Pony Power

From Holden:

Chimpy’s massive unpopularity has placed his party in a bad position.

No modern political party has weathered a midterm election with a president as low in the polls as George W. Bush.

It is a reality of midterm elections that the party holding the White House often suffers big losses even if the president is popular. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s approval rating was at 57 percent in 1958, but Republicans still lost 48 seats in the House.

The best any party has done when its president has dipped below 50 percent was in 1978. That fall, President Jimmy Carter’s approval rating was 49 percent and the Democrats lost 15 House seats — exactly the number Democrats need this year to win back the chamber.

With his approval rating hovering around 40 percent, Bush has put his party on the wrong side of history heading into November.

Hell, he’s even lost five points in Oklahoma.

Most Oklahomans say they approve of President Bush’s job performance, but responses to the latest Oklahoma Poll suggest a diminished enthusiasm for the chief executive.

Fifty-four percent of 1,060 likely voters surveyed statewide July 8-11 by SoonerPoll.com said they approve of the president’s job performance. That’s down from 59 percent in January, the low 60s throughout 2005 and a high of 89 percent in late 2001.

Still, Bush’s approval rating in Oklahoma is almost 20 points higher than nationally.