As we have previously been discussing, job losses and the economy are going to be the single most important factor in the upcoming election. Additionally, Nader is likely to have an impact, and perhaps a decisive one. From today’s WSJ:
“A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll documents the current toll on the president from the loss of 2.2 million jobs since he took office, as well as recent Democratic attacks on the issue: diminished support for Mr. Bush and his party, declining economic confidence and applause for rival John Kerry’s call to roll back tax cuts on the affluent. Twice as many Americans say they plan to base their vote on the economy than on the national-security issues that represent Mr. Bush’s greatest strength.”
This chart tells the story:
The Journal notes that “Bush needs to shift the campaign dialogue to friendlier terrain, as he has tried to do lately by embracing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, attacking Mr. Kerry as a waffler and using images of Sept. 11, 2001, in a campaign ad. But the poll shows that Mr. Bush and his campaign advisers face a challenge in moving those issues higher on the public’s 2004 election agenda.”
That’s why there has been little traction on Presidential proposals suchs as a constitutional amendment banning gay marraiges, on Mars exploration or on the President’s “Immigrant Amnesty” plan.
Republican pollster Robert Teeter observed, “In the last analysis, the voters get to choose the issues. You can’t get rid of” concerns over jobs and the economy.
Economic Fears May Threaten Bush’s Job
With Public Less Focused on War, The President’s Support Slips,
But He Still Edges Kerry in Poll
By JOHN HARWOOD
WALL STREET JOURNAL, March 11, 2004