GOP pollster Lance Tarrance, who has been among his party's top public opinion experts for three decades, provided a bleak picture of Bush's standing with the public in a May 2 briefing sponsored by the Cook Political Report.
Buried in job approval ratings that have fallen into the low-to mid-30s are indicators of a more corrosive effect on a presidency. Tarrance said the number of Americans who strongly disapprove of Bush has accelerated so fast — and their feelings appear to be so deep — that Bush may now be in the worst shape of any wartime president.
In an April 27-30 poll by Tarrance and Thomas Riehle, half of respondents said they intensely dislike Bush and his policies. Tarrance called that result "fairly frightening" for a president trying to push immigration reform, sustain an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, and help his party hang on to narrow control of the House and Senate in November elections.The high-intensity dislike of Bush is "almost the point of no return for any president, and that's where Bush is right now," Riehle said. Their polling also showed Democrats with a historically high advantage over Republicans when respondents were asked which party they wanted to control Congress after November.Watching Bush and the Republicans is like watching a major train wreck in slow motion. I have rebuilt my forecast model to apply to the U.S. House of Representatives and there are some polls out, which when applied to my model, suggest that the Republicans could be in for a mind-blowing humiliation. However, the race ought to tighten as we move towards November (for technical reasons I won't go into here).