Who's sorry, now, indeed

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 06:03 PM

Regret can be such a horrible thing, especially when experienced by such a large swath of the population.

A news report says that:

More sobering for the GOP are the number of voters who backed Bush in 2004 who are ready to vote Democratic in the fall's congressional elections - 19 percent. These one-time Bush voters are more likely to be female, self-described moderates, low- to middle-income and from the Northeast and Midwest.

Two years after giving the Republican president another term, more than half of these voters - 57 percent - disapprove of the job Bush is doing.

How much of our national illness and unease could have been prevented by those people reaching this point 21 months sooner, eh?

Trying to look on the bright side, the same news report does note:

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

"The signs now point to the most likely outcome of Democrats gaining control of the House," said Robert Erikson, a Columbia University political science professor.

But fewer than 100 days before the Nov. 7 election, the AP-Ipsos poll suggested the midterms are clearly turning into a national referendum on Bush.

The number of voters who say their congressional vote this fall will be in part to express opposition to the president jumped from 20 percent last month to 29 percent, driven by double-digit increases among males, minorities, moderate and conservative Democrats and Northeasterners.

It may be time for the Repubs to smooth out the wrinkles in their faces and commence another round of "hide the Bush" during the remaining time before the election.