Chalk these numbers up as a surprise. A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows President Bush with a 76% approval rating among Republicans or those leaning Republican. So for those who think the candidates for the nomination will run from Bush because he’s a weight around their hairy hooves, think again. While he won’t help much in the general, at least not if it were held today, he’s still a big draw in the party and the horses that pretend he’s got leprosy do so at the risk of alienating three-quarters of the base.

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