White House Raises Bush Popularity Level In Preparation For Elections

The White House today raised Bush approval rating to "Popularity Orange" in preparation for the upcoming November elections. Federal officials say the escalation was in response to a significant uptick in "chatter" concerning the possibility of Democrats retaining control of the Senate. Bush's approval, which had been at the "Elevated Popularity" level (70%-80%) since the anniversary of 9/11, was raised to the 80%-90% range, where it is expected to remain until the conclusion of the 2002 midterm elections. The White House said it does not foresee the need to go to "Popularity Red" -- the highest level of Approval possible -- but reserves the right to do so "if the situation merits a more forceful response". The public reacted almost immediately to the news: in a CNN/Reuters poll taken soon after the announcement, five out of six Americas said their impressions of Bush were "favorable" or "very favorable".