The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll finds 55 percent of Americans feel less safe from terror because of the war in Iraq. The fear factor is now 22 percentage points higher than it was six months ago, when the same question was asked.That can't be good for a President running on the promise of security.
This is perhaps one factor in Kerry's 50-46 lead over Bush in the same poll. Actually, that's the result pollsters got after they massaged the data to reflect "likely voters." Among registered voters, it was 51-44.
I suspect the anti-Bush vote is going to be fairly motivated in November.
By the way, these numbers reflect Kerry's Veep choice, John Edwards.
Toss in Nader and the lead among registered voters is 50-45-2, implying that the third choice is drawing equally from Kerry and Bush. We'll see, eh? Last I read, Republicans are still working to help Nader get on the ballot in Michigan, Oregon and Arizona.
Back to the security theme for a minute: How will Bush manage to push the threat enough to scare the beejesus out of everyone, even as he reassures voters that he's the man to provide security?
This was Bush, today:
America's determination to actively oppose the threats of our time was formed and fixed on September the 11th, 2001. On that day we saw the cruelty of the terrorists, and we glimpsed the future they intend for us. They intend to strike the United States to the limits of their power. They seek weapons of mass destruction to kill Americans on an even greater scale. And this danger is increased when outlaw regimes build or acquire weapons of mass destruction and maintain ties to terrorist groups.Confident, resolute and reassuring, right?
This is our danger, but not our fate. America has the resources and the strength and the resolve to overcome this threat. We are waging a broad and unrelenting war against terror, and an active campaign against proliferation. We refuse to live in fear. We are making steady progress...
...we are defending the peace by taking the fight to the enemy. We will confront them overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home.
Plus, it implies that the war in Iraq was worth all it cost simply to keep this a "road war" rather than a "home war."
Opps, here's Tom Ridge, last week:
Credible reporting now indicates that al-Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process.Anxiety-inducing, eh?
...We lack precise knowledge about time, place and method of attack
...We are basically laying out before the general public the kind of information that we have received and it's not us. These are not conjectures or mythical statements we are making. These are pieces of information that we could trace comfortably to sources that we deem to be credible.
Ridge's statements, of course, have also led to a mini-firestorm in the major media (Newsweek) and on the blogs as everyone is trying to figure out if the administration is thinking about ways to cancel November elections.
And of course, there are clear signs the President suffers delusions:
...we're protecting the peace by working with friends and allies and international institutions to isolate and confront terrorists and outlaw regimes. America is leading a broad coalition of nations to disrupt proliferation. We're working with the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other international organizations to take action in our common security. The global threat of terrorism requires a global response.Sounds good, but none of this was the administration's strategy. Remember when Bush said the UN would be irrelevant if it didn't sanction the war?
The President has no choice other to defend the war, but I suspect he's going to wish he did. American soldiers keep dying (29 in just 12 days this month, since the handover) and the Iraqi government just cleared the path for martial law. Hmm, not very democratic of them.
There were no WMD. No links to al Qaeda.
Where's the success, exactly?