March 2, 2006

I Love This Fox News Polling Question!

Hatched by Dafydd

Fox News has a poll up that more or less matches everybody else's on presidential job approval, generic congressional poll, and so forth. But the Fox News poll (conducted by Opinion Dynamics) goes on to ask one more question that I've never seen anybody else ask:

Finally, in addition to asking Americans to rate the president’s job performance, the poll asked what kind of job they would be doing if they were in Bush’s shoes. Overall, 37 percent say they think they would be doing a better job than President Bush is doing, 43 percent say worse and 10 percent say the same.

Over half of Democrats (54 percent) think they would be doing a better job than Bush, while only 14 percent of Republicans feel that way. More than two-thirds of Republicans (68 percent) think they would be doing a worse job than their party’s leader.

Golly, but I love this question! It's easy enough to sit around and grouse about what a rotten job so-and-so is doing in the extraordinary circumstances he finds himself. It's another thing entirely when you ask someone to actually come up with a better program than the one he's whining about.

I especially enjoy the colossal but oh, so casual arrogance of the majority of Democrats who think they could do a better job as president... the vast bulk of whom have probably never run anything in their lives.

I'm guessing these are the ones who actually who believe "Bush is a moron" or "Bush is Hitler." I'm quietly amused at the image of some Hollywood celebrity confidently smirking, "yeah, I kin do a better job than that jerk... I'd fire the military, blow up all the bombs, and just par-TAY like it's still 1999!"

An interesting contrast is found in the most recent Battleground Poll (per RealClearPolitics blog), which was conducted just before the ports deal broke.

The poll found Bush's pre-Dubai Ports approval at 46% and the generic congressional number at Democrats 46%, Republicans 41%, for a Dem advantage of just 5%; presumably Bush's numbers would have been lower if they'd taken the poll a week later.

This is probably the real baseline of Bush's and Republicans' support:

  • It was conducted among likely voters, not just registered voters (or in CBS's case, "adults").
  • It is a much more carefully conducted and analyzed poll than any media poll, whether Zogby, Fox News, CBS, Gallup, Rasmussen, or anyone else.
  • It was conducted before the distorting element of the ports deal.

The Battleground Poll is a good snapshot of where the president and the congressional vote stood before the deal; thus it will be a good marker of the duration of discomfort about that deal: when (or if) support returns to about the level of the BG Poll, we can conclude that people have calmed down about the ports deal -- as John Hinderaker at Power Line reports already seems to be happening, at least according to Donald Lambro, whom John links.

As more information creeps out about the deal, I expect more and more people to pull off credible Emily Litella impersonations, and the polls will shift back towards the baseline. I think this will happen fairly rapidly, too, probably even before the 45-day review is complete... assuming some gigantic shocker doesn't come out of that review.

Note that people will still tell pollsters they're against the deal: it's hard to back down completely, and most won't. What will happen is that it will cease negatively affecting Bush and the Republicans; that will be the sign.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 2, 2006, at the time of 4:47 PM

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This joint is turning into Poll Central! I need to say another word about that Fox News poll I blogged about yesterday; and the next post is a really big one, examining the bizarre Zogby poll in detail, question by... [Read More]

Tracked on March 3, 2006 4:13 AM


The following hissed in response by: RBMN

People forget too, that President Bush and his family will have to live like Salman Rushdie for several years after he leaves office. Good deeds, like bringing Democracy to fifty million people don't go "unpunished" by the losers, if they have the chance to strike back. Let's hope and pray they never do.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 2, 2006 8:18 PM

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