Friday, March 21, 2003

More polling

The first post-war poll numbers are coming out and they paint an interesting picture.
Polls: Public Behind Bush on Iraq By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON - About two-thirds of Americans approve of President Bush handling of the situation in Iraq and think he did enough diplomatically before invading, according to new polls released Friday. An ABC-Washington Post poll found the president's job approval rating at 67 percent, up from pre-war polls that showed his approval level ranging from the mid 50s to about 60 percent. A CBS-New York Times poll found that 62 percent say they think the United States did the right thing about Iraq. And slightly more in a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll, 70 percent, said they agreed this country took military action at the right time. The public rallying around the president is typical in wartime. But the public is viewing the administration's actions in Iraq less enthusiastically than the actions in the Persian Gulf war (news - web sites) by President George H.W. Bush, father of the current president, a dozen years ago.
A few things to note here: 1. Bush's approval rating has only jumped about 10 points. Normally, in times of crisis, Presidents see much bigger jumps. Bush's ratings went up over 40 points after 9/11. I was expecting at least a 20 point jump. So, a 10 point jump is pretty good for the anti-war side and may indicate that the public is no longer buying the "support the President if you support the troops" line. 2. The AP report seems to go out of its way to downplay this jump. They even compare it unfavorably to his father's boost during the first Gulf War. Of course, if the war ends quickly with little American blood then I would expect at least another 10 point jump in his ratings. Possibly even more. Still, all in all, this is better then I expected. Update: Oh, and remember that the jump for Bush 41 didn't keep him from losing to a political unknown.

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