NYT’s Frank Rich swims against the tide of conventional political wisdom

New York Times columnist Frank Rich swims against the conventional the-Dems-are-killing-themselves wisdom in his Sunday column, “How McCain Lost Pennsylvania.”

In passing, Rich provided an update to my interview of last week with political scientist Larry Jacobs about the horrible political environment facing all Repub candidates in 2008.

Jacob’s presentation included a reference to Pres. Bush’s stratospheric 64 percent disapproval rating in Gallup polls in March as one of the heavy winds that will be blowing into John McCain’s face, unless the figure improves.

But Rich notes that the most recent Gallup disapproval number on Bush is 69 percent, not only a new high for Bush but the highest ever recorded for any president in Gallup’s long history (breaking Harry Truman’s previous record-high disapproval rating of 67 in 1952, not coincidentally the year Truman decided not to seek another term).

In the same Gallup poll for USA Today, the percentage of Americans who say the Iraq war was a mistake reached a new high of 63 percent. Sen. McCain says it was not (although he excoriates the strategic mistakes that followed).

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