Republicans turning on their own

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has sobering numbers for George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress.

Published April 7, 2005 1:49PM (EDT)

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has some sobering news for the president: Those obstructionist, do-nothing Democrats aren't the only ones who don't like his second -term agenda. "Almost three months into President Bush's second term, a raft of economic and social issues -- Social Security, immigration, gay marriage and the recent national debate over Terri Schiavo -- is splintering the Republican base," the Journal reports this morning.

While George W. Bush continues to win high approval ratings from Republicans, his actions and proposals are less popular than he is. Nearly 20 percent of Republican respondents said they "lost respect" for Bush as a result of his handling of the Terri Schiavo case; more than 30 percent of the Republicans said it's a "bad idea" to let workers invest payroll taxes in the stock markets; 50 percent of the Republicans said they oppose Bush's proposal to grant legal status to some illegal immigrants already in the U.S.; and one in four Republicans said Bush's first-term tax cuts "weren't worth it" because they drove up the deficit.

There's bad news for congressional Republicans, too. While Senate Republicans try to portray Democrats as obstructionists, one-third of the Republican voters surveyed said Democrats in Congress "should prevent Mr. Bush and party leaders from 'going too far in pushing their agenda,' and 41 percent oppose eliminating filibusters against Mr. Bush's judicial nominees -- the 'nuclear option' that Senate Republican leaders are considering," the Journal says.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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