Misleading Poll Numbers

Disapproval of Bush ran strongest in Northeast Ohio, which has never been friendly territory, but even in conservative Southern Ohio majorities have turned against him. (via The Plain Dealer)

The problem with these polls is that they don’t ask the key question of why people disapprove. I think it’s real possible that people might be disapproving for various reasons (that are often at odds with each other).

For example, let’s say 20% approve of the way the President is handling the war in Iraq and 80% disapprove. Sounds bad at first right? Well, what if that 80% who disapprove is split between half who think we need more troops and are not doing enough and half who think we should immediately pullout? I’d say that paints a wholly different picture of true public opinion.

Lesson: Beware of polls that allow two divergent opinions to be grouped as one.

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