Two national surveys released this week, the Washington Post poll and the Gallup poll, show President Bush ahead of John Kerry — this despite three weeks of grim news from Iraq, TV images of U.S. casualties and criticism of Bush from witnesses before the Sept. 11 commission.
One might think the Iraq turmoil would be bad news for Bush’s chances of re-election, yet voters see Bush as stronger and more capable of dealing with national security. Two-thirds of the people in the Post survey said the United States should stay in Iraq until order is restored.
Bush, emphatically running on a national security platform, reminded Americans this week the country is still vulnerable to attack: Americans “saw what happened in Madrid” with the last month’s train bombing, implying it could happen here as well. “This is a hard country to defend.”