Tuesday, May 16, 2006

ABC/WP puts Bush approval at 33%

The ABC/Washington Post poll taken 5/11-15/06 finds approval of President Bush at 33%, with disapproval at 65%. That is a drop in approval of 5% since early April, and 13% since early January in ABC/WP polling. With the addition of this poll, my estimate of approval has moved back down to 32.2%, a bit lower than the estimate of earlier today which included the latest Newsweek and Gallup polls (32.4%.) Those polls were completed 5/12 and 5/11 respectively, so this change in my estimate reflects approval as of 5/15, the end of ABC/WP interviewing.

As with other recent polls, we can look at the recent track record of ABC/WP polling. The "house effect" for ABC/WP is estimated at +1.29%, and from the green line above it is clear that they have almost always been a bit above the blue trend line for all polls. There were two ABC/WP polls in December and early January that produced exceptionally large estimates of approval, compared to the estimated trend at that time. Since then, the last four polls have been reasonably close to the trend, in line with the estimated house effect.

The five point decline since the last poll reflects both "true change" and a bit of sampling noise. The trend estimate has declined from 36.1% to 32.2% since the last ABC/WP poll on 4/9, a 3.9% drop compared to the 5% change in the poll estimate. The current poll result is a little closer to trend than was the 4/9 reading, accounting for some of the difference.

Bottom line, the new ABC/WP is quite closely in line with the estimated trend in approval. That was less so at the end of the last and the beginning of this year, leading to some overstatement of the magnitude of the decline if one only compares the early January ABC/WP poll (46%) with the current one (33%). The actual decline in that period is approximately from 42% to 32%, or about 10 percentage points.

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