If you read a lot of political commentary, you probably know about the buzz over the last couple of weeks about an alleged “September Surge” in Bush’s approval ratings, which allegedly raised GOP confidence about holding onto Congress next month. The Pew organization’s Andrew Kohut took a long, cool look at the evidence today, and found no evidence that Republicans have much to cheer about.Here’s the key graph:
While some recent polls show Bush’s ratings rising modestly, there are few indications that Republicans are closing the gap in the generic congressional ballot. The CBS News/New York Times survey showed Democrats with a 15-point advantage among registered voters, no change from mid-August. The Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg News survey found Democrats with a stable 49%-39% lead.
While Democratic prospects of taking back the House remain good but hardly certain, and recapturing the Senate would still require a good last-minute wave, it doesn’t appear Bush’s Terrorism Offensive, the hardiest weapon in the GOP arsenal, is cutting much electoral ice. And if that’s true now, it’s likely to become even more salient between now and November, barring external events.