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View Full Version : Newsweek poll out, Bush slips further


Mavdog
04-12-2004, 02:08 PM
Although the news is that GWBush slips further behind Kerry in the poll, the really bad news for the Bush Campaign is that Nader is slidding also (down from 6% to 4%). They really want a strong Nader run to siphon some of the Kerry vote away, but it seems to not be happening.

Those that predicted a Condi Rice bounce will be very disappointed, it didn't happen. Almost half the public didn't pay any attention.

Favorability (did they make this word up?) ratings decline, the public sees the invasion of Iraq as making America less safe, the view of Bush's handling of his central campaign theme ("The wartime President") also show regression. Not a very good month for the Bush Campaign it seems.
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The Race Heats Up
In a new Newsweek poll, Kerry moves ahead of George Bush as Americans grown increasingly concerned about the war in Iraq

Even after adding independent candidate Ralph Nader to the hypothetical race, Kerry enjoys a four-point lead (46 percent to 42 percent), with Nader drawing 4 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, just 36 percent of those polled say they are satisfied with "the way things are going in this country." More than half (59 percent) say they are dissatisfied. And while President George W. Bush’s job approval rating remains steady at 49 percent, where it has been since the end of January, the president's favorability ratings are lower than they’ve ever been. Forty-eight percent of those polled view Bush favorably, down four points over last month. Kerry’s ratings remain unchanged at 51 percent favorable.

At least half of those polled disapprove of Bush’s handling of the economy (55 percent versus 41 percent approving) and Iraq (51 percent versus 44 percent). And while 59 percent approve of his handling of terrorism and homeland security, that number is down from 70 percent earlier this year.

Highly awaited testimony this week by national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice before an independent commission investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks has had limited impact on public opinion. Fifty-six percent of Americans said they paid at least some attention to her testimony. But a majority of those polled said the testimony either did not make a difference in their opinion of Bush’s handling of terrorism (43 percent) or couldn’t say (18 percent) what effect it had.

Twenty-one percent say Rice’s testimony made them more likely to feel the Bush administration did everything it could to alleviate the threat; 15 percent are less likely to feel that way. A clear majority (60 percent) believes the administration underestimated the threat of terror attacks on U.S. soil, but more hold the Clinton administration responsible (24 percent) than feel Bush’s team was to blame (18 percent).

Response to Rice’s testimony broke down along party lines: About two-thirds (64 percent) of Republicans felt that Rice was forthcoming in her answers and exactly half felt the commissioners were too partisan in their questioning. Nearly half (45 percent) of registered Democrats believe the questioning was fair and half (52 percent) also felt her testimony had little effect on their opinion of the Bush administration. Half (52 percent) of all Americans are more likely to lay the blame with the FBI and CIA for intelligence failures leading up to 9/11 and only a quarter (25 percent) of those polled think lack of focus by the administration played a more important role than those failures.

Gruesome images of murdered American civilians in Iraq may be making the public increasingly queasy about military involvement there. Nearly half (46 percent, up from 39 percent in January) of Americans say they are either “not too” or “not at all” confident that the United States will ever be able to bring democracy to Iraq, and 40 percent are very concerned that Iraq will become “another Vietnam.”

Americans are also increasingly concerned that by invading Iraq, the Bush administration has increased the risk that large numbers of people will be killed or injured in a future terrorist attack on the United States. Forty-two percent of those polled now share that concern, whereas just 28 percent of those polled at the end of the last year were similarly worried. Exactly half of those polled feel that the June 30th deadline for handing power over to Iraq should not be extended. Still, 57 percent remain confident that the Bush administration did the right thing in going to Iraq and 63 percent would support sending more troops if necessary.

For the NEWSWEEK poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed 1,005 adults aged 18 and older April 8 and 9 by telephone. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

© 2004 Newsweek, Inc

kg_veteran
04-12-2004, 02:23 PM
Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed 1,005 adults aged 18 and older April 8 and 9 by telephone.

I'm not criticizing the results of this particular poll, but this is why polls of this nature, in general, are unreliable. The sample size is incredibly small and cannot possibly represent how the general voting populace might vote in November.

One way or the other.

Dooby
04-12-2004, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by: kg_veteran

Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed 1,005 adults aged 18 and older April 8 and 9 by telephone.

I'm not criticizing the results of this particular poll, but this is why polls of this nature, in general, are unreliable. The sample size is incredibly small and cannot possibly represent how the general voting populace might vote in November.

One way or the other.

The size of the sample is not really a problem. Statistically, polls are usually pretty accurate. But the poll is fatally flawed. The poll is a poll of "adults" and not "likely voters" or even "registered voters". Bush is leading in every poll of "likely voters" that I have seen.

kg_veteran
04-12-2004, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by: Dooby

Originally posted by: kg_veteran

Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed 1,005 adults aged 18 and older April 8 and 9 by telephone.

I'm not criticizing the results of this particular poll, but this is why polls of this nature, in general, are unreliable. The sample size is incredibly small and cannot possibly represent how the general voting populace might vote in November.

One way or the other.

The size of the sample is not really a problem. Statistically, polls are usually pretty accurate. But the poll is fatally flawed. The poll is a poll of "adults" and not "likely voters" or even "registered voters". Bush is leading in every poll of "likely voters" that I have seen.

I'll defer to you on political polls because of your superior expertise in this area, but from a common-sense perspective, I think that the poll is only accurate if it fairly reflects a cross-section of those that will vote. And you pointed out a fatal flaw that I didn't. It doesn't fairly represent that cross-section, because they weren't even necessarily polling people that could/will vote.

And assuming it was a poll of registered voters, I'd still like to know where they were from, what they do for a living, and any of a number of other variables that aren't set forth. Also, and probably most importantly, I'd like to know WHEN this poll was taken. If it's a poll of people sitting at home during the middle of the day, I sincerely doubt that it accurately reflects the majority of people likely to vote in November.

Dooby
04-12-2004, 05:00 PM
I really hated polls for a long time until people that were a lot more experienced and paid a lot more than I was convinced me otherwise. And I started seeing how closely the polls mimicked actual results. Statistically, they work. Polls are usually inaccurate for one of several reasons: (i) the question is poor; or (ii) sample is poor; or (iii) the poll is interpreted badly.

While it is hard to believe, you really can gauge the public sentiment by randomly sampling just over 1,000 people.

Example of a poor sample is best shown by the poll that started this thread. We live in a nation of about 50% turnout of eligible voters. This sample is taken from "adults", which, if representative of the actual sample, means that about half of those people surveyed won't actually vote. There are also a number of recent events that currently play havoc with random sampling, including recent legislation and technology. Frankly, call blocking and caller ID has played havoc on pollsters. On the one hand, it makes it difficult to accurately sample tech savvy younger voters, but on the other hand it makes it difficult to sample older, more affluent voters. Additionally, the Motor-Voter and Rock-The-Vote legislation initiatives played havoc on the voter rolls. There are numerous people inadvertently registered 2, 3 or 4 times and numerous people who are ineligible to vote that are listed as registered voters (immigrants and felons).

After the 1996 Republican Primary, I turned over a list of 350+ names that were registered multiple times to the Dallas Co. Elections Dept. That was just in a single congressional district of only past republican primary voters.

Poorly worded questions are frequently found in the mass media polls, such as this one. The "Who will you vote for" questions are not so bad, but the problem often lies in issue questions like "Is the environment important to you?", which is an idiotic question. But media outlets often ask stupid questions like that because they have no vested interest in the outcome. You also run into a huge problem with negative-push polls, but that is a different issue because those "polls" aren't polls at all and are not intended to yield results.

I have personal experience with poorly interpreted polls. I cannot stress enough how often people are led astray by reading something into a poll that simply isn't there. You often see this in advocacy groups trying to argue that their position has the people's support. Frankly, if there was one thing that was the kiss of death for Al Gore's campaign during the summer of 2000, this was it-polling and trying to match what people said they wanted with what Gore said and did. It made Gore look like a fool.

An important thing to remember is that people don't know what they want. The best examples are not politically related, but in technological innovations of the last 25 years. If you described the fax machine or federal express to someone in the 70's and asked that person if they were interested is using such a service or buying such a product, they'd have said no, or maybe that they'd use it once and a while. If you polled using a blind-ID (no names but by description only) of Ted Kennedy or George Bush or Ann Richards and asked the people if they'd vote for someone like that, they'd say "no." Same principle-Nixon would have blown Kennedy away. Asking someone "Do you think America should do more to help the working poor?" is not the same thing as asking "Do you support a $300 Billion tax increase for job training and childcare tax credits for part time and migrant workers?" The Clinton health care plan in 1993 was a dramatic example of how to screw up by misinterpreting public sentiment.

Dooby
04-13-2004, 12:57 PM
I forgot to add that most polls consist of a cover page that shows...well it shows whatever the pollster wants. Attached to that cover page is more detailed analysis based on various demographic and regional information and by response to specific question. This can consist of 100s of pages.

KG, think of it this way-I imagine you've seen a professional real estate appraisal. Well, on page 1, it tells you how much the property is worth. That is followed by anywhere from 20-500 pages of data and analysis.

When you read in the paper or see on TV that a poll is out, they are just giving you the information off the cover page. Depending on the group conducting the poll, you can go to the group's website and read the full poll, which is a nice waste of a few hours.