|You know, there are times when you almost want to feel bad for the guy, until you remember how many people he's killed and all the civil liberties he took a crap on. Many were complaining about the CBS poll showing Bush's rating at 34%, saying that the polling group was more democrats and independents than republicans. Well, now we've got another one to work with, the USAToday/CNN/Gallup poll that's got him at 36%, the lowest they've seen yet.
Now, I could obviously question what everyone's problem is about who gets polled, because these same polls had Bush at nearly 90 after 9/11, and in the 70s after the "Mission Accomplished" banner happened. Actually I'm going to do just that, and I'm going to attack the problem from three different heads.
First off, as I mentioned, Bush's ratings were around 90 after 9/11. Unless these people complaining think that the poll targeted a different demographic back in '01, we all agree the same people said that 90% that are saying the 36%. So either the republicans are bitching and moaning about a very small percentage difference between what the recent polls are saying and what they really are, since it's the same people, then they're apparently of the belief that after 9/11 over 100% of the country liked him. I don't think I'm alone in saying that's pretty bloody unlikely.
Secondly, trends are more important than straight numbers, and the trends make Bush look even worse. If his approval was low after all of the events that should typically spike approval (tragedies, the "victory" in a war), then it'd be pretty easy to accuse polling bias of keeping him down. But he went from the highest approval of any president to the third lowest. His approval dropped by almost two-thirds from that huge 9/11 bump to now. Since I'm still going off the assumption that these polls (if they're so biased) aren't going to have ever skewed numbers to make him look BETTER, he's still the president with the worst approval rating drop in history.
Thirdly, how do people think these polls happen? Aside from not having seen any proof of party bias in the polls, do these people think 4,000 people are selected, and then after the poll is conducted 1,100 of them are used? A thousand or so people are selected at random, and then the party affiliations are revealed after it's over. So it's still a random sampling. I'd question if there are simply more democrats or independents. now thanks to him.
Of course, then we find ourselves noting that the party affiliation isn't necessarily a great indicator of things, as we see in Susa's 50 state poll of whether people thought Bush broke the law with wiretaps. Now, yes, it's true that the red states are more inclined to saying he obeyed the law and the blue states more inclined that he broke it, but what are our (unweighted) averages?
Obeyed the law: 35%
Broke the law: 36%
Obeyed the law: 28%
Broke the law: 43.5%
So we're talking a 7% difference between the republicans and democrats on the issue, roughly. I ignored the undecideds because they were fairly even between the two groups. Now, if it's true that bias is given to one group over the other, let's say a nice pro-blue bias (three dems for every one republican), let's see how that stacks up to normal:
NO BIAS (50/50)
Obeyed the law: 31.5%
Broke the law: 40%
BIAS TOWARD DEMOCRATS (75/25)
Obeyed the law: 29.75%
Broke the law: 41.5%
Wow. What a change even an enormous bias for democrats gives to that poll. Republicans, you're going to have to stop crying about every little poll that comes out. Like it or not, the country is not behind Bush, and all of the moaning about liberal bias in the media isn't going to change that. At least not in any significant way.
And then there's this, which totally slays me.
Nearly half of those polled said they believe Democrats would do a better job of managing the war -- even though only a quarter of them said the opposition party has a clear plan for resolving the situation.
That's right. Only half of the people who think dems would do a better job actually have any idea what they would do. There is a significant portion of the population who is basically saying "anyone can do a better job than Bush"