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Bush’s Numbers And What the Press Isn’t Telling You

We hear a lot of hysteria in the press about the American people deserting President Bush. Every time a new poll is released, it is trumpeted as documenting a new low in the President’s approval rating. But these polls follow a variety of methodologies, most of which appear to be flawed, and make it hard to track responses consistently over time. So I think it’s useful to look at Rasmussen Reports [1], a data set that has been generated using consistent methods by a polling organization with a good track record in recent years.

If we look at President Bush’s approval ratings over the last year, a period of time when his standing has supposedly plummeted, the results are actually rather consistent. In December 2005, Bush’s approval rating stood at 45%, with disapproval at 54%. This was at the end of what Bush described in his State of the Union speech, correctly, as a pretty good year in Iraq. In Rasmussen’s most recent survey, after a year of relentless bad news from Iraq, Bush scores 42% positive and 56% negative–a swing of a mere two to three points.

Admittedly, Bush is up a little from earlier this month, but still, his approval percentage has fluctuated within a fairly narrow range over the last year, never higher than 45% and never lower than 38%. This belies, I think, the common perception of a downward spiral. In fact, as one would expect five to six years into Bush’s presidency, not a lot of people are changing their minds.

That’s John over at Powerline [2]. Of course, he’s quite correct… Why would the leftist press want to paint the picture of a downward spiral that simply doesn’t exist? Why would they ignore the fact that the democrats in Congress both individually and collectively ring up lower numbers than Mr. Bush? It’s not that the facts are hard to find, it’s that they just as soon you didn’t know about them.

I suppose also that one could look at the press reports coming off of the relatively small number of people showing up for last weekend’s Anti-Bush, Anti- America, Anti- war protest in Washington , where in that relatively small batch of people was magnified into the 10 million man march of 2007, and ask the same questions. (You remember the 10 million man march don’t you? Where, a few weeks after we found out that only about 6000 people showed up? )

Mark this well; There is a concerted effort, dear reader, to give the impression that the left has more support than a does in reality. The mainstream media is taking part in that effort , and is to a large degree, driving it. Don’t you think it’s time we asked why?