Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Poll: 65 percent of New Jerseyans say country on wrong track

August 29, 2006

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ These are the dog days of summer for President Bush in New Jersey, as 65 percent of residents say the country is on the wrong track and 57 percent disapprove of the way the president is handling his job, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Tuesday.

Those opinions vary sharply along party lines, with only 11 percent of Democrats and independent voters saying the country is headed in the right direction. Fifty percent of Republicans say the country is on the right track.

As for Bush's job ratings, 63 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents gave him a "poor" rating, while 63 percent of Republicans gave Bush a "good" or "excellent" score.

When asked about the war in Iraq, 57 percent of Republicans said the military effort there is going "fairly well" or "very well," but 73 percent of Democrats disagreed, along with 63 percent of independents.

The poll of 651 registered voters was conducted by telephone from Aug. 21 to 27 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Poll director Peter Woolley said it is unusual for a foreign policy issue to create such a partisan divide.

"The president wanted to define his term by the war on terror, and later defined the war on terror by intervention in Iraq," Woolley said. "But as people view the war in Iraq as distinct from the war on terror, they judge the war and the president more harshly."

Democratic strategist Rick Thigpen said Iraq has become a difficult political problem for any Republican running statewide in New Jersey.

"It is increasingly clear that President Bush has lost independent voters on Iraq," Thigpen said.

"This fall, President Bush may just turn out to be the best friend Democrats have in New Jersey," Thigpen added.

But Republican strategist Mark Campbell said "media coverage of the conflict will likely never portray anything but bad news coming from the region."

"As a result, liberal Democrats can sound like moderates and get away with it," he said.


Hey, Mark... could it be because there's no friggin' good news to be had?! Idiot.

And why the hell are Bush's numbers still high? And in New Jersey of all places!