12/20/2005 Add a comment

Contradictory headlines today:

CNN says, " Poll: Iraq speeches, election don't help Bush", and continues
A CNN/USA Today Gallup poll conducted over the weekend found his approval rating stood at 41 percent, while more than half, or 56 percent, disapprove of how the president is handling his job. A majority, or 52 percent, say it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq, and 61 percent say they disapprove of how he is handling Iraq specifically. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The Washington Post writes, "Bush's Support Jumps After a Long Decline; More Americans Upbeat on Iraq, Economy", and follows with
Bush's overall approval rating rose to 47 percent, from 39 percent in early November, with 52 percent saying they disapprove of how he is handling his job. His approval rating on Iraq jumped 10 percentage points since early November, to 46 percent, while his rating on the economy rose 11 points, to 47 percent. A clear majority, 56 percent, said they approve of the way Bush is handling the fight against terrorism -- a traditional strong point in his reputation that nonetheless had flagged to 48 percent in the November poll.
With both polls claiming +- 3 points as the margin of error, 47-3 = 44, 41+3 = 44, the approval ratings in the polls aren't statistically different. Why the Post has decided to spin the results in such a positive direction is beyond me. Of course the two polls might have had different trends leading up to these results.


Bonus points to whoever finds the poll where Bush's approval rating plummeted in recent weeks! Nonetheless, as the President's approval rating soars to 47 percent, I can't help feeling like I'm hearing the hometown announcer in the midst of a blowout, when the home team hits a meaningless homerun, saying "and it's an eight-to-FOUR ballgame!" ben

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