The number who said things are going well has dipped from 86 percent in early May to 56 percent, and the number that say [they're going] badly has grown from 13 percent to 42 percent.On the surface, this looks like “progress” in communicating the reality of what’s happening in Iraq — you might think that perhaps, with a little effort (and maybe a continuing flow of bad news), the ranks of those questioning the Bushites will continue to grow exponentially.
. . . . The public continues to show support for both the president, with a 61 percent job approval rating in this poll, and the overall Iraq effort.
. . . . The number that expects the United States to find weapons of mass destruction, however, has dropped from 84 percent in late March to 53 percent now.
Almost four in 10 say they believe the Bush administration deliberately misled the public about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, while six in 10 say they do not believe that.
More than half, 53 percent, say it would matter a great deal to them if they became convinced the Bush administration deliberately misled the public on that subject.
But take a closer look, and you’ll see that the number of people who say that things are going badly, disapprove of Bush’s performance, and think they were misled about WMD is roughly about 40 percent in each case . . . in all likelihood, these are merely progressives who would be disinclined to back Bush anyway, “coming home to roost” after perhaps feeling obligated to support the president during the pre-guerrilla phase of the war.
The real question is, are more conservative Americans starting to have doubts, too (in other words, is Tacitus the start of a trend)? If not, what will it take to get those who are less naturally disposed to question Dubya’s policies to open their eyes?