On this morning’s "Early Show" on CBS, Tracy Smith, co-host of the "Saturday Early Show," served as a substitute co-host. Ms. Smith interviewed Evan Thomas, assistant Managing Editor of "Newsweek" magazine regarding the potential political impact the foiled London terror plot may have. As such, Smith suggested the Republicans are losing ground on the issue of terrorism and seemed hopeful that Democrats would be able make it one of their own issues, and even pounded her fists on the table to emphasize her point.
After talking with Mr. Thomas about airport security measures and how another terrorist attack can be prevented, Ms. Smith changed the subject to the politics and noted that President Bush hasn't received a bump in the CBS poll after the London terror arrests:
"...In past polls, homeland security and terrorism were issues the gave President Bush a bump in approval ratings. He got a small boost in your poll [Newsweek]. In the CBS poll, his approval stayed the same, I think, at 36% and his disapproval actually went up a tick from 55% to 57%. Are Republicans losing ground on this key issue for them, on terrorism."
Thomas noted that he didn’t believe the Republicans were losing ground when it came to terrorism. However, what may account for President Bush not receiving any boost in the CBS poll was the fact that out of the people polled, 35 % were Democrats and 28% were Republicans, but of course the internals of the poll went unreported.
After Mr. Thomas mentioned that he didn’t believe the Republicans were losing ground on the issue of terrorism, Ms. Smith was unsatisifed as she pounded her hands on the table and followed up:
"And do you think this is an opportunity for Democrats to seize that issue as theirs?"
The issue of terrorism is becoming a serious issue once again. The CBS News poll has terrorism as the number two issue on voters minds. Significant given the polls weight towards Democrats as noted earlier. That could spell bad news for Democrats in November given where the parties stand on key issues in the war on terrorism. It’s likely voters will be reminded of how liberals in the media and Congress have undermined the fight against international terrorism, from disclosing classified and necessary counter-terror programs, to fighting against the renewal of the PATRIOT Act.