because of environmental requirements mandating that an additive be taken out of the gasoline and ethanol added.

On immigration, the problem is more severe, and the Republican Party is in danger of self-destructing. The Fox poll shows that only 26 percent of the country thinks that recent demonstrations are appropriate, but there has not been one word from the administration questioning how illegal immigrants can freely march demanding – not requesting – that we change our laws. Do we want to reach out to the center? Then deal with illegal immigration. The Fox poll shows that Independents, in a backlash against the demonstrations, now say they are less likely to support easing immigration requirements by a 54-to-14 percent margin.

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