Bush was trying to link September the 11th/terrorism/Iraq and Katrina in a positive way. Oops. That strategy backfired big time according to Reuters:
Public support for the president on Iraq had been gradually eroding in the past year as the U.S. military death toll mounted toward 2,000 and little progress was made in stopping a bloody insurgency that began soon after the 2003 invasion.
But backing for his policy, that U.S. troops would stay until Iraqis can establish a government and army that can govern and defend itself, has dropped dramatically since Katrina devastated Louisiana and Mississippi.
A Gallup poll published on Monday found 66 percent of respondents favored the immediate withdrawal of some or all of the U.S. troops in Iraq, a 10 percentage point jump in two weeks.
Bush's personal approval on Iraq fell from 40 percent to 32 percent in the same period. In a CBS/New York Times poll the previous week, 75 percent said Bush had no clear plan for bringing U.S. troops home.
Republicans in Congress, who know they face difficult mid-term elections in November 2006, are becoming increasingly concerned about their prospects.
"The mood up here among Republicans is very very sour," said one senior staffer who did not want to be named.