Saturday, October 28, 2006

Democrats lead as poll shows bump for Bush, GOP

As the race for Congress enters the homestretch, the Republicans find themselves limping to the finish line, according to the new NEWSWEEK Poll. President Bush’s approval rating continues a slow but steady climb—from an all-time NEWSWEEK-poll low of 33 percent three weeks ago to 37 percent today. But it may be too little, too late: if the midterm elections were held today, 53 percent of those likely to go to the polls would vote for the Democratic candidate in their Congressional district versus just 39 percent who would vote for the Republican.

But the poll is not all bad news for the GOP. President Bush declared this week that the administration was putting the Baghdad government on notice that it had to make progress in stemming sectarian violence and rebuilding the country. Otherwise, Washington would consider changes to its Iraq policy. And it worked—at the margins. Almost half of all Americans still believe taking military action in Iraq was a mistake, but the gap between those who say it was and those who say it was the right decision has narrowed: from 54 to 39 last week to 49 to 43 this week—from a 15-point margin to just six points.


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