GOP & Bush polling collapse

http://www.emergingdemocraticmajorityweblog.com/donkeyrising/archives/000367.shtml

Man. What specifically has caused them to crater the last couple months?

Edit: Oh, it’s the Saddam capture bounce wearing off.

That’s my conclusion. If you check I believe the last poll was run immediately after Saddam was captured. Also, personally I don’t know what Bush was thinking with this new Mars initiative. While I’m generally supportive of NASA and space exploration the country as a whole tends to be more ambivalent – especially when it’s this expensive. I think what it ended up doing was reminding people exactly how far in debt Bush has gotten us. It focused people on money issues. I’ve seen some analysis that suggests Bush was trying to use it to come up with a bipartisan issue that Republicans and Democrats could get behind, but I’m not really sure if Bush got any of the benefit he was looking for with it.

As much as I would love to see a true Bush polling collapse, don’t dismiss the possibility that this is a temporary dip caused by the surge of interest in the Democrats as a result of the primary season. The Dem candidates are getting a lot of airtime, and a lot of them are putting out a lot of ideas, some with great enthusiasm. The poll-ees might be getting a bit caught up in that and since US politics is a zero sum game, the Dems gains might be Bush’s loss.

I am specifically thinking of 1988 when Dukakis came out of the convention with a substantial lead on Bush Sr. (15 points or 12? something like that) but then got whipped like a red-headed stepchild in the general election. To some degree I think the Dems in 88, after 8 years of Reagan had a lot of energy and desire to “take the country back” - which led to an enthusiastic convention and a surge of public interest. Unfortunately that surge was crushed by the lack of charisma of Dukakis, combined with a fairly savvy campaign run by the sr. Bushies, and the underlying fact that the economy was doing fairly well (very well for some) after 8 years of Reagan.

In other words, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. I desperately want Bush out but I don’t expect it to be easy. I think its going to be a long hard slog.

Dan

A convention bounce yeah, but an early primary bounce? Never heard of it.

I just wish Bush would announce his 45 billion dollar initiative to convert dogs to Christianity at the expense of unemployment benefits. And then I want him to allow a camera crew to follow him over to Halliburton’s headquarters and hand over a signed, blank check as a photo op. And then I want him to deliberately run over a gay couple, and then I want him to publicly kill and eat kittens. Then take the poll and constantly show those images superimposed in the corner whenever Bush gave legitimate campaign speeches.

I was talking with a friend about Bush’s polling numbers and his approval rating recently. The friend said in 2000, you could forgive the American public for not really voting Bush into office because we didn’t know what would really happen. Hindsight is 20/20, we have that hindsight, and people still want to put him in office. I don’t get what America sees in Bush. I think the republicans themselves would rather have some other republican in the White House.

Only a small percentage of them, if the polling amongst Republicans is on target. A vast majority of Republicans see him as the second coming of Reagan.

Only a small percentage of them, if the polling amongst Republicans is on target. A vast majority of Republicans see him as the second coming of Reagan.[/quote]

See, that’s just sad. I’m a democrat, lean a bit to the left, but I can respect republicans and even vote that way if they offered the better candidate overall (I liked McCain for instance). But Bush… Bush is a poop-flinging monkey getting propped up by those around him. Mainly, he’s not a leader in my eyes.

Isn’t this just a poll among independents? How relevant is it? Everything I’ve heard on the news is that this election is about motivating the party faithful to vote, not capturing the middle.

To some extent, but if the nation is as polarized as the last election (and most polls show it is) getting those independents over to your side will have a lot power. There may not be enough Bush Democrats or Dean/Kerry/Edwards Republicans to swing. So every vote counts.

Of course, if Ann Coulter is right, Independents are all spineless cowards who can’t be counted on to do the right thing anyway.

Troy

It also doesn’t help that Bush is announcing new billion dollar programs almost daily. All but the staunchest conservatives are wondering why this guy is suddenly spending as much money as a Democrat.

Damn, somehow the last Democrat managed to spend money and return the country to a solid financial footing with surpluses instead of deficits!

This is just my subjective impression but my theory is that the bulk of the electorate is just now turning its attention to the Dem candidates. I know they’ve been getting media coverage for a year plus, but I think in this day and age of perpetual campaigning most voters (not counting political junkies like you, me and the rest of us losers in this thread :) ) actually tune out early political coverage. I hear this time and again from my friends: “oh, I’m not paying any attention to that until the primary comes around” – now that primary season is on us, I think people are starting to say “oh, who’s running? - I’ve heard of that Dean guy but who else is there?” This also explains Deans collapse in Iowa - it was partly voters turning off from him but also partly the zero sum corollary of voters taking a first look at Kerry and especially Edwards, and liking what they see.

Obviously this theory doesn’t apply to political junkie, blog reading types like us but I do believe it applies to the 90% of the electorate who don’t count as political junkies.

So although the media has been acting like the campaign has been under way for a solid year I think it just really began about 2 weeks ago, for the majority of voters. And that initial surge is pumping up the Dems and slamming Bush.

Now there are also good reasons why Bush is dropping: loss of the Saddam capture bump, plus his completely asinine proposals on space exploration and immigration. Immigration in particular hurt him - thats a hot enough button issue that it will actually cause hardcore Bush stalwarts to change their stance in a poll as a protest gesture. My concern is will that translate into a change of vote come November? I worry it won’t.

Bottom line: don’t get overconfident. Lets pick a good Democratic candidate and take a strong beat-em-on-the-issues theme into November. I think a campaign focused on reasonable ideas can beat Bush’s platitude based, semantically vetted platform all to hell in November, if the Dems don’t get carried away with whacky ideas for their base, don’t beat themselves bloody in internicene squabbling, and don’t get knocked off track by the vicious political salvos that Rove is surely cooking up.

Dan

Considering that doing “the right thing” for her is to behave in a short-sighted, greedy, and mean-spirited manner, I honestly hope she’s right.

Go spineless cowards!

Only a small percentage of them, if the polling amongst Republicans is on target. A vast majority of Republicans see him as the second coming of Reagan.[/quote]
That’s a slap to the face to Reagan, and I thought Reagan was terrible.

I think the only thing we’ve really can learn from polls is that they are pretty worthless for predicting anything any distance in the future. Heck - if polls were any good at predicting things more than a few days in the future Dean would still be the all-but-crowned Democratic nominee.