Final NY Times/CBS Poll: Iraq Driving Election

The New York Times reports on its final pre-election poll, conducted with CBS.

A substantial majority of Americans expect Democrats to reduce or end American military involvement in Iraq if they win control of Congress next Tuesday and say Republicans will maintain or increase troop levels to try to win the war if they hold on to power on Capitol Hill.

Bush's war approval rating sinks to its lowest level yet: 29%.

The poll showed that 29 percent of Americans approve of the way President Bush is managing the war, matching the lowest mark of his presidency. Nearly 70 percent said Mr. Bush did not have a plan to end the war, and 80 percent said Mr. Bush’s latest effort to rally public support for the conflict amounted to a change in language but not policy.

The poll also shows the changes voters expect from Democrats:

Beyond a quicker exit from Iraq, respondents said they thought a Democratic-led Congress would be more likely to increase the minimum wage, hold down rapidly rising health and prescription drug costs, improve the economy and — as Republicans have said frequently in these closing days of the campaign — raise taxes.

....Nearly 75 percent of respondents, including 67 percent of Republicans and 92 percent of Democrats, said they expected that Americans troops would be taken out of Iraq more swiftly under a Democratic-led Congress.

The war on terror is no longer owned by Republicans:

By a slight margin, more respondents said the threat of terrorism would increase under Republicans than said it would increase under Democrats.

As to the effect Bush is having on the 2006 elections:

In this latest poll, 56 percent of respondents said Mr. Bush’s campaigning on behalf of candidates had generally hurt them, as compared with 26 percent who said a campaign visit by Mr. Bush helped.

While midterm elections don't usually bring a great turnout:

50 percent of Democrats said they felt more enthusiastic about voting in this election than in previous ones, compared with 39 percent of Republicans.

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    RE: (4.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 07:24:32 AM EST
      Mr. Van Auken is perceptive enought o grasp the FUNDAMENTAL problem withthe Democratic Party.

      We no longer stand for the common man and his economic interests. We give him no compelling reason to vote for us other than, "well, we aren't quite as damaging to your intersts and your aspirations as are the Republicans."

      Add to that, the problem that our loudest and most strident members come across as fervently dedicated to IMPOSING their positions on controversial and divisive social issues by any means necessary and regardless of the feelings and attitudes of anyone else and it's not real difficult to figure out why no matter how unpopular, inept and corrupt the Republicans  are proven to be, we don't gain much in popularity.

      Until WE get leaders who return to the roots and truly work for economic justice,  who are committed to finding broadly acceptable consensus solutions to divisive social issues,   and work to re-establish the coalition that made us the dominant Party for 50 years, we will be a weak Party essentially only able to even reach parity briefly during periods of extreme disdain for the then current Republican leadership.


    Bush is coming to my state soon. . . (4.00 / 1) (#4)
    by PoliticalTruthWatch on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 09:02:04 AM EST
    I can't thank him enough for the favor. . .sure, George. . .come on over. . .remind us about terrorists and Iraq for the umpteenth time. . .that way all our candidates can point out just how ineffective and destructive you have been for and to this nation.

    Democrats' lurch to the right (3.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Andreas on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 12:49:05 AM EST
    With the US midterm elections just a week away, Democratic Party leaders and candidates are waging the most right-wing campaign in the party's history. The essential content of this campaign is a pledge to continue the Bush administration's policies of militarism abroad and social reaction at home.

    The Democrats are at pains to reassure America's financial elite that an end to Republican control over one or both houses of Congress will in no way impinge on their wealth or political influence. ...

    There is little to distinguish Democratic candidates from their Republican opponents. Thirty three of the Democratic challengers have won endorsements from either the Blue Dogs, a caucus of predominantly southern right-wing Democrats that frequently votes with the Republicans, or from the New Democrat Coalition, the congressional arm of the the pro-war, pro-corporate Democratic Leadership Council, which emerged a decade ago as an opposition within the Democratic Party to what it derided as outmoded "liberalism." A number of these candidates are themselves former Republicans and not a few have made a point of declaring their opposition to abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

    There could be no more telling indication of the party's trajectory than this week's endorsement of my opponent, Hillary Clinton, New York's incumbent Democratic senator and frontrunner for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, by Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, a tabloid that is infamous for its semi-fascist diatribes against the working class and anyone who dares to challenge the right wing's political agenda.

    Election campaign reveals Democrats' lurch to the right
    By Bill Van Auken, Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate from New York, 1 November 2006

    and don't forget independents (none / 0) (#5)
    by dutchfox on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 09:05:24 AM EST
    Thank you, Andreas for this post and also for sailor's and deconstructionist's comments below.

    In that poll you'll see the line for Independent voters choosing either Dems or Repubs - IMHO they're not independents then. All it means, according to the NYT is that they'll split their votes for either party. The MSM and some posters on this board just ignore the third party and truly independent candidates. If you include the independent candidates, then there is a real choice. But the Dems and Repubs don't want that. Witness Cuomo's refusing to include the Green candidate, Rachel Treichler, in the AG debates in NY State. The state League of Women Voters chapter withdrew it's sponsorship of the debates because of that; they recognised all the candidates as viable.


    oopsie (none / 0) (#6)
    by dutchfox on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 09:06:37 AM EST
    oops, I meant soccerdad's comment below, not sailor's. my apologies.

    Disappointment (none / 0) (#2)
    by soccerdad on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 05:04:45 AM EST
    A substantial majority of Americans expect Democrats to reduce or end American military involvement in Iraq if they win control of Congress next Tuesday

    So once again the voters engage in wishful thinking and will be woefully disappointed. I guess the sheeple have not been paying attention.

    Foot in door.............. (1.00 / 1) (#7)
    by avahome on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 09:08:32 AM EST
    That's how I prefer to look at it.......and a walk softly but carry a big stick attitude.......go Nancy!

    Iraq N Roll! (none / 0) (#8)
    by AmericaOutloudorg on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 09:17:39 AM EST
    Ok, so the subject doesn't make sense, my point exactly! Neither does the rhetoric of this story. The liberal media has rallied their troops and canceled advertising spots replacing them with terse stories of war approval ratings to ensure the GOP would be ousted.

    Well Mr. Liberal Media there's this ideological phenomenon known as "civic duty" that some Americans to this day still define their voting habits by. Oh, yes it's true! Some of us don't need a failed policy to, as you say, "drive us to the polls".

    At what point did discontent with current leaders become the major factor in whether or not I vote?  I remain optimistic that one day Americans will assume their civic duty of voting without looking at the media for "reasons". We speak of oppression throughout the world in the forms of dictatorships, religious ways, and military takeovers; yet the same people do not go to the polls to exercise the one right the oppressed can not, the right to vote.

    Hypocrisy amongst the voting population is a sure thing to cheer for while setting at your computer criticizing political leaders and never going to the ballots only because you just aren't mad enough yet.

    a couple of things............. (none / 0) (#9)
    by cpinva on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 10:28:30 AM EST
    i'm fairly certain won't happen, in a democratic majority congress:

    1. the flag burning amendment won't be raised.

    2. the marriage amendment won't be raised.

    3. mr. bush won't be able to sandbag congressional critics of his "foreign policy". he'll be forced to either come up with a legitimate plan for ending our involvement in iraq, or have one forced on him, by virtue of congressional purse strings.

    items 1 and 2 are wastes of valuable time, and certainly not compelling.

    item 3 is compelling. perhaps, the pres. will agree to finally listen to the generals on the ground, as opposed to whatever ghost of macnamara is advising him now.

    the deficit, fixing social security and medicare are also on a fast track "to do" list.