The tide has definitely shifted against President Bush and I don’t see it going back his way before election day. The news reports continue to be all bad here on the day of the third debate: Stocks plummet as oil prices continue to climb; five more U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.
Bush will try to turn the focus on John Kerry by calling him a liberal who will raise taxes, but with an 0-2 record in the debates so far it is not likely that Bush is going to make up any ground in a forum that looks mainly at domestic issues which are not his strong point.
Paul Krugman has already fact-checked in advance most of the points that Bush is likely to raise during the debate.
The turnaround in fortunes for Kerry as evidenced by the polls that show him making up as much as 14 points since the first debate are reminiscent of his rapid ascent during the primary campaign after Howard Dean flamed out in Iowa. For Dean it was his post-Iowa “Yeaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!” speech that proved his undoing. For Bush, I believe it was his overall performance in the first debate, that will be remembered years from now as the point when his bubble burst. Since then the independent voters in all of the polls have been favoring Kerry.
I’m not ready to declare the race over at this point, but I’m not sure what it will take to turn things around for Bush. His was a failed presidency that did not accomplish the things it set out to do. There is no way they can put a positive spin on something like that with the daily rat-a-tat-tat of headlines such as the ones above.