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Juan Williams: 'ISIS Effect' Will Give GOP an 'October Surprise'

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 01:59 PM

Fox News analyst Juan Williams has warned the GOP that there’s going to be some political bombshells going off in the weeks leading up to Election Day caused by “the ISIS effect.”

In an opinion column for The Hill, Williams says that the Democrats are gaining steam ahead of the November elections as voters appear to be rallying around President Barack Obama due to his recent handling of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror threat.

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A Fox News poll last week showed that terrorism is now just as much a key issue to voters as the economy when it comes to how people will vote, with 41 percent of Americans saying they are both “extremely important” to their decisions, Williams wrote.

While noting that pollster Dana Blanton called it “the ISIS effect,” the analyst said that Obama’s approval numbers have been climbing since he announced plans to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS with U.S. air power.

Previously, the beheadings of two American journalists and Obama’s admission that he lacked a strategy to deal with the jihadist terror group had hurt his ratings. But Williams, who’s said to be a registered Democrat, pointed out that the polls have been “shifting in the president’s favor.”

Williams wrote that a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll reported 62 percent of voters supported Obama’s to take action against ISIS with airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Pew polling last week even found support for the president’s plan is coming from both sides of the political aisle, said the political analyst, noting that a Rasmussen poll similarly found 66 percent of likely U.S. voters support Obama’s plans to deal with the Sunni fanatics.

Although many Republicans have attacked Obama for not putting boots on the ground in the Middle East conflict, polls show that many Americans back the president’s decision not to send combat troops back to the region to fight the Islamic extremists, according to Williams.

“The president’s leadership role during this fight has the potential to pump up his public approval and that will benefit several Democrats locked in close Senate races,” said Williams, adding that Republicans could face an “October Surprise” with polls showing a major turnaround for embattled Democrats.

He continued, “This year’s midterms have shown no sign of a GOP ‘wave election’ despite the president’s mediocre approval ratings. The problem for the Republicans in Congress is that they have even worse approval ratings that the president.”

He pointed to a Washington Post/ABC poll last week showing that 72 percent of Americans say they disapprove of Republicans in Congress, which is 18 points worse than the president’s rating and 11 points worse than Democrats.

“An upswing in the president’s approval rating as the nation gets in line behind the commander-in-chief could tip the outcome of a political fight now based on voter turnout and last minute advertising,” Williams wrote, adding that The New York Times’ analysis of the midterms was summarized as, “Who’s more unloved, Obama or the GOP?”

Williams concluded by saying, “To be clear, Republicans remain a slight favorite to win enough seats to claim the majority of the U.S. Senate. But the twists and turns of war have the capacity to create one legendary October political surprise.”

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Fox News analyst Juan Williams has warned the GOP that there's going to be some political bombshells going off in the weeks leading up to Election Day caused by "the ISIS effect." In an opinion column for The Hill, Williams says that the Democrats are gaining steam ahead of...
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2014-59-22
Monday, 22 Sep 2014 01:59 PM
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