Monday, September 18, 2006

Bush Approval: Lots of polls center on 40%

A ton of new polls have arrived since September 1, with a range from 37% approval to 43% approval. The spread is quite even around the trend estimate, which now stands at 40.0% approval.

Some polls are in switching from samples of adults to samples of registered or even likely voters. That has caused some concern about the possible effects this has on the approval estimate. NBC/WSJ and AP/Ipsos have provided comparative results which show small affects of the change in sampled population. NBC/WSJ compared June and July samples for both adults and RVs, finding a one percentage point increase in approval (and one point decline in disapproval) in both months, from 37% to 38% in June and from 39% to 40% in July. Interestingly, when NBC/WSJ made the same comparison for CONGRESSIONAL job approval, approval actually went DOWN by one point in each month.

The AP/Ipsos polls offers a comparison of Adult, RV and LV samples for their 9/11-13/06 samples. For Adults, approval is 39%, for RV it rises to 41% and for LV it falls back to 40%. This last result shows that an improvement in Bush approval need not increase as the sample moves to likely voters. Much of the polling so far has found that Democrats are somewhat more likely to say they are certain to vote this fall than are Republicans. The "discouraged" Republican is a great concern for the GOP strategists and is possibly reflected in this AP data. While Republicans remain more likely to be registered to vote than Democratic identifiers, the traditional Republican turnout advantage may be somewhat reduced this year. Of course, that depends on who actually shows up on November 7, and that's a long ways off still.

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