July 25, 2007

Polling Follies, Chapter 37B

Yesterday, I noticed that the Washington Post had published another of its series of polls, and I decided to take a look through the sampling. Given that the only use of it last night was for analyzing the Republican primary race, in which only Republican responses got used for data, I decided to hold off on writing about it until the Post used the overall data for other purposes. This morning, Peter Baker obliged with a story about George Bush's historic low approval ratings:

President Bush is a competitive guy. But this is one contest he would rather lose. With 18 months left in office, he is in the running for most unpopular president in the history of modern polling.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News survey shows that 65 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's job performance, matching his all-time low. In polls conducted by The Post or Gallup going back to 1938, only once has a president exceeded that level of public animosity -- and that was Richard M. Nixon, who hit 66 percent four days before he resigned.

I'm not going to argue that Bush doesn't have low approval ratings or that he is solidly unpopular at the moment. I think that has been pretty well established, especially after he alienated his own base over immigration reform -- if you'll pardon the pun. However, the Post's polling has such a sampling problem that it calls into serious question how accurately they could measure his disapproval ratings.

After a few years of relative equality, Democrats have pulled ahead of Republicans in party affiliation, as NBC noted in February. Nationally, Democrats enjoy a 34.3%-30.4% advantage in registrants. This has caused some analysts to predict that the GOP will have a tougher time in the Electoral College than in the last two elections, which was the general point of the article.

Now let's look at the Washington Post sample. On question 901, respondents answered that they were 35% Democrats, which is close enough to the national average. However, only 23% identified themselves as Republicans, which amounts to a 24% underrepresentation (see update below) of the GOP in this sample. In fact, the Post consistently underrepresents Republicans, and has for the past two years. The last time it came close to reality was in November 2006 -- when the Post needed to make sure its election predictions came close to the results.

Not surprisingly, that was also the last time the Post's polling on George Bush's approval ratings came close to reality, too. His disapproval then was 57%, which the elections seem to have confirmed. At the time, Rasmussen -- which has been historically more accurate than the Post -- had it at 56%. They now have it at 59%, actually down from a high of 65% in the first part of July during the immigration debate.

Bush is not popular, by any means. However, by seriously underrepresenting Republicans in its polling samples, the Post exaggerates his unpopularity and renders its polling unreliable. If their pollsters cannot generate a sample that resembles the American electorate, then they should find new pollsters.

UPDATE: A few people have questioned the "24% underrepresentation" remark, but it's accurate. If the proper representation of Republicans in the electorate is 30.3%, and the Post's sample is only 23% Republican, then it underrepresents Republicans by 24% -- not because I think its off by 24 percentage points and it should be 47%, but because it only includes 76% of the proper Republican sample. That means the sample of Republicans is off by 24%. That's not insignificant, and therefore any general conclusions made from this poll are unreliable at best.

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Comments (44)

Posted by tomjfrombfflo | July 25, 2007 8:44 AM

when you start complaining that your guy is hated by 6% fewer people than the polls suggest, you are thinking like a permanent loser.

Posted by Barnestormer | July 25, 2007 8:46 AM

Wonder how polls would be treated under Di's and Hillary's shiny new Fairness Doctrine.

Posted by LarryD | July 25, 2007 10:50 AM

What the WP is doing falls under the heading "Psy Ops" (Psychological Operations). I've no doubt the intention is to demoralize non-Progressives and boost the moral of Progressives.

Posted by Continuum | July 25, 2007 11:01 AM

Polls come and go.

Money counts.

Currently the Dems are far and away ahead of the Reps in soliticting campaign funds from indiviudals and corporations.

The money "poll" is what really has the neocons shaking in their boots.

Posted by Immolate | July 25, 2007 11:09 AM


While you'll find solid support from Republicans for Bush on the war and on judicial nominees, he has created a permanent rift with a large number of the base over the immigration issue. Bush is neither emblematic or representative of conservatism, nor is he running for reelection. He will spend the rest of his term doing what he thinks is right, with only minimal atttention paid to political expediency, and damn the consequences to his poll numbers. The only thing that has changed about Bush since the 2006 elections is sensitivity to timing, which has gone way down.

Posted by Monkei | July 25, 2007 11:18 AM

Let's see, so we are discussing here is whether this "president" is thought to be doing a bad job by 58 or 65 percent of Americans?

This bodes badly for the GOP in 2008.

Talk about cut and run, this party needs to "cut and run" from this administration. I am sure they will do it, just in time to save their hides in November of 2008.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | July 25, 2007 11:27 AM

CBS "News" has also been busted in the past few years over-sampling Democrats. In a couple of the polls I saw, Dems were oversampled by 14%.

Posted by Francis Scalzi | July 25, 2007 1:12 PM

WHINE,WHINE,WHINE. Is the poor wittle soldier angwy because his hewo is losing his aggots ? WHINE, WHINE, WHINE.

Posted by Jazz | July 25, 2007 1:37 PM

Even given the sampling error (which I agree is likely significant and the numbers may not really have budged all that much in the last month) what I find highly interesting in the historical data is shift (or lack therof) between the "somewhat" and "strongly" answers on each side.

Now, this is only my personal take on it / opinion, but I see a difference between people who tend to answer this question, on each side, with a "strongly" vs. "somewhat" answer. In order to hit the button for strongly, I picture people who fall into one of two categories. First are the extreme partisans who will choose the extreme answer no matter what's happening in real world events. (These would be the "Bush/GOP can do no wrong" vs. the "Bush/GOP are Satan and can do no right" camps.) I believe this is a fairly small subset on both sides. The rest of the "strongly" answers, I believe, come from people who have one of a few key issues which they feel *very* strongly about, whether it's Iraq, the economy, immigration, etc. I can understand how honest people of good intent could still feel strongly on *both* sides of these major issues.

I picture the "somewhat" answer respondants, however, to be people who pick up the phone from the pollster, hear this question, and really stop and ponder it. They might think, "Well, given the current issues he's facing, I suppose Bush is doing about as well as could be expected." Or somebody who thinks, "He's not out to ruin the country or anything, but he really should probably be doing some things differently."

Now take a look at the disapproval spread from this most recent poll vs. 9/8/02. (Remember, that was one year after the 9/11 attacks, but before the invasion of Iraq... arguably one of Bush's strongest periods of public support.) From that time to this, the percentage of people who "somewhat" disapproved of the president is virtually unchanged - 13% today vs. 12% then.

However, the people who "somewhat aprove" has plumetted more than ten percent from 28 to 17%. A fair piece of the shift that has continued over this span of time comes from that portion of the respondents. But the biggest shift I see as telling is in the strongly approve category. This group has gone from 42% to 16% over the period I referenced. This is what leads me to believe that people who traditionally choose "strongly support" are not made up in large part by mindless, " Bush can do no wrong" automatons, but rather by people who held very strong, forceful opinions on the various key issues facing the country, but have lost faith that Bush is selecting the absolute best courses of action during his tenure. That number has dropped sharply in particulra since early last year and I suspect that portion of the gap represents a large number of people who feel very strongly about the immigration issue and fear that Bush has strayed seriously off the path in that area. It's one of the only explanations I see, since if you supported the Iraq war two years ago, you *probably* still support it now.

Anyway, it's an interesting set of numbers, and I think it definitely does a job of accurately portraying some *trends* but the sample rate would need to be adjusted for the final hard values to be taken as spot-on.

Posted by tomjfrombfflo | July 25, 2007 1:46 PM

dear Jazz

That is a great analysis

Your response is why I read Blogs. When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, newspapers provided discussions like this. Thanks.

Posted by Otto | July 25, 2007 2:47 PM

This seems to be facing both ways. Most polls are conducted by entirely reputable polling firms who are concerned about their reputations for commercial reasons. The Post's polls are not put together at the editorial desk. Most polls have Bush from the mid twenties to low thirties. Given margins of error it's therefore a reasonable presumption that he's around 29 or 30%. Rassmussen is the outlier, it always is, but Morrissey points to that poll as the more accurate even though it got the last congressional elections more wrong than many. These polls aren't perfect but they are unanimous Bush is in the tank, even Morrissey admits it, and he's been in the tank for a long time. Suggesting the Post is painting a marginally worse picture than reality, even if true, is a bit like picking pepper out of fly poop. Surely the bigger question is will he take the GOP down with him.

Posted by Allen | July 25, 2007 3:19 PM

Money Counts is correct.

All the Democratic money is going into the primary. Where it matters most is during the actual election cycle. My money will be going to one of three people after the primary season is over. Rudolph, Thompson or Gingrich.

Once the election really starts, you can start talking money.

Posted by sholata | July 25, 2007 3:38 PM

However, only 23% identified themselves as Republicans, which amounts to a 24% underrepresentation of the GOP in this sample.

Half the country are registered republican voters? Half the country? Maybe half of Selma Alabama?

Half the country?????????

Posted by Tiger | July 25, 2007 3:52 PM

Meanwhile, if you want a chuckle, you should visit the Obama Campaign website and listen to THEM bitch and moan that the polls showing Hillary with a massive lead are somehow "biased".

Posted by viking01 | July 25, 2007 4:07 PM

All this bluster is simply indicative of typical Liberal bluster over how much money the other guy has at the moment.

I agree with Allen that once the campaign actually starts then talk about money may have some import. Meanwhile the press substituting money talk and tiresome polls serves as diversion from the superficiality and tiresomeness of angry Hillary and Obama; both of whom have been about as exciting as Dennis Kucinich lately.

Posted by scientistguy | July 25, 2007 4:12 PM

Hey sholata,

Like all liberals, logic and math are beyond your comprehension. You don't add the percentages together. 23% is 24% below the amount of registered republicans. Got it?

Posted by rjg | July 25, 2007 4:16 PM

The Post only polls the DC metro area versus a true national poll--it is a money savings thing for the Post. Thus, it automatically slants the polling outcome to the predominantly Democratic majority in the DC area.

Posted by Continuum | July 25, 2007 5:04 PM

That's the spirit guys.

Keep telling yourself that current money totals are unimportant.

Ya, that's the answer.

Republicans don't care about money now, because magically when the election starts, the Republican Neocon Money Fairy (RNC ex-Chairman Ken Mehlman?) will erase all previous totals and come election day, the neocons will win.

Hey, if that thought gets you through the day, then be my guest.

(BTW -- please don't mention M..O..N..E..Y to John McCain.)

Posted by Mark | July 25, 2007 5:05 PM

No when you have to argue that the President is 6 points lower than he actually is then you are acting like a permenant loser.

I am a pollster and have written and analyzed numerous polls. When looking at the % of Reps to Dems I always use the House of Representatives because it is the most representative body in the nation. As it stands Republicans hold 46.4% of the House seats. Now the big problem for pollsters is that a large number of Republicans & Democrats register as Independents. But truth be told they will almost all vote for one of the 2 main Party candidates. So it is impossible to objectively know the Party Identification of the Electorate. I personally prefer the 46 to 46 to 8 ratio. I believe that the last 4 elections have proven this out.

In 2004, you saw a nation almost evenly divided with a small advantage on the Republican side. Then in 2006 I believe that those Independents who voted Republican switched and voted Dem. Regardless, it is impossible to objectively argue, as the Post and many other left-funded polls do, that the nation is comprised of anything fewer than 46.4 % Republicans. (another problem pollsters have to deal with in diferentiating betweem Republican Independents who switch to the Dems versus devout Republicans that stayed home out of frustration but who would never vote Dem.So in truth the next election could reveal that Republicans didn't lose as many of its Independents to Dems as we now believe if those Republicans turn out).

Now lets use ABC/Post's numbers and do the math. If 75% (80% according to the more respectable Rassmussen) of Republicans , 10% of Dems and 33% of Independents approve of the President then we should be able to subjectively estimate Bush's approval rating using two different methods.

Using the first method we just calculate the President's approval based upon the party identification of the House. That would give Bush an approval rating of 40.16%.

Personally I prefer method two which is based upon my calculations of the electorate's party ID. That would give Bush an approval rating of 41.74% (based upon 75% approval from Reps which comprise 46% of the electorate, 10% approval from Dems which comprise 46% of the electorate and 33% approval from Independents which comprise 8% of the electorate.

If we use Rassmussen's number of 80% Republican approval for the President that would give Bush a 44.04% approval rating.

Either way the numbers from both methods are close - within 2 points. Again the problem with most polling firms is that they base their assumptions about the party identification of the electorate on the current numbers of party registration. Since most Independents do not vote independent then that will never be an accurate assumption over the long run.

But let's say that you demand that your approval ratings be based upon Party Registration. Well that would tell us (according to NBC) that 34.3% of the nation is registered Democrat, 30.4% is registered Republican and 35.3% is Independent (think about that for a second - if 35% of the nation were truly Independent then we would have Independents serving in the House and currently there are none. Since there are so few elected Indpendent legislators then it objectively reveals that most people who claim to be Independents actually vote for a Republican or Democrat candidate.) Now using those numbers Bush would have an approval rating of 38% from ABC/Post or 39.4 using Rassmussen.

Posted by MarkJ | July 25, 2007 5:05 PM

Let's put it this way: the Democrats and MSM are hostages to events. If, as I suspect, the the situation in Iraq markedly improves and we keep Al Qaeda on the run...

1. In 20 years, Bush's face will likely be etched on Mount Rushmore.


2. Nobody will give two s***s about this piss-ant WP-ABC poll.

Monkei and Continuum, put that in your environmentally-friendly pipes and smoke it.

Posted by Continuum | July 25, 2007 5:21 PM

Hey MarkJ,

I don't much care about the ABC poll either.

People will say one thing and do another.

But, dollars in the pocket. That's a number that matters.

If Joe Public gives $20 to your campaign, I'll bet that he supports you.

So, currently, in a fairly accurate, measurable poll, the Dems are beating the crap out of the neocon Republicans.

Like I said. If you need to turn the poll numbers upside down, right or left, or inside out to help you get through the day, then please do so.

The rest of us Americans can barely wait for November 2008.

Posted by Mark | July 25, 2007 5:24 PM

Continuum, which Republican candidate is a Neocon?

I agree that Republicans should be worried about the money divide but it is impossible for you to objectively conclude the reason for that divide at this time. It could be that Republicans are simply not satisfied with their field of candidates and the Dems are very satisfied.

Posted by Continuum | July 25, 2007 5:30 PM

Mark, I totally agree with you.

I don't think that the Rep base is at all pleased with the current Rep crop. (In a recent poll of the Rep base, "none of the above" actually came out ahead.)

I'm not sure who the candidate from Rep side will be. Trouble is, neither is the base.

I think the Rep base is fairly dispirited having been severely abused by the current Bush Admin and group of representatives.

Posted by bearthehero | July 25, 2007 5:42 PM

fuzzy math, scientistguy

these statistics games are as dubious as scientific data supporting human influenced global warming...as dubious as evolution...

Posted by bearthehero | July 25, 2007 5:43 PM

fuzzy math, scientistguy

these statistics games are as dubious as scientific data supporting human influenced global warming...as dubious as evolution...

Posted by Mark | July 25, 2007 5:45 PM

Continuum, but you failed to tell me which candidate is a Neocon...?

I don't think most Republicans in the base feel severely abused by the Bush Admin. I think they feel let down that the President has done such a poor job of defending his policies and even worse job of attacking the left and their media allies for all of the lies and seditious charges that have been made. Right now we crave an articulate partisan leader who will not be a punching bag for these scumbag leftists and will actually take the fight to them. But we almost all respect the President, largely support his policies and believe that history will be very kind to him.

Posted by Otto | July 25, 2007 6:11 PM

When you read posts like yours it really confirms the premise of that recent book about the irrationality of voters. According to you the president has some of the lowest poll ratings in US history because he has done a poor job of defending his policies and attacking liberal scumbags. History will judge him a great man. I'm not going to recite the litany of real reasons why the American public consider him one of the worst presidents in history and a liar to boot, but focus on what this means for the GOP in the real world. There's little doubt in my mind that the GOP is heading for a defeat of historic proportions next year. And one of the main reasons is people like you. And I say that as a long time Republican voter. Unfortunately, the lack of reality which you personify is in the ascendant in the Republican party today. The shambles in Iraq is just the most visible example but there are plenty of others like stem stell research, income inequality, global warming, and apparently denying healthcare to poor kids which is the latest issue we are going to the stake for. Harry, Nancy, Chuck and co must be thinking "make my day." Meanwhile Capt Ed is debating whether Bush is loathed by 65% of the electorate or a mere 59%. This is unreal. We're going to lose big time next year and with nonsense like this we probably deserve to. Hopefully the longer term consequence will be to sweep bozos like you out of the party completely along with those that think like you so that the GOP can return to the mainstream.

Posted by Mark | July 25, 2007 7:07 PM

In the first place Otto, President Bush has the highest approval rating of any President since polling began. Secondly, President Bush does not have a low approval rating amongst Republicans and my post, if you had read it rationally, was about how the Republican Base views Bush. However, the American public does not consider Bush one of the worst Presidents in American history - that is such a laughable charge I question the rationality of anyone who makes it. The American people generally judge their President by the state of the economy and since we have one of the greatest economies in world history Bush is hardly judged harshly by the electorate regarding the economy. In fact Bush was reelected with a larger number of supporters than he won in 2000 which means Bush gained in support. Bush lost about 8% of that support in 2006 but that is where he bottomed out. And since the Congress now has a lower approval rating than they did preceding the loss of the Republican controlled Congress in 2006 it is apparent that the public has a damn them all mentality that translates to general disapproval for all elected politicians.

There is an irrational mood in the country that is a direct result of the Democrat/ mainstream media agenda of seditious bashing of our ONE AND ONLY elected leader in order to promote partisan advantages amongst one of our political parties. And the great news is that your own despicable actions have no come back to bite your in your ass. Unless of course you wanted the Democrat controlled Congress to have a 14% approval rating, lol.

The truth is, Otto, that you are a liar and have embraced the rhetoric of your fellow liars. You are not and have never been a Republican. You cannot recite the litany of reasons why YOU BELIEVE he is the worst President because you really do not know what that litany would entail. You are hardly prepared to defend your accusations because you have not had to defend them. This President does not demand it of you, as he should. This President is far too much of a gentleman and scumbags like you take advantage of his integrity and honor. The second the President starts fighting back his numbers go up. But since he so rarely takes on that challenge little good it does him or his Party.

I am a pollster and a political consultant. If you had bothered to read my analysis of those polls you wouldn’t be parroting the leftist propaganda in your post. The fact that you do parrot it proves that you are as I said, just another leftist liar who has abandoned logic, reason and honor out of your irrational hatred of a very decent man. Nor would you dare claim to be a Republican and then proclaim that Iraq is in shambles when 2/3rd of the country is stable and prospering, stem-cell research (which the majority of Americans support the President’s actions), global warming (where a majority of Americans do not believe that man is the cause), income inequality (where a majority of Americans blame taxes not lack of taxes), and socialized medicine, which is overwhelmingly opposed by Americans and which no majority believes is a right.

Captaoin Ed is arguing about why the left feels the need to lie about the President’s real approval ratings. Captain Ed and myself did not supply our own differeing polls but we simply used the data from your polls to show how they have been retooled by propagandists to paint a fallacious reality, believed by those not bright enough to see through their trick and parlor games. I am sorry that group includes you. But since you made it more than apparent that you are willing to lie to win your argument, as you obviously did in your post, I am hardly surprised.

Posted by tomjfrombfflo | July 25, 2007 7:59 PM


With all due respect, you deserve no respect. Everyone who polls is publishing left wing propaganda, except....Mark

Do you actually get paid for polling? Bush "is the most popular president ever?"

Even if I were Bush I wouldn't pay you for that nonsense.

Come on, admit it: are you that guy Saddam hired to talk about how ell things were going when we were already in Baghdad?

Nice to see you git work, Baghdad Bob! As they say, only in America!

I wonder why the Captain doesn't turn the blog over to you and your wise and reasoned analysis.

I bet like your former boss Saddam, over 100% of people voted for Bush.

Thanks for the laugh though. And by the way, I am not just a pollster and political consultant, I am the King of Spain. Yeah, that;s the ticket!

P.S. I like this site because it does NOT feature people like you.

Posted by Andrew P | July 25, 2007 8:17 PM

It is pretty clear that the GOP is going to get creamed in the 2008 election - the only question is how bad. A good bellweather will be this year's elections in virginia. The new exorbitant state civil fines for high-point traffic offences shows that the GOP legislature is out of touch and not fit to govern, so they will lose - but again, how bad will depend on national trends. If half of them get thrown out in 2007, you can count on having president Hillary and more than 60 democratic senators in 2009.

Posted by Mark | July 25, 2007 9:44 PM

Wow Tom, it is obvious that my post was way over your head.

I did not say every poll published is leftwing. Most, especially those done on local levels, which include the vast majority of surveys conducted, are not biased. Most clients want accurate data. I have never done a push-poll because it does not provide the client with all of the knowledge he or they will need for victory. In fact, it biases the results. My criticism was targeted at those mainstream media polls which always undercount the % of Republicans in the national electorate. In addition, I proved why, as did the Captain with a different point, they are slanted. (Oh I loved your rebuttal to that analysis - what was it again?)

I did not say Bush was the most popular President ever, I said that Bush has the highest approval rating, 92%, of any President since modern polling began.

I feel embarrassed for you. Before you comment in the future, I recommend you actually attempt to read and understand the people you are going to criticize. Otherwise, you will just continue to look foolish.

Posted by John Bleck | July 25, 2007 10:44 PM

Polling has long been the main redoubt of bourgeois bolshevism. Unfortuanately for the bourbols the trend is toward metapolls like RCP's so the more dust is swept into the bin.

Posted by Vilan | July 26, 2007 3:04 AM

Mark-- stick to your guns. Do not let reality intrude. Bush is as good and truthful a president as Gonzo is a good and truthful AG.

You are right to put some blame on the media-but it is the Rush-Hannity-Savage jokesters whose propaganda is so mindless that the more they talk, the better it is for America. Their performances are a laxative for the country, and will help it cleanse itself of the selfishness that, to our great injury, the right wing losers were able to make the trademark of the American people.

Posted by tomjfrombfflo | July 26, 2007 9:50 AM


You write:

"I did not say Bush was the most popular President ever, I said that Bush has the highest approval rating, 92%, of any President since modern polling began."

where? what poll? And what in the name of Alito and Roberts color-blind America do you mean by "approval"? Is his approval so high that the 2008 Republicans will run as Bush III?

Bush is a laughingstock with ordinary people one meets on the street. I am not making up America's Bush Fatigue, you are inventing his "Approval".

I was commenting on your ACTUAL words, and actual assertions, which so many on the conservative side seem unable to champion along with you. President George W. Bush has taken a country united behind him and his presidency and run into two camps that shout at each other; but nobody but you claims he is popular,which is the everyday meaning of "approval". In fact, most people, Republicans included on issues like Gonzales and Immigration, "disapprove" of Bush. That is a fact.

Since we are now friends, by the way, Is there any chance you will share your prescription with me if I promise to agree with you?

Posted by Mark | July 26, 2007 12:11 PM

Vilan - you and people like you prove my point time and time again. You accuse the President of being a bad President and of being a liar when no one objectively supports such beliefs. Sure left-wing radicals hate the President because he has so often beaten them on policy issues but no honest, unbiased observer of American politics would ever make the extreme statements that you and your crowd makes. It is on par with saying that Bush was the mastermind behind 9/11. It's conspiracy-minded trash talk and only the most foolish embrace such methods. Furthermore, to prove how whacked out you and your crowd is all you ever offer are attacks. You never defend your extremist accusations but simply regurgitate talking points that originate from the Soros kooks.

Please Vilan, argue like a man with a backbone. Quit falling back, like so many in the left do, on subjective and personal attacks. What propaganda emanates from Rush or Hannity? How are they promoting selfishness? They are the ones defending our peace-keeping mission in Iraq and other selfless acts of great charity to the world against the call for abandoning those suffering peoples. It is your side that says screw those who are suffering for mere selfish reasons, such as using the war as a partisan divide and a means to attack your leader in order to help your preferred political party. In fact Democrats may be the most selfish, power-hungry minded politicos in American history. And it is to your great shame that you continue to support such vampires.

Remember Vilan, Bush will be remembered for much more than just the bad days in Iraq. He will be remembered for cutting taxes which lead to one of the greatest economies our nation has ever experienced. He will be remembered for protecting the nation from further terrorist attacks. He will be adored for his courage to lead instead of playing to the polls. He will be praised for his integrity, honesty and ethics. He will be heralded for the incredible lack of scandals during his 8 years. And I haven’t even gotten to his vision and the way he has drastically changed American foreign policy. Generations from now people will know and still implement the Bush Doctrine. So few Presidents affect the direction of the nation as Bush has and I speak with some authority as a History major who specialized in American history. There are historians now, one a famous liberal at Boston U., who already argue Bush is one of the most significant Presidents we have ever had.

But people like you Vilan live in the moment and cannot see the woods through the trees.

Posted by Mark | July 26, 2007 12:16 PM

Tom – you really are… um… dumb.

President Bush had a 92% approval rating in 2003 (I believe). It is the highest recorded approval rating for any President since polling began. He will go down in the history books with that achievement. It will always be apart of his legacy.

I do not claim that Bush is now popular. But so what? I do not anchor myself to the moment the way you leftists do. I understand that public opinion is fickle and can change on a dime. I do not care if most people disapprove of Bush because of one or two issues. Furthermore, most people don’t disagree with Bush on the two issues you raised. Most people probably don’t even know who Gonzales is and, after learning all of the facts, don’t care about those firings. Most people want our border secured and do not support deportation of all illegals, which is the President’s position. What I care about, and what will so affect Bush’s legacy in such a positive way, is that Bush leads. Bush does what he believes is right and best for the nation even if it hurts his popularity in the short-term. The whole point about Bush having a 92% approval rating is that it was not that long ago and it just shows how easily people can be corralled.

But you bring up a really good point. Bush did have the country united behind him. But why did that happen? It wasn’t because of anything extraordinary that the President did but it was because the leaders of the Democrat Party got behind the President and supported him verbally and with their votes. For a brief moment our nation had two adult political parties that put the interests of the nation first. But within weeks the Democrats started to have defections and within a year, as the campaign season for the 2004 Presidential election began, your Party had united behind bashing our only elected leader. It was despicable and will damage your reputation in the history books forever. Historians will look back at the attacks made by the leaders of your party with great contempt. Go back and look at all the lies made by Dean, Edwards and Kerry. And to help you I would recommend that you take one subject, let’s say on the economy, and see if you would like to come back here and defend that propaganda.

My question to you is how can you continue to follow those vile men and women when they have so frequently lied to you? Or were you complicit with them on those lies? Did you know at the time that they were lying but approved because you wanted to hurt Republican chances for electoral victory?

Posted by Nixon | July 26, 2007 1:39 PM

Bush's current poll figures owe a lot to his total preoccupation with the war and voter disgust at affairs here at home.

We can thank Dennis Hastert, Ted Stevens and the Republican "leadership" for that: ignoring a historic opportunity to control waste, lock in lower taxes and control out of control immigration, Hastert. . ate; he and "leadership" insisted that a congressman's office was exempt from an FBI search; allowed an orgy of graft.

Disgusted voters tossed every Republican they could find and not so much because of the war. Now Bush, admittedly a poor communicator, limp administrator, and tone deaf President, is assailed daily by the congress Hastert lost. Troops in Iraq listen to Nancy Pelosi because Hastert couldn't manage to do anythign right. Voters listen to "fired US Attorneys" w/o historical context because no one is there to rebut. The Base is dispirited becasue no one in "leadership" is listening. Nice job guys.

Posted by Mark | July 26, 2007 2:17 PM

Nixon - I respectfully disagree with your ultimate point but agree with much of what you wrote. Bush has low approval ratings amongst Democrats and Independents (not Republicans though) because he is not a good apologist.

Americans do not have disgust here at home. Who could possibly justify such disgust? Americans are overwhelmingly content and satisfied with their own lives as all of the polls reveal. Most of the domestic issues that are parroted in the MSM are intentionally presented to generate concern and if you ask Americans how well things are going for their neighbors they will reply negatively. But, these are just shadows - created to sell newspapers or generate funding for leftist pet projects. Real concerns exist but mainly on the right.

We are concerned about the rise and spread of Islamofascism. We are very concerned about having such vast areas of our border that are unsecured and at risk to penetrations by our avowed enemies. We are concerned about leftist attempts to undermine our constitutional system. We are concerned about further attempts to socialize our private markets and the attacks made upon capitalism and it greatly angers us when Republicans compromise on this subject.

We are not concerned about the leftist, and mostly made up, problems. We are not concerned with global warming but with the way it has turned into a religion. We are not concerned with the national debt as it is at Hamiltonian levels. We are not concerned with gov’t funded stem cell research as we rightly understand that almost all beneficial advances come from the private sector. We are not concerned with income inequality but with the democrat-controlled education system that graduates so many losers.

Nixon, Republicans are just a few seats short of controlling both the House and the Senate. Please don’t exaggerate the attitude of the electorate. And recent polls show that the electorate holds their lowest opinion for the Democrat-controlled Congress. I agree with you about the war but let’s not rewrite history. Bush has been assailed daily since 2003 - not since the Dems took Congress. Bush's inability to fight back and be a good apologist for his issues has done great damage to his current approval rating. You are right when you say there has been no one there to rebut and Republicans are paying a price.

But let’s not forget that we are demanding that Bush defend himself against lies and propagandas coming from the very leaders of the Democrat party, most of whom are avowed hypocrites on every attack they make. The Democrats rightly understand Bush’s great vulnerability and they have exploited it, I would say, with the most evil motives imaginable – that is for pure political power. Take the war, all of the main Democrat leaders who now assail the President all voted for the war and were loud proponents for regime change before Bush was even President. Their hypocrisy stinks to high heaven.

Americans ultimately know this in their gut but they are not reminded with the same vigor and passion that comes from the power hungry left. The public cannot be deluged with lies and seditious attacks with little to no rebuttal without it affecting our national psyche. Although this scheme worked for the Dems in 2006, ultimately it will be self defeating – which is why I love the justice behind their Congressional approval rating.

Posted by TyCaptains | July 26, 2007 5:21 PM

Wow. Don't hog the koolaid, I'm thirsty too.

Posted by exDemo | July 26, 2007 6:38 PM

I enjoy watching pitched partisan political argument.

Mark If Mr. Bush had apologists, such as you would have Mr. Bush's approval up by 20 points..

I see Mr. Bush as I see Mr. Truman who I remember was so unpopular due the same war weariness that he chose not to run. Mr. Truman's popularity ended up at half Mr. Bushes, at some 18%. That is approximating the totally bankrupt and ineffectual Democrat congress. The Democrats suffer with razor slim majorities that allow them no victories, even if they had any program that they wished to enact. But they don't., other than playing politics and making irrelevant shows for the crazies of the extreme left in their party. Those actions win them no friends and the polls show it, too.

Today, Mr. Truman is remembered as a Great President. He was a fierce partisan Democrat but a leader who started to to fight back, in the the Cold War; rebuilt Europe and Japan with the "Marshall Plan"; did nation building, to bring Democracy to Germany and Japan. Countries that had never had it and in th terminology of todays pygmy Democrats "wouldn't understand it or support it".

Mr. Bush, a republican, will be similarly remembered as a Good President . He started to fight back in another Cold War against religious bigots, and won on several battlefronts. Algeria, Libya fell without a drop of American blood; Afghanistan almost as easily. In the great tradition of war, Iraq is a minor affair. Casualties were much higher in the Filipino Insurrection and even the FDR "Banana Wars".

Mr . Bush has won on several other fields. The Judiciary has turned Republican and Conservative.

Energy has been addressed and solved. I know that it isn't readily apparent yet. It is typical of the shortsightedness and myopia of the MSM.

Fusion research has been re-invigorated with the diplomatic triumph of re-creation of the International Consortia to fund and build the last big Fusion experiment that proves it' is a long range answer to all Energy needs from 2030 onward.

Bush's unheralded efforts to cajole the Nuclear power plant builders to invest billions of dollars and thousands of man years have come to fruition. He has cajoled them into creating safer and pre-certified "standardized plants" designs. He has reorganized the NRC bureaucracy and undercut the tools of the enviro wackos, and Nimbys. As these "standardized design" plants may no longer be challenged on grounds other than particular fidelity to construction standards. Stalling awaiting bankruptcy, won't work any more. Mr. Bush has made construction timetables and capital expenditures predictable. The economics were always superb if the plants could ever actually get to the point of generating electricity. Even in the era of 20 cent gasoline, the Utilities were ordering them in the 1960's and 70's. Now they will and can. The Utilities have filled the pipeline with 29 plants here in the USA. ( and 251 others overseas)

Mr. Bush has pushed for new technologies in transportation and battery research with the funding of the US ABC battery research consortia that is on the verge of revolutionizing the auto industry. li-Ion batteries have come sooner as a result of this research funding.

This solves the Energy problem in the intermediate term from 2013 -2030.
Yet Mr. Bush has allowed the knot heads to pursue their ridiculous solar, wind and bio fuels initiatives. These can't help much; but can't hurt either, It provides the mindless, useful make work in the meantime.

His insistence that we study the anthropogenic GW issue before being pushed to taking precipitate action, is paying off. Recent scientific research is calling all of it into question. Increasing portions of the tiny warming observed are or will be assigned to natural effects of a cyclically increasing solar output, both directly and indirectly. The IPCC AR4 removed 15% of the GW cause from all GHGs. The other GHGs are now stabilized and in decline removing another 25-30%of theh GHG driving force; and indirect solar effects modulating clouds through the Solar winds effect i reducing cosmic Ray cloud formation, has not yet been formally recognized but wilbe as mor eis definte. The IPCC has laid the groundwork in its TAR III and AR IV. That will remove another 40-50% of the CO2 effect. CO2 will be but a tiny effectless than 10% as large as originally feared, altering the temperature by fractions of tenths of degrees per century at most..

Only in the short run has his Energy policy failed. He has not opened the US East and West coasts to drilling and also the Anwar in Alaska. All that means is we must wait a decade and half for the worldwide oil demand collapse to come, instead of merely most of a single decade, instead. That event that will herald the official end of the so-called Energy Crisis.

Mr. Bush tried but could not help save the Welfare State.by adding sound actuarial components. Its Democrat proponents will let it collapse instead. He has failed there but he has addressed the problem as it must be faced eventually

He knows that the US must assimilate a large group of illegal aliens; but he should have recognized that first you must triage, staunch the bleeding, by sealing the border, before acting to absorb the new Americans. He has failed there but he has addressed the problem as it must be faced eventually.

Finally, he just might win in Iraq. Al Queda is awfully weak. Neither they nor the Mahdi Militia Persian stooges, have created real guerrilla armies. They have only little real military power. This is their real error of extreme asymmetrical warfare theories. They can wage unrest but not conquer.

The Shia Iraqi government would not fall rapidly to such as they, especially if he can bleed them down some more. Just as the Surge is rapidly and increasingly noted to be doing.

Come the late spring, Mr. Bush may just announce Victory ! and Peace is at Hand ! He can than arrange to withdraw some troops ,all the way to the election and the likely hood is the Democrat Surrendercrats are hoist on their own STUPIDITY.

Mr. Nixon did it to them in 1972, and they are walking right back into the same self-created trap. Mr. Bush is not a candidate too. Rudy is in great position for a fifty state sweep carrying many blue states and maybe dragging a few Republicans on his coat tails to retake the Congress.

With a fresh face, a honeymoon, and an election mandate, we can finish the job and go on to other battlefields like Syria;,and help push the grievously overextended Persian theocratic regime into economic collapse.

It certainly is overextended and showing signs of internal rebellion amid soaring internal inflation.

Posted by Mark | July 26, 2007 6:47 PM

exDemo - thank you for your compliment and very insightful post.

Posted by Ray | July 26, 2007 7:06 PM

This early into the campaign cycle, I wouldn't put any stock in ether the polls or the amount of campaign contributions each candidate is raising.

The polls will change during the next 6 months before the primaries, and will change dramatically after the primaries in respect to the remaining candidates. They always do.

The same is true for campaign contributions. Most of those contributions are fueling the campaigns of each candidate for their respective party nomination and little will be left for use in the the actual Presidential campaign.

Just because the Democrats are collecting more contributions at this time, it doesn't necessarily mean that a Democrat has a better chance of becoming President. Most people know that the candidates are using the current contributions to fund their primary campaigns.

People are currently contributing to the candidate they want to prevail in the primaries and these amounts are more of an indication as to which candidate will do well in the primaries and which will not. Once the respective parties select their candidates via the primaries, all future campaign contributions will be used for the actual Presidential campaigns. That's where the real advantage comes in and only time will tell which party will have the bigger numbers.

Personally, I am going to wait till AFTER the primaries before I put much stock into ether the polls or campaign contribution amounts.

As for the President's current poll ratings, he has less than two years remaining in his Presidency and can not run for reelection so these numbers don't really mean much, other than the fact that his some policies are not very popular. Since there is little anyone can do to force President Bush to change his policies this late in his last term, I don't see what difference his poll ratings are going to make. It really doesn't matter if those ratings are low, average, or high, President Bush is going to do what he has always done, and that's to use the policies he feels is necessary. After all, that's what President do.

Posted by tomjfrombfflo | July 27, 2007 1:02 AM

Kudos to ex-Demo (ex Demogogue? seemed more like Current Demogogue but no matter....)

Shakespeare seems righter than ever about brevity and wit.

Mark at least (apparently) read your long posting (is it over yet? I wished it were twice as long but my computer's memory only holds 512MB) and if a fair-minded person like him liked it, well.

You write, sagely:

"Afghanistan [liberated] almost as easily......."


Except for the Taliban being back and Al Qaeda rebuilt "stronger than ever" (see President Bush's Security Report).

"Facts are stupid things" as Ronald Reagan said in 1984, so it is nice to see you don't use any.

Posted by Mark | July 27, 2007 12:32 PM

Yes Tom no one is shocked that you cannot read something longer than 25 words. Did you get dizzy trying?

Once again Tom all you have to offer is attacks. You leftists sure know what you dont like but you have a very difficult time telling people why you dont like it and what you would do differently. Why is that?

So here's your chance Tom. Enlighten us on how you would deal with the spread of Islamofacism?