11/03/2008 01:56 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Basic Trends: Bush

The campaigns do the best they can under the circumstances fate has dealt them. Their campaigns may do better or worse than expected, but the basic trends provide the context of the election contest.
The current administration is one part of those basic trends. And in this case the familiar trend for approval of President Bush dramatically demonstrates the burden faced by McCain and the opportunity provided to Obama.
Adding to the long term impact is the recent drop in approval from already poor low 30s to the current 24.2. The financial crisis (and campaign rhetoric criticizing him) has driven his approval to new lows.