Day By Day

Monday, December 26, 2005

More Pennsylvania Politics

The Strategic Vision poll is out, and it has some interesting features.

In the Senatorial race, Santorum still trails Casey by 11 percentage points -- about the same as in the Quinnipiac poll a couple of weeks ago. It's better than the 18 points he was down a month ago, but his failure to keep gaining over the last two weeks shows that Rickey still has a lot of fence mending to do. Don't count him out, though. Bobby Casey is not all that formidable.

The Gubenatorial race shows Fast Eddie Rendell narrowly leading his major Republican opponents, Lynn Swann and little Bill Scranton. That's not good for an incumbent, especially since the Republicans are divided. Rendell's approval rating is only 45%. There's a very good chance that Scranton can knock him off, ...if he can get by Swanny, that is.

There's some interesting data on President Bush here, too. His approval rating is dismal -- only 35%, but most of that seems to be due to his handling of the economy, not Iraq where his approval rating is higher. This is interesting because the economy is in great shape and has been for some time. But public perception is just the opposite. Conservatives tend to blame it on media manipulation, but I suspect that it's all about gas prices. That hits everyone hard in the pocketbook and every time people drive into a gas station they are reminded of that fact. I also suspect that by failing to deal effectively or compassionatly with this issue the administration has done itself enormous damage. You and I know that all the "gouging" rhetoric is nonsense, but in political terms it is powerful. Another factor, one that I've heard often talking to well-educated Republicans, is the deficit. We all know that measured as a proportion of the GDP it's not all that bad, but there are plenty of fiscal ideologues out there, and they are all Republicans. Their disappointment cuts heavily into Bush's support. People who would otherwise back him are upset about his failure to balance the budget. It's not fair, but it's politics.

Finally, there is some indication of a groundswell of support for Condi. She ranks third among Republicans as a potential 08 presidential candidate, behind Rudy and McCain. I seriously doubt that she'll run, but she's someone to dream about. [AP has a Condi-boosting story here. They call her a "warrior-princess." I've heard that's what they call her inside the White House -- sounds good to me.]

Go Condi, go Condi, go Condi!!!!

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