Via the always-interesting six different ways, I ran across pollkatz’ pageload of presidential-poll data. The Bush approval-rating graph in particular is interesting. Taken out of context, we see that whenever his rating gets near 50%, something happens to give them a big boost, after which they resume the prevailing trend: steady decline. Of course, context helps: the first boost was 9/11; the second, the invasion of Iraq.

Right now his numbers are perilously close to 50%, making me wonder what he’s got up his sleeve for the immediate future. The military’s already overextended, so I don’t expect he’ll invade anyone. Another terrorist attack would probably give him some altitude, but look at the glide slope he’s on: it would need to be a really serious incident to kick him up high enough to avoid a hard landing before November ’04. Either that, or he’ll need a succession of smaller incidents.