By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: September 17, 2006
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 — From Rhode Island to New Mexico, from Connecticut to Tennessee, President Bush is emerging as the marquee name in this fall’s Congressional elections — courtesy not of his Republican Party but of the Democrats.
A review of dozens of campaign commercials finds that Mr. Bush has become the star of the Democrats’ advertisement war this fall. He is pictured standing alone and next to Republican senators and members of Congress, his name intoned by ominous-sounding announcers. Republican candidates are damned in the advertisements by the number of times they have voted with Mr. Bush in Congress.
Not surprisingly, given that Mr. Bush’s job approval rating continues to hover around 40 percent, it is hard to spot the president in any of the Republican advertisements that were reviewed. In what may be taken as an indication of changing Republican tastes, Senator John McCain of Arizona is popping up everywhere.