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Zogby: Iraq war will hurt GOP in fall elections
Detroit Free Press
June 2, 2006

MACKINAC ISLAND – The war in Iraq has become so unpopular that it could cost Republicans control of Congress, statehouses and governor races around the country, national pollster John Zogby said Friday.

He said 70% of voters believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, adding, "I have never seen a number like that since I've been polling."

He said 68% of voters believe the war in Iraq wasn't worth the loss of American lives. He added, "Americans want their wars to be won, they want it won quickly and their troops home and out of harms way."

Zogby offered a sweeping view of the political landscape to the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac policy conference, which wrapped up Friday afternoon.

Zogby, considered one of the country's top pollsters, said Gov. Jennifer Granholm faces a difficult re-election campaign, but could benefit from a national Democratic landslide.

"It's not a good time to be governor anywhere," he said. "But Republicans are swimming upstream, they have a hell of a lot of work to do in what could be a big Democratic year."

But he cautioned: "The Democrats have no program on any issue, they have nothing to say that matters to anyone in the United States today."

Zogby said his boldest prediction is that Hurricane Katrina, which demolished much of the Gulf Coast in 2005, could be more of a defining moment for the U.S. than the 9-11 terrorist attacks because the storm showed that neither big federal government nor federalism – greater state powers – can cope with large-scale disasters.

In other observations, Zogby said:

Iraq is the top issue for U.S. voters, immigration is second most important.

The economy is third most important nationally. Although economic indicators are generally good, working Americans worry about gas prices and about losing their health care coverage and pensions.

The unpopularity of the Iraq war has cost President George W. Bush and Republicans their grip on the issue of terrorism as "their ace in the hole."

Bush is so unpopular he can't help Republican candidates get elected this year. "I don't think you'll see him in Macomb County," he said.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, are the only national Republicans who can transcend their party's growing unpopularity.

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