Are Bush’s Polling Numbers Dropping Because Of The Schiavo Issue? No.

TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll has engaged in a bit of polling chicanery to try to make it appear as if Bush’s poll numbers have dropped because of his handling of the Terri Schiavo tragedy. Here are the numbers:

“President Bush’s approval rating has fallen to 45%, the lowest point of his presidency, according to a new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll.

The new poll found the largest drop for Bush came among men, self-described conservatives and churchgoers.

The finding, in a poll of 1,001 adults Monday through Wednesday, is a dip from 52% in a poll taken last week. Bush’s previous lowest rating, 46%, was recorded last May.”

The article then goes on to suggest that it’s because Bush stood up for Terri Schiavo:

“Independent political analysts said the drop may reflect opposition to the White House and Congress intervening in the Terri Schiavo matter.

“You have to wonder if people didn’t feel that the president and the Congress couldn’t be spending their time working on Social Security and other problems,” said Charlie Cook, editor of the non-partisan Cook Political Report.”

But, if you keep reading you find out the real cause of the dip:

“The poll also found an increased number of Democrats. In this survey, 37% said they were Democrats and 32% said they were Republicans. Last week, 32% said they were Democrats and 35% said they were Republicans.”

So Bush’s numbers dropped 7% in a week. However, there were 5% more Democrats polled and 3% less Republicans. Had they used the same percentages as the week before, it’s entirely possible Bush’s polling numbers would have gone up just a bit.

It’s also hardly a surprise that “the largest drop for Bush came among men, self-described conservatives and churchgoers” since all those groups tilt Republican and significantly less Republicans were polled.

What a bogus poll…

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