Bits and Pieces

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Approval Ratings

Kevin Drum posts an interesting collation of Bush's approval ratings since Jan 2001. It's interesting to see an overview of ratings from 13 sources in graph form (hey, I'm not that smart a guy - pictures help).

It does seem that if the polls are accurate then Bush may be screwed. Across the board his approval fell gradually since November 2001, until the start of the war in Iraq early last year, when his approval soared to a little over 70%. Since then the trouble in Iraq (who didn't see that coming?) and the general crappy state of the economy has sent his ratings back down below pre-2001 levels. Only the capture of Saddam stopped the downward trend, and even that was only a temporary 10-point fix.

Which brings me to my point. Kevin suggests that only a fourth 'crowd pleaser' could save the election for Bush, and ponders what that might be. The obvious one would be the capture of bin Laden or a similar high-ranking terrorist. However, since the capture of Hussein only resulted in a fleeting 10-point gain (even after his depiction by the administration as the pinnacle of all evil), it is uncertain whether even bin Laden's capture would have any kind of long-term effect. bin Laden was relegated to second class terrorist status during the Iraq war. Saddam was elevated beyond him in order to drum up support for the war. I'm sure his capture would be a great coup, but it may not be the electoral lock it once was.
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