By Daniel Politi, Today’s Papers. Slate Magazine
The Wall Street Journal leads its world-wide newsbox with a poll that shows only 27 percent of voters view the Republican Party in a positive light, which amounts to “the lowest level for either party in the survey’s nearly two-decade history.” The interesting part of this is that despite these negative numbers, and the fact that a majority of voters would rather see a Democrat in the White House, Sen. John McCain remains in a statistical dead heat with the two Democratic contenders.
The WSJ poll once again shows that voters are really not happy with the way things are going. In total, 73 percent of voters think the country is on the wrong track, and a mere 27 percent approve of President Bush’s job performance. “The numbers show an electorate more disenchanted than in the fall of 1992,” reports the WSJ.
But while voters really dislike Republicans, McCain appears to be benefitting from his personal traits as voters say they can identify with his “values” and “background.” The paper warns, though, that “McCain’s appeal could fade” as the campaign progresses and he picks up more partisan talking points.
The NYT goes inside with its own poll that found Sen. Barack Obama’s “aura of inevitability” has decreased. The poll was conducted Friday to Tuesday, which means it might not reflect the full reactions to the latest controversy regarding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but it at least does seem to show some reactions to Obama’s loss in the Pennsylvania primary. While 69 percent of Democrats expected Obama to get the nomination a month ago, that number is now 51 percent. In addition, 48 percent believe he has the best chance of beating McCain, which marks a decrease from the 56 percent who thought so last month. Regardless, he’s still the preferred choice for more Democrats. The poll also reveals that all the intraparty fighting has taken a toll as 56 percent say the Democrats are divided while 60 percent of Republicans think their party is unified.
Meanwhile, the WP notes that with the five endorsements from Washington lawmakers that he picked up this week, Obama now officially has the same number of backers from Capitol Hill as Clinton. “A congressional contest that Clinton once dominated is now knotted at 97,” says the Post.
The Washington Post leads with the forced resignation of Lurita Doan, the head of the General Services Administration. Doan had a rocky two-year tenure as head of the government’s main contracting agency and was accused of using her position for political purposes as well as helping friends get lucrative contracts
Doan was pushed out of her role at the GSA almost a year after her actions came under fire from top lawmakers of both parties. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel conducted an investigation into Doan’s conduct and found that she did indeed violate the Hatch Act by using her position as a federal employee to help Republican candidates. The special counsel recommended that Bush discipline Doan “to the fullest extent” last June, but the White House had mostly stayed silent on the matter until this week. And although most in political circles who are pushed aside usually try to play it off as if the resignation was their choice, Doan wasn’t shy about telling the truth: “I have been asked by the White House to resign,” she said.