Democrats and some observers have argued that the old strategy that making the election about national security, a traditional G.O.P. strength wouldn't work this time because voters have gotten wise to it and are generally fed up. But this morning's Gallup Poll numbers in USA Today suggest otherwise; Democrats may have reason to panic. Bush's approval at 44% isn't great, but it's a 12-month high. Still better news for the G.O.P. is the so-called "generic " in which likely voters say whether they plan to vote Republican or Democratic in congressional races this fall. The result a 48-48% tie is potentially catastrophic for the Democrats. Recent polling history suggests the Dems need at least a 5-point advantage in the generic just to break even in the midterms. This is just one poll, and it's just a snapshot. The Democrats' advantage may reappear. But for now, it's clear that Rove's strategy is working.
As politics, the President's United Nations speech was genius. It almost didn't matter what he said as long as he talked tough. He lectured the bad guys Syria, Iran, Hamas, etc. and promised to stay the course in Iraq. He invoked 9/11. He said he hoped for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis with Iran but offered no new means to achieve it. He was Presidential. Expect another bump up in the polls.