The Cheeseheads Aren't Feeling Very Secure

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Cheeseheads Aren't Feeling Very Secure

In some corners of political punditry, Wisconsin has a reputation for being a liberal state, but undeservedly so. Consider the facts.

For the past two presidential elections, Wisconsin has been considered a "swing state." The governor's mansion has been held by Republicans for 19 of the last 27 years, and both chambers of the state legislature are in GOP hands -- the lower house by a lopsided margin. The fact that Wisconsin has two Dems in the U.S. Senate only demonstrates that this is a purple state, not one that is "red" or "blue."

I say all of this to bring attention to some interesting poll numbers from Wisconsin, a state that George W. Bush came within 5,000 votes of winning in 2000 and within 11,000 votes or winning in 2004.

For Bush and the GOP, the conventional wisdom is that the strongest card they can play in this fall's election is the "fighting the war on terror" issue. Yet in a new Strategic Vision poll of likely Wisconsin voters:
Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush's handling of the war on terrorism?

Approve 43%
Disapprove 50%
Undecided 7%
The White House and Republican allies have emphasized the fact that there has not been an attack on the U.S. since 9/11, citing it as proof that they have kept the country safe. But do Americans feel safe and secure? In Wisconsin, at least, the answer would seem to be "no." The Strategic Vision poll asked:
Do you expect another terrorist attack within the next six months?

Yes 82%
No 6%
Undecided 12%

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