The Southern Strategy

Will help Bush

Almost 50 percent of people polled in 11 Southern states approve of the president’s handling of Iraq, while 58 percent of Americans disapprove, according to a recent USA Today national poll. Sixty-four percent of Southerners approve of his handling of the broader war on terrorism, compared with a little more than half in the national poll.

The approval numbers reflect Southerners’ voting intentions. If the election were held today, according to the AJC poll, Bush would beat Democratic Sen. John Kerry by 15 points — 52 percent to 37 percent .

By contrast, the USA Today poll has Bush ahead by 1 percentage point, and a national Zogby poll taken last week has Kerry leading by 5 points.

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Erick Erickson

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