Thursday, April 13, 2006

LATimes: Approval at 39%

The Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll conducted 4/8-11/06 finds presidential approval at 39% with disapproval at 57%. Approval is up one percentage point since the same poll in late February and down 4 points from January. Also in this graph is the Cook/RT Strategies poll of 4/6-9/06 which found approval at 37% and disapproval at 57%. (The Cook poll was included in an update to this earlier post but hasn't been featured in a new post, so I'm including it here.) For Cook, that is a decline of 3 points since late February and a 10 point drop since January.

The LATimes poll is the second poll to find an upturn in presidential approval (CBS is the other) since early March. Four other April polls have found declines from the previous poll by the same organization. Gallup found no change.

My local regression line is further flattened by the LATimes addition. It now estimates approval at 37.2%. The linear trend is at 36.3% but still lies below most of the polls. Unfortunately, the clustering of current polls makes it impossible to know what the current trend (over the past 2 weeks) has been. The good news is we've seen 7 new polls in the last week. But because these are so clustered between 4/5 and 4/11 we can't tell what the slope is. So... once more we need more polls. One has to hope that this doesn't represent a new clustering of media polls in the first week of each month. In order to monitor change in approval we need polls spread across each week of the month, not all clustered in the first week. (And it makes more sense for the media sponsors to spread their polling so they don't get lost in the clutter of many polls at once.)

The end of Gallup's relationship with CNN also raises the question of the frequency of Gallup's future polling. Their polling has been invaluable precisely because it is high frequency and high quality. We would not be able to monitor approval dynamics as well if USAToday/Gallup should cut back on the frequency of polls.

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