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Bush Approval: Hotline at 32%, Trend at 33.0%

Topics: George Bush

A1BushApproval2ndTerm20070521.png

A new Diageo/Hotline poll collected 5/16-20/07 of 800 registered voters finds approval at 32%, disapproval at 64%. The Hotline poll usually runs a little above the trend estimate, but in this case is a point under trend, which now stands at 33.0%.

Over the last several polls, approval has moved down a bit. It remains in the 33-35% range we've seen since January, but only just barely.

Since we've been talking about "Ready Red", the sensitive trend estimator in comparison to "Old Blue", the more conservative estimator I use here, I've also run a graph comparing the two. Red is willing to go a point lower in approval than Blue. But notice how well the two trends usually agree once all the data are in. If you can't see the red line below, that's because Blue is on top of it-- i.e. they agree. And usually they agree because Red eventually sees that Blue was right. HOWEVER, when approval or other trends DO change direction suddenly, it is Red that eventually convinces Blue to move along. At the moment, the difference is quite small and I'd say there is little additional evidence from Red at this point.

I've been impressed by the stability of approval for the past five months. I still am. I'll need to see four or five more polls all clearly below trend before I'm convinced that the current dip is real, and not just another false lead from a few polls.

The diagnostics below show no alarming indicators of anything, so nothing more to say.

A2BushApproval2ndTermRough20070521.png

A3LastSixPolls20070521.png

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Cross-posted at Political Arithmetik.

 

Comments
B. Scheel:

I've heard at least one commentator state that the current focus on immigration is going to alienate a significant portion of Bush's core supporters; thus his approval ratings could drop (and remain) even lower if immigration continues to dominate the political discussion. The question is whether Bush picks anything up among moderates or Hispanics because of the issue; my guess is he doesn't.

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On the red vs. blue estimators, it looks like the red is varying more around the blue over the past few months than it did in the beginning of the period you chart. one might be tempted to view this as instability leading to a change but that wont fly given the sharp movements in the past that were well tracked by the red. so what gives?

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B. Scheel-- Good point. I talk about that a bit in the new post dealing with the new CBS/NYT poll:

/blogs/bush_approval_cbs_at_30_trend_1.html

The key point there is that last May when Bush embraced immigration reform his approval halted a steep decline and turned up. I'm not sure that will happen this time-- perhaps the issue has changed among Republicans and I see his lack of engagement with the issue hindering any ability to take credit for the policy--- BUT I'm not ready to say it is certain to hurt him.

In May of 2006, immigration reform of the sort Bush then supported was favored by over 60% of REPUBLICANS, AND DEMS AND Independents. It was the first policy Bush had embraced in a while that had such wide support. AND it helped him when he did embrace it. The same opposition to the policy existed then as now-- vociferous and highly visible, but apparently a minority view.

We'll take a look at this in detail next week.

Steve-- It may be that we've seen some extra variability recently, or perhaps just more clustering of polls below and then above trend. That would induce the wobble we see in the red line.

At the very end of the series is when Red is especially vulnerable. The two tend to agree when there is data to both left and right. When all the data is to the left, the estimation of the trend is vulnerable to oddities at the endpoint.

Still-- I think it would be a worthwhile project to look for any change in variance around the trends. The residual plot in the post doesn't suggest much change to my eye, but perhaps a more systematic check would be worth doing.

Charles

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