Like a wave it crests and then it recedes
War-To-Be-Fought-By-Someone-Else bloggers are making lemonade out of
lemons exploded Britons by pointing out that Blair’s approval numbers have gone up, up, up.
Well, not that up:
The Telegraph reports the results of a Yougov poll on how the terror attack on London has backfired.
PM Tony Blair’s approval rating jumped from 32% to 49%
Should action be taken against suspected terrorists even if they have not committed an offense yet? Jumped from 75% to 81%
Restrict the civil liberties of terror suspects even though there is not enough evidence to charge and convict them? Jumped from 58% to 70%
As a result of the terror attacks will change the way you lead your life? 88% No.
And there are signs that people are starting to wake up to the danger of Islam itself. The number of people who think Islam, as opposed to Islamic fundamentalist(sic), poses a threat to Western democracy jumped 14%.
If the terrorists aim was to drive a wedge between America and Britain or to force Britain to withdraw from Iraq, that to(sic) has backfired.
George Bush and 9/11 as reviewed in 2003:
The dip in Bush’s rating to 58% from 63% last week is within the survey’s margin of error of +/-3 percentage points, but it marks a steady decline in his approval numbers, which peaked at 90% days after the terrorist attacks.(Related item: Full poll results)
The slip comes as the president is poised for military action against Iraq and is pushing an ambitious program of tax cuts and judicial nominations in Congress. Leading Democrats are deciding whether to seek the nomination against him in 2004.
A sense that Bush’s record-setting popularity is beginning to erode could make it more difficult for him to win victories on Capitol Hill. It also could embolden Democratic critics who were disheartened by the strong GOP showing, including the recapturing of the Senate, in the November elections.
Even so, 58% is still a healthy rating, higher than presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton held at the beginning of their third years in office. The first President Bush was at 83% in January 1991, his standing boosted as the Persian Gulf War began.
For the current president, the question is whether the findings turn out to be “a snapshot in time” or a trend that continues, Bush pollster Matthew Dowd says. Dowd, a strategist for the Republican National Committee, says he and others have long acknowledged that the president’s stratospheric ratings wouldn’t continue forever.
Just before the attacks on New York and Washington, Bush’s job approval was at 51%, the lowest of his tenure. Then it rose to 90% Sept. 21, a record for presidents in the Gallup Poll. It stayed above 80% until March 4 and above 70% until July 22. (my emphasis)
Current Bush approval numbers? Eh, not so good.