There are two presidential races going on: One here, one in Iraq. George Bush has to convince voters he isn't losing the second to be sure of winning the first.

Putting all the polls together, it's clear that the president has forged a real, if not rock-solid, lead against Sen. John Kerry. But in an odd way the race right now isn't between Kerry and Bush but between Bush and the murderous insurgents in Iraq.

Bush's lead in the polls is built in good measure on questions relating to the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. On both topics -- unlike, say, the economy or health care -- the president has a fat lead. As commander-in-chief, he's seen as a far steadier, tougher and more successful leader than Kerry would be.

MSNBC - War leaves an opening for Kerry


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