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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
By Steven L. Taylor

Several folks have made issue of CBS’ poll numbers on the President’s approval rating.

However, it seems quite clear that the general trend is downward, even if one wish to argue the actually approval number isn’t 34%.

I’ll put it this way: it seems patently silly to talk about slanted polls when the numbers are bad to matter how one slices them.

Further, the Mystery Pollster notes the following:

In fact, even when MP recalculates the CBS job approval results for the most recent survey using the average party composition reported on their last three surveys (33% Democrat, 28% Republican, 39% independent or other), the Bush approval percentage still rounds to 34%. The reason is that my recalculation just increases the number of independents at the expense of Democrats. However, Bush’s rating is now so low among both subgroups as measured by CBS that the adjustment makes little difference.

Also: Brendan Nyhan discusses the issue of weighting the responses.

The bottom line is clear: the President isn’t doing very well at the moment in terms of public opinion and, quite frankly, there are reasons why this is the case and accusing the pollsters of slanting the polls doesn’t change that fact.

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3 Responses to “Missing the Point on the Poll Numbers”

  1. Gdshf Says:

    Come on! Pollsters generally have advanced degrees in Social Science which they received at universities which are crawling with leftist professors. Thus, these people learn to poll from a bbunch of commies and, hence, their polls will reflect their communist bias.

    Bush is doing swimmingly. The pollsters are commies. End of story.

  2. ATM Says:

    That’s assuming you believe the composition of the last three CBS surveys. To the best of my knowledge party identification for Democrats and Republicans is far closer than 33% to 28%. I noticed that all CBS-NYTimes polls and AP-IPsos polls tend to report lower numbers during the 2004 election season, and we know how that turned out.

    I wonder if there is a self selection bias for a CBS-NYTimes poll. Do they tell who they are? I would imagine a lot of Republicans would hang up hearing the names of either CBS or the NYTimes, but hearing the names of both of them might just push them over the edge.

    I’m not saying that Bush’s ratings aren’t low, but I suspect they are closer to 40%.

  3. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » More Bad Numbers Says:

    [...] d Numbers
    By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:43 am

    Ok, we’ve had low-points in the CBS poll, AP poll, the CNN/Gallup Poll, the Pew Poll and now the NBC/WSJ poll hitting low point for Bush: Acc [...]


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