I think Democrats really ought to be worried about poll results indicating that "Republicans have nearly doubled their lead when voters are asked which party they trust most to protect the nation against terrorism." In particular, I think you've got to worry that some time in late October, Osama bin Laden is going to release a new tape or letter which is going to say something like "things are looking up, the Bush administration is discredited and the Democrats are poised to take control of the United States congress soon." It's clear that OBL and his collaborators have a reasonably sophisticated understanding of western domestic politics, and one of the most undercovered stories of the year has been Ron Suskind's revelation that the CIA concluded that bin Laden's fall 2004 missive was designed to help secure Bush's re-election.

The good news is that fully 61 percent of voters say the war in Iraq is "diverting resources that could be used in other ways to fight terrorism" whereas only only 26 percent regard it as "the most effective way to fight terrorism." I think it's clear that there should be an opening here to argue that what we need to do is stop diverting resources and start using them in a more focused, but still aggressive manner.