Tuesday, June 29

NYT/CBS Poll: Mixed Messages

The two parties who co-op the New York Times/CBS News Poll sure have different ways of reporting it. CBS News leads it with:

Poll: White House Race Tightens Up

Despite concerns about his handling of Iraq, and an overall approval rating of 42%, George W. Bush is still running neck and neck with Democrat John Kerry as the choice of registered voters. Growing public optimism about the nation's economy has helped lift support for the President.

Kerry is the choice of 45% of registered voters, Bush the choice of 44%. This is a sharp turnaround for the Bush campaign in the span of just one month; in May, Kerry had opened up a wide 8-point lead over Bush. The race has been close since April.
...while this morning's Times reports:

Bush's Rating Falls to Its Lowest Point, New Survey Finds

President Bush's job approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The poll found Americans stiffening their opposition to the Iraq war, worried that the invasion could invite domestic terrorist attacks and skeptical about whether the White House has been fully truthful about the war or about abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison.

A majority of respondents in the poll, conducted before yesterday's transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government, said that the war was not worth its cost in American lives and that the Bush administration did not have a clear plan to restore order to Iraq.

The survey, which showed Mr. Bush's approval rating at 42 percent, also found that nearly 40 percent of Americans say they do not have an opinion about Senator John Kerry, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, despite what have been both parties' earliest and most expensive television advertising campaigns.
Despite these contrasts in reporting, there's still this albatross hanging on the necks of almost half the respondents:

41 percent still think Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, but slightly more -- 46 percent -- think he was not.

Did Saddam have ties to al Qaeda? 45 percent think Saddam was working with al Qaeda prior to the war against Iraq, but still a sizable number -- 38 percent -- think he was not, and nearly one in five aren't sure.
Conclusion: Wondering why so many people still like Bush? Because so many people are still ignorant.

And if 40% of Americans still don't know anything about Kerry and he still has the edge over Bush, that speaks horribly of the incumbent. America will know Kerry soon enough. The man is famous for how he finishes a campaign. Stay tuned.