In Carterland," we read:
The president’s political strategy has always rested on supercharging the base while attracting just enough independents and Democrats to give him a majority. But the Democrats have long since abandoned him (that approval rating stands at 4%), and now it looks as if the base has had enough. The New York Times/CBS News Poll and the USA Today/Gallup polls both found that only about 50% of conservatives approve of Mr Bush’s performance. The figure for Republicans hovers in the high sixties. Their list of complaints is long. Small-government conservatives hate his lax spending. Paleo-conservatives hate his immigration policies. Libertarians hate his meddling in medical-ethics cases. John Zogby, a pollster, says that Mr Bush’s job approval has fallen to 50% or less among gun-owners and even evangelicals.Just so.
Mr Bush’s dismal poll numbers are limiting his ability to manage Congress. Normally loyal Republicans such as the House speaker, Dennis Hastert, are criticising his pick for the directorship of the CIA. The Senate ignored his veto threat and approved an inflated $109 billion spending bill. The House is in open revolt against his immigration-reform plans.