The latest Washington-ABC News poll shows that despite low Congressional approval ratings, Democrats hold big advantages over President Bush and the Republicans in Congress on top issues.
For instance, respondents oppose fully funding President Bush's $190 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with 43% saying the amount should be reduced somewhat and 23% saying it should be reduced sharply (though only 3% said Congress should approve zero funding). Less surprisingly, 72% support the Democrats' attempt to increase funding for the SCHIP program by $35 million over the next 5 years, which Bush is going to veto.
Democrats also have large public trust leads over Republicans on other key issues, including Iraq (Democrats have a 15-point advantage), the economy (18 points) and handling the federal budget deficit (23 points). While only 29% approve of the way Congress overall and Republicans in Congress are handling their job, that number rose to 38% for Democrats.
While that's anemic, most of that looks like it has to do with Democrats not opposing the war as much as people would like (with 55% of all adults and 79% of Democrats agreeing they have not gone far enough). Hint, hint. And while 82% said Congress has not done much this year, 51% blamed President Bush and the Republicans with just 25% blaming Democrats. It is good people are putting the blame where it belongs.
The Democrats clearly have the public behind them, they just need to make good. If they do, they will be invincible going into next year's elections.