The center will hold. It will just take a while—I stay out of raw politics here (God knows there are enough pollical blogs around) but I do have an interest in and some training in polling. I’m not an expert but I’m happy to refer you to someone who clearly is. Your best bet for understanding political polls remains Mark Blumenthal’s wonderful blog, Mystery Pollster, and his posting this week is particularly fascinating. If you’ve been watching our Peerless Leader’s polling numbers tank and wonder how real it is, go look. Prof. Charles Franklin (not further identified by Blumenthal) has taken all but the latest Gallup Poll results and produced a graphic showing the decline in Bush’s approval rating. I’ve reproduced it here:
That’s pretty impressive. The slide is not ambiguous. The newest Gallup, done for USA Today and CNN, had him at 37, right in the line.
What is most fascinating in Blumenthal’s analysis is that the bleeding has come from independents, meaning that all Bush has left supporting him is his wingnut base. Everyone else who voted for him, probably because of 9/11 and terrorism, has abandoned him. The center is holding.
Blumenthal’s other point, crucial for making science of this science—if science it be—is to always ask the question “compared to what.” The chart above is a good start.
We have three more years of this.