Please read down to the bolded passage.
WASHINGTON - Republican strategists say President Bush has time to snap out of a three-month run of bad luck and setbacks, including GOP losses Tuesday in gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey.
Still, a comeback will be tough, and will get increasingly tougher the closer the 2006 midterm elections come, strategists in both parties agree.
Bush might want look back to successful predecessors for pointers. Other presidents have recovered from ratings slumps like the one Bush is in right now: Dwight Eisenhower came back after the Sherman Adams scandal; Ronald Reagan rebounded after Iran-Contra; Bill Clinton triumphed after Monica Lewinsky.
Bush could shake up his White House staff, as Eisenhower and Reagan did in their troubled second terms. Or he could follow Clinton's lead and engage in a flurry of domestic and foreign policy initiatives.
But the clock is running. And Bush may already have passed the point of no return, suggested Paul C. Light, a professor of public policy at New York University.
"Unless Bush and his advisers do something dramatic to reposition the administration and stop the slide in public approval, they're going to find they have very few friends who want to come to the White House, let alone friends who want them to come to their districts," Light said. "And that's about the worst possible position for a president to be in."
Some presidents tried but failed to mount successful comebacks. Nixon wasn't able to recover from Watergate and was forced to resign in August 1974, a year and a half into the second term he won by a landslide. Presidents Ford, Carter and George H.W. Bush never recovered from their slumps — and were denied new terms by voters.
Democratic Presidents Truman and Lyndon Johnson, both hobbled by unpopular wars — Korea for Truman, Vietnam for Johnson — declined to seek re-election.
Bush has been buffeted by the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, soaring fuel prices, a failed effort to revamp Social Security, the botched Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, investigations of top Republican leaders and budget setbacks on Capitol Hill, and the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.
"Presidents always get in trouble in second terms. He's in more trouble than most," said Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science at Iowa State University.
"When bad luck comes along, you've got to have a lot of momentum and a lot of forward motion. But Bush didn't do a lot of things that would have gotten him through those moments," Schmidt said. "When the hurricanes hit, when Katrina hit in particular, he already had lost momentum. And he slammed into a wall."
Bush's approval rating is at the lowest of his presidency — 37 percent in the most recent AP-Ipsos poll and at similar levels in comparable polls.
The poll in question sampled 1000 people. Breakdown: 51% Democrats, 40% Republicans.
The sampling (very small to begin with, but forget that) guaranteed the desired result, negative opinion of Bush. Then bring in an army of 'analysts' shortly thereafter to spin the manufactured data to match the ideological bias.
It's transparent, dishonest, and standard operating procedure for mainstream media polling.