The Clarion-Ledger reports today: "Mississippi Republicans say President Bush can bank on a solid re-election showing here and in much of the South, but the latest poll shows him in a dead heat with Democratic rival Sen. John Kerry. ... Despite the fallout from the conflict in Iraq and U.S. abuses of Iraqi prisoners, Mississippi's GOP congressmen and Gov. Haley Barbour said they are confident Bush can hold onto the presidency."
"'In the end, the American people will stay the course and realize President Bush made the right decisions,' said 1st District U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker, R-Tupelo. 'They realize the international war against terrorism has not been easy. Mississippians have never been the type to cut and run.'
"But a Newsweek poll of 1,010 voting-age Americans shows that Bush's job-approval rating has slipped to 42 percent, a record low in the magazine's polling. His approval rating for his handling of the Iraq conflict also slipped to 35 percent, down from 44 percent in last month's polling. The poll, conducted May 13-14, found that if the election were held today, Kerry would beat Bush in a two-way race 46 percent to 45 percent, a statistical dead heat when factoring in the poll's 3 percent margin of error. Kerry's lead slipped from the April survey, in which Kerry beat Bush by 50 percent to 43 percent."
"During a speech at Saturday's GOP state convention, Barbour urged hundreds of party faithful to work hard for the Bush team in the next few months. Bush's re-election 'is important for our country and important for our party,' said Barbour, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee." [...]
"Third District U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Madison, said the South 'will be solid' for the Bush-Dick Cheney ticket. Kerry of Massachusetts will continue the Democrats' trend of 'writing off the South,' Pickering said."
Does Bush really want Barbour backing him in the state?
Hasn't Barbour's approval rating been dropping as of late? It would seem so after reading many columnists and editorials in the city's publications. But who knows with all the "liberal media" going nutzoid over everything. ;-)
I'd vote for Kerry just to nullify one of Barbour, Pickering and/or the American Family Association's supporters. ;-)