Wednesday :: Feb 9, 2005

Yesterday's Gallup Poll Showing Bush Approval At 57% Had 9% More Republicans Than Democrats

by Steve

The more things change, the more things stay the same. And Gallup is showing us that a leopard doesn’t change its spots.

On the heels of the Iraqi election, and with the White House needing a boost in Bush’s image and approval ratings as he tries to ram through a terrible budget and Social Security privatization plan to a wavering GOP, much was made yesterday about the most recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll done over the weekend. This poll, bull-horned through the media and rightwing blogosphere, showed an incredible jump in Bush’s approval rating to 57%, a five-point jump from the polls done in early January. Yet even those earlier January polls it turned out were suspect because, you guessed it, they were based on a sample that had more Republicans in it than Democrats (37.2% GOP, 35.6% Democrat, and 27% Independent).

So is this recent poll, showing Bush with a growing and mandate-building approval rating of 57% a clear sign of emerging Bush strength?

Hardly. The poll trumpeted far and wide yesterday by CNN, USAT, and the right wing blogosphere was based on a sample constructed by Gallup that contained 37% Republicans, 35% Independents, and only 28% Democrats.

You read that correctly.

CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll
February 4-6, 2005
Bush Approval/Disapproval 57%-40%

Republicans: 378 (37%)
Independents: 353 (35%)
Democrats: 279 (28%)

When I received these numbers, I thought they were juxtaposed in error. So I asked Gallup to confirm them, which they politely did. I mean, why would Gallup knowingly use a poll that had almost a hundred fewer Democrats in it than Republicans, and think it was credible?

Sometime between the January poll and this early February poll, Gallup feels that Democrats have fallen through the floor amongst the electorate as a whole, even though other polls since the election show the Democrats retaking a lead over the GOP.

The mid-January NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was based on a sample that contained 39% Republicans and 39% Democrats; poll respondents said that Bush did not have a mandate.

The mid-January CBS News/New York Times poll was based on a sample that contained 34% Democrats and 31% Republicans.

The Pew Center poll and analysis released January 24, 2005 reflected a split of 33% Democrat, 30% Republican.

And it should be noted than an ABC News/Washington Post poll done in mid-December showed that Americans self-identified 11% more as being Democrats (38%) than those who identified as being Republican (27%).

Yet Gallup looks at the electorate over the weekend and somehow feels that Democrats have fallen to only 28% of the electorate, a figure never seen for the party in decades if ever. At what point in our history over the last several decades has the GOP ever had a 9% edge over the Democrats? And knowing that, why would they put out a poll showing a 57% approval rating when they must know that it is based on a bogus sample?

What makes this poll all the more amazing is that even with this sample over-weighted heavily towards the GOP, respondents felt that the best way to deal with Social Security’s funding shortfall wasn’t through Bush’s private accounts, but rather through making the wealthy pay more by raising the income ceiling subject to withholding taxes and reducing benefits for the wealthy. So Bush can’t even sell his own party on his privatization plan.

With this poll, Gallup appears to be firmly a propaganda arm of the White House and RNC.

Steve :: 1:14 PM :: Comments (55) :: Digg It!