week was a good week for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and if he has another good
week, then next week he will be President-Elect Kerry.
The Washington Post
nightly national tracking survey indicates that there was a sharp decline in support
for the president among likely voters over the last week. As late as last Wednesday,
the Post national survey had President Bush leading Kerry by 6 percent,
51 percent to 45 percent which was a statistically significant lead based on the
3 percent margin of error for the poll. By Monday, however the race was a statistical
dead heat with Kerry at 50 percent and Bush at 48 percent. Surveys also show that
Kerry is doing even better in the battleground states than he is nationally.
an angry electorate doesn’t reelect an incumbent president. If the current
President Bush thinks I’m wrong, my advice to him would be to have a chat
with his father, the former President Bush. The Post survey indicates
that a clear majority of Americans feel that state of the nation is pretty screwed
up. More than half (55 percent) of the likely voters in the national voter poll
feel that things in the United States have gotten seriously off the right track
while only two out of every five Americans think that things generally are going
in the right direction. And it’s important to remember that this majority
feels that things have gotten “seriously” off on the wrong track and
are not just unhappy about the state of affairs.
Why are Americans bent out
of shape? Let me count the ways.
The economy is soft and Iraq is a quagmire.
Americans are losing good paying jobs overseas and getting new jobs at the Taco
Bell downtown. We have lost over a thousand young Americans in Iraq and there
is no end in sight to American involvement there. The number of Americans living
in poverty has increased in each of the last three years while the number of Americans
who have health insurance has decreased in the same period.
Why was last week
a good week for John Kerry and a bad week for the president?
Now that the Kerry
campaign has finally settled on a message, things are falling into place for the
Democratic presidential contender. The message is the need for competence in the
White House and recent reports of the Bush administration’s ineptness are
playing into Kerry’s hands.
Bush and Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld are the ringleaders of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.
A year after the president hailed his achievements in Iraq under a banner that
read “Mission Accomplished," the administration continues to mismanage
the war. The latest administration blunder is its failure to guard and to prevent
the theft of 380 tons of explosives from an arms depot in Iraq. More than one
thousand American soldiers have already died in Iraq and there are fears that
more will die simply because the Pentagon failed to keep dangerous explosives
away from Iraqi insurgents and terrorists. Despite the failure of the occupation
in Iraq, the White House keep coming back for more money. Yesterday, The Washington
Post reported that the administration will ask Congress for another $70 billion
dollars next year for Iraq. Good money after bad.
And last week, Iraqi insurgents
massacred 49 Iraqi police recruits. And to add insult to injury, Vice President
Cheney said this about Iraq at a campaign stop in Ohio on Monday: “I think
it has been a remarkable success story to date when you look at what has been
accomplished overall and I believe the president deserves credit for it.”
Blame is more like it and this from a guy who will go to his grave insisting that
Saddam Hussein was part of the 9/11 plot.
Bush is just as ineffective domestically
as he is internationally. Despite the Bush family ties to the Saudi royal family,
the price of crude oil rose hit a record high of more than $55 a gallon on Monday.
Yesterday, the Conference Board highlighted the failure of the administration
to stimulate the economy when it reported that the Consumer Confidence Index for
October was the lowest it has been since March of this year.
Clinton’s entry into the contest on Monday should remind Americans that
Bush inherited a roaring economy from his predecessor and ran it into the ground.
During his presidency, Clinton created millions of new jobs. Bush has cost the
United States more than a million jobs since he took office and he is well on
his way to becoming the first president since his ideological soul mate, Herbert
Hoover, to lose jobs on his watch.
With less than a week to go in the campaign,
the race is still a dead heat but there are a lot of signs that John Kerry will
be the next president of the United States.
Americans want change and next
Tuesday, we will find out if they get it.
Bannon is president
of Bannon Communications Research, which has designed poll driven messages for
the last 20 years for labor unions, Democrats and progressive issue groups. He
can be reached at Brad@BannonCR.com