Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Lucianne.com is still pushing the notion that a 5% increase in approval plus a 5% decrease in disapproval (as reported by Gallup) means George W. is up 10% in the polls (scroll down to the photo caption). I haven't found evidence that this outright distortion of reality is being repeated elsewhere, but I'll keep looking.

I'm still trying to figure out why Bush is up. The Gallup site says, "The improvement in Bush's ratings comes mainly from Democrats, who remain highly critical of the president, but show a 12-point improvement in ratings from mid-September (16%) to now (28%)"; Gallup simultaneously conducted a poll for CNN and USA Today that had similar results, and a CNN story on the poll cited "big gains among men and among high-income Americans."

It's hard to believe both of these explanations are correct. I'd say this was a margin-of-error swing, or maybe some of the sticker shock from the $87 billion Iraq/Afghanistan request had worn off -- or maybe some white guys felt the urge to rally to Bush because they see him as an embodiment of Regular-Guydom (remember that the poll was conducted just at the moment when Regular Guy heroes Arnold and Rush were being attacked by those stinky old liberals and blacks and the the law and women who won't just shut up and play nice). That's just a wild guess, of course, but I haven't seen a better explanation.

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