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Boy this one is going to really hurt the feelings of the Progressive wonks. In a new poll taken by CNN (not exactly a bastion of conservative thought) likely voters were asked who was a better president, Barack Obama or George W. Bush? The two most recent presidents were pretty much tied, 47% chose Obama and 45% chose Bush.

that two point margin is down from a 23 point advantage one year ago. “Democrats may want to think twice about bringing up former President George W. Bush’s name while campaigning this year,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

That same poll also says Americans would still make the same decision they made in November 2008.

“But that doesn’t mean that Americans regret their decision to put Obama in the White House in 2008. By a 50 to 42 percent margin, the public says that Obama has done a better job than Sen. John McCain would have done if he had won. And by a 10-point margin, Americans also say that Joe Biden has done a better job than Sarah Palin would have done as vice president,” adds Holland.

The poll also shows that Americans are not, happy with the job the President is doing. His disapproval is at 52% amongst all voters, and 59% amongst the important independent viewers.

In the fight for control of Congress, 52 percent of likely voters say they would vote for the generic Republican candidate in their district if the election were held today, with 45 percent saying they would back the Democrat. The Republican’s seven point margin is down from a nine point advantage late last month. According to the poll, independents say they would vote for the Republican candidate over the Democrat by a two to one margin.

“Blue-collar whites are also a particular problem for Democrats. Among white voters who describe their family as “white collar,” the two parties are essentially tied. But more than seven out of ten whites who describe themselves as “blue collar” are planning to vote Republican in November,” adds Holland.

Here’s the part the polls don’t explain. The democratic support is strongest in very liberal districts, where the GOP is growing are in “purple districts” and/or home districts of blue dogs.  Those are the districts where the independents who are most important. Independent support remains heavily Republican.

According to the poll, another gap also exists: The enthusiasm gap. Most Republicans say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this year. But only a third of Democrats feel the same way.

“That’s the principle reason why the “generic ballot” question is tied among all registered voters while the likely voter numbers show an advantage for the Republicans,” adds Holland. “There are plenty of people who support the Democratic candidate, but many of them are probably not going to actually cast a ballot. In fact, if you look at “unlikely voters” – people who are registered to vote but unlikely to cast a ballot – the Democrats have a six-point edge on the generic ballot question.”

This poll is just one more indication that America is not happy with the direction Obama is taking the country.  While the publicity about Bush has been all bad over the past two years, as Obama has made the former President his punching bag, it is interesting that Obama’s performance has been so bad that his popularity has dropped to the level of the president he has trashed so often.

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