Americans Show Clear Concerns on Bush Agenda
After enduring a brutally fought election campaign, Americans are optimistic about the next four years under President Bush, but have reservations about central elements of the second-term agenda he presented in defeating Senator John Kerry, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.
At a time when the White House has portrayed Mr. Bush's 3.5-million-vote victory as a mandate, the poll found that Americans are at best ambivalent about Mr. Bush's plans to reshape Social Security, rewrite the tax code, cut taxes and appoint conservative judges to the bench. There is continuing disapproval of Mr. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, with a plurality now saying it was a mistake to invade in the first place.
While Democrats, not surprisingly, were the staunchest opponents of many elements of Mr. Bush's second-term agenda, the concerns extended across party lines in some cases. Nearly two-thirds of all respondents - including 51 percent of Republicans - said it was more important to reduce deficits than to cut taxes, a central element of Mr. Bush's economic agenda.
CBS News/New York Times Poll. Nov. 18-21, 2004. N=885 adults nationwide. MoE +/-3.This, to me, is the most telling.
"Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?"
Don't Know: 5%
"Is your opinion of George W. Bush favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven't you heard enough about George W. Bush yet to have an opinion?"
Moral Values. 4%. Compare that to the 35+% in the exit polls. Any doubt that the religious right was controlling the voting that night when most of America obviously couldn't give a rat's ass about morality?
"What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?"
War in Iraq 25%
Terrorism (general) 11%
Health care 6%
Miscellaneous moral values 4%
The President 3%
Social Security/Medicare 2%
Foreign policy 2%
War, the economy and terrorism - more than half. Kerry's talking points were right on the money. If this doesn't shut his Democratic critics up about which issues he shoulda coulda woulda talked about, then they should just tear up their cards and re-register as nutbag Reformers.