Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bush Approval Ratings In Perspective

Did you know that Harry S. Truman's approval ratings in 1951 were at 23%? Did you know that many scholars rank him in the top ten, as one of the best Presidents, in U.S history?

History will judge the presidency of George W. Bush, after all of the facts are in. That takes years, sometimes. Leftists can talk their game, now. The right can take some solace in that fact, but it won't help them now. At some point, the left will have to look at their behavior for the past six years and the right will need to do some serious re-evaluations.

Here are some things that many are failing to grasp in this pre-occupation with polls:

1. The poll that counted was held a year ago, this past November.

2. Post-election poll questions are asked differently than in election years.

3. Many times poll questions are worded so as to elicit responses that will prove the hypothesis of the pollster, not for legitimate measurement purposes.

But the main thing to note in all of this is, most poll questions do not deal with why the approval is low. For instance, I don't approve of how the President has handled some things, but for different reasons than the left. Whereby the left will accuse him of things that they perceive he has done wrong, I will criticize him for not doing things well enough. Polls don't always tell that part of the story.


Rest assured, if the same scenario were to be played out in another election, just like the one in 2004, I would vote for him again. He was a lot better choice than Kerry, and by a mile too. But, until he starts to take some risks and step out of his current zone, his poll numbers will decline further. If that's the way his Presidency ends up, his legacy will no longer be in his own hands. It will be in the hands of historians.

Cross posted at
The Wide Awakes.

3 comments:

Jason_Pappas said...

That’s quite true; the polls never explore “the why.”

They also don’t test if the numbers are soft or firm.

I just hope the President does what he thinks is right regardless if it is immediately popular. He may leave the world a better place and leave his successor with fewer problems but few will realize it until a decade from now. Look at all the people who used to be critics of Reagan. Many, but not all, show respect for his 8 years especially after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It is interesting to note that the Berlin Wall fell shortly after Reagan’s 8 years just as 9/11 happened shortly after Clinton’s 8 years. In both cases, how the Presidents spent those 8 years has much to do with the matter. If Bush wants to be in Reagan territory, he should ignore the polls.

LASunsett said...

It is interesting to note that the Berlin Wall fell shortly after Reagan’s 8 years just as 9/11 happened shortly after Clinton’s 8 years. In both cases, how the Presidents spent those 8 years has much to do with the matter.

Excellent point, Jason. It certainly can go the other way, as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm a liberal, never voted for Bush and - if the Boston Globe is right - angry at his virtual ignorance of following the laws to which he deserves to be in court. However, unlike Heller at Centerfield, I cannot see how Bush's presidency failed. How did it fail? It may have not been perfect (Schiavo, Dubai) and has the possibility of getting worse. However, Mr. Loved all over Clinton did not get rid of Hussein, attempted to stabilize Iraq, and did not even get a Medicare part D, which is considered Democrat territory.
And I'm with the guy/girl who mentioned Reagan's legacy. I thought his funeral would bring back the old wounds from the 80's. Either people have softened up or have amnesia.