Monday, December 05, 2005

Fuzzy math?

For the record, I think that approval ratings for a second-term president are as useless as Howard Dean's fundraising abilities. However, for those who keep up with that stuff, Real Clear Politics on a recent Time poll (PDF):
Though President Bush scores his lowest approval rating ever (41%) in the Time poll and gets at or near his worst rankings on nearly every issue, when respondents were asked who they would vote for in a do-over of the 2004 election, Bush loses to Kerry by only a single point (48-47). This probably says more about what a miserable a candidate Kerry was than about the problems of the Democratic party as a whole. Nevertheless it should disturb Democrats that with Bush's numbers so far in the tank there isn't a greater sense of "buyer's remorse" among the public.
No one likes Kerry, that's why. Continuing:
Three out of four (76%) say they are unlikely to change their mind about Bush's job approval in the future, but in a later question 46% say it is likely that Bush can regain higher job approval ratings over the last three years of his presidency?
WTF? How did that line of questioning go? Like this:

Pollster: Are you unlikely to change your mind about Bush's job approval in the future?

Respondent: No.

Pollster: What about in the next three years?

Respondent: Yes.

Oooooo-kay then! Continuing:
On the issue of trustworthiness, 65% say the Bush administration is the same or better than previous administrations, 34% say it is less honest and trustworthy.
So much for the "Bush lied, people died" mantra, unless you think it's reasonable for people to say "Bush lied about war...but he's more honest than Clinton!" Finally, the last poll results yield the following conclusion:
This reconfirms a lot what we already know: high gas prices and the continued struggle in Iraq are the two issues most negatively affecting Bush's overall job rating. The two other issues with a net-negative impact (cronyism and the deficit) are also issues where the Republican base has recently expressed deep dissatisfaction with the president over Harriet Miers and runaway federal spending. Finally, while the Libby indictment has taken its toll on Cheney (his approval rating in the Time poll has fallen 19 points to 32% since October of last year), it hasn't had much of an impact on Bush's overall job approval numbers.
In other words, despite the MSM's and Dems' best efforts to blame Bush for everything from the environment to the cancellation of Seinfeld, the two biggest culprits to his approval numbers are Iraq and oil prices. With oil prices getting better now (about $1 less per gallon than about three months ago), and Iraqis enjoying their newfound freedom and prosperity (not widely reported by the MSM), those two liabilities could be remedied...much to the chagrin of the leftist establishment in America.