A CBS News poll finds that George W. Bush’s job approval rating is 35%. Dick Cheney’s approval rating is 19%, just above “herpes” on the CBS list.
They say that’s the lowest presidential approval rating since Nixon’s second term, but I think we’re pretending for mental health reasons that something called the Carter Administration never existed.
I’m not much of a follower or believer in polling data. For example, out of the 936 “random” people polled by CBS, how many of them vote (not “say” they do, but actually do)? 700? Out of that 700, how many could even name the vice president? 500? Out of that group, how many really know what the VP does? 200? Maybe less?
Pollsters often say that their “margin of error” is 3-4%, but what pollsters on “opinion” style questions– ones that aren’t concrete in nature, such as “who will you vote for”– won’t tell you is what really matters. You hear about the “margin of error”, but you never hear about the “margin of ignorance”, and I’d say the same thing if Bush and Cheney’s numbers were high.
Remember, polls are an emotional reaction at a snapshot in time. These are the same pollees who had Bush’s approval numbers at a near record high after 9/11. What’s changed? We haven’t been attacked by terrorists lately. That’s good news.
So, in closing, polls shmolls.
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