Thursday, August 10, 2006

GOP Voters: Like a Rock

From Washington Whispers of US News & World Report

By Paul Bedard

Posted 8/9/06

Many Democrats may hate the war in Iraq and itch to dump the president, but a new GOP survey shows that Republican base voters stand ready to jam the November polls to return their team to Congress. A three-page-survey memo obtained by Washington Whispers reveals that despite reports of some dissatisfaction with the economy, the war, and President Bush, 81 percent of Republican voters are "almost certain" to vote and an additional 14 percent say they are "very likely." It goes without saying that they'll vote Republican: By a margin of 84 percent to 6 percent, they will pull the GOP toggle switch in the voting booth. And here is something you don't hear very often: 88 percent of Republicans approve of how the prez is handling his job. What's it all mean? Analysts say that GOP voters are ready to dig in and play defense against the charges Democrats are tossing at Republican candidates.
The memo also helps to define what issues work for Republican candidates. The survey--officially tilted "Base Mobilization Survey Finds and Conclusions"--divided the issues into foreign and domestic. On the foreign side, it's all terrorism and war with polling that finds GOP voters back the war, worry about Democratic attacks on the fight against terrorism, and think the Patriot Act, moves to tighten the border, and even telephone surveillance are good things. And their favorite domestic issues aren't a surprise: They are pro-tax cuts, big on cultural values, and worried that Democrats want to put too much bureaucracy in healthcare. Another nonshocker: They don't like the media's war stories, thinking that they are too negative. Some 60 percent of the GOP base expresses "extremely high dissatisfaction" with the coverage of the war.