Data Points Of Note

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Enthusiasm?

Amount of viewers for MSNBC Democratic Debate: 2,261,000
Amount of viewers for MSNBC Republican Debate: 1,762,000

Robert Cox of the right-wing Olbermannwatch decided to whip his readers up in a frenzy over what he said was negative coverage of the debate by MSNBC, but it's clear to all that the Democratic presidential candidates have the wind to their backs, while the Republicans are clearly weighed down by the very unpopular sitting president.

But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public’s approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.’s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ’08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups.

The general election is, of course, over a year off but the president seems dead set on "staying the course" on his ill-considered and unpopular strategy of getting Americans killed in Iraq. That will win his party no support from Independents, Democrats, and the small but vital group of sane-minded Republicans left. Yesterday at a book convention in Annapolis, National Review's Byron York predicted that in October the Republican candidates would begin moving away from Bush on the war. That remains to be seen, and I don't see how they placate the party's base and their fringe opinions. Just yesterday Rudy Giuliani said he saw Bush as a great president. America certainly does not agree with that assessment.

Oh, and in that Newsweek poll the best-polling Dem versus the GOP field is Sen. Obama.