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December 4, 2003 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Professor Pollkatz's statistics. Interestings graphics on Bush approval/disapproval. This one, for example, clearly proves that whenever Bush's approval was high, it was driven by an event (the two major events being September 11 and the Iraq war) and steadily declined afterwards. This page shows that FOX polls consistently overrate Bush, while Zogby polls consistently underrate him. [more inside]
posted by Eloquence (20 comments total)

 
From a different page: Data on the meetups of the various Democratic candidates. Kucinich and Clark are picking up steam, and Kerry stagnates.

Got any other political stats you would like to share?
posted by Eloquence at 10:01 AM on December 4, 2003


Pollingreport.com is a good site that brings together all the major polls at one place.
posted by wsg at 10:22 AM on December 4, 2003


[sarcasm]Well, at least this guy seems to not have any political views to promote on his website...[/sarcasm]
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 10:24 AM on December 4, 2003


Thanks for the link wsg, it's very good
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 10:44 AM on December 4, 2003


Pretty interesting link. Thanks.

Bush is totally getting re-elected in 2004, though. If he's around 50% before he starts throwing all his campaign money around, I don't imagine he'll drop much lower.
posted by jragon at 10:46 AM on December 4, 2003


Bush is totally getting re-elected in 2004, though

I find it kind of sad that the left (which I will assume you belong to, this being Metafilter) is permeated by this extreme pessimism, while the right wing is trying very hard not to underestimate any of the candidates. As an outside observer, I'd say it doesn't depend on the campaign money -- it depends on the voting machines and on the regular media reports. If Bush presents both bin Laden and Saddam in time for the election, and the media go along with it like they did with the recent photo-op, then the Democrats are indeed screwed. If he tries to capitalize on 9/11 and dismiss everyone else as unpatriotic, and the media are balanced, then this scenario might be more likely.

One interesting effect of the Democratic lineup is that the media can't help but report some of the Democratic positions. This is probably the main reason Kucinich runs, although the press tends to ignore him for obvious reasons when he isn't looking for a girlfriend.

One thing is for sure, though: You can't win if you don't want to.
posted by Eloquence at 11:05 AM on December 4, 2003


The polls reflect the country is 50/50 split. The surge of support after a patriotic event drifts back to the 50/50 line with time. I think this reflects the true feelings of the country come the next election.
posted by stbalbach at 12:19 PM on December 4, 2003


a 50/50 split is still most likely a win for Bush though. 50% of the votes for Bush, 50% of the votes for 'somebody else'. Those 50% will be distributed between democrats, greens, libertarians etc.
posted by substrate at 1:13 PM on December 4, 2003


"See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction."
George W. Bush, Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 3, 2003
posted by the fire you left me at 1:15 PM on December 4, 2003


Perhaps one could have just linked to the polls themselves, instead of linking to this obvious partisan with an axe to grind. Not sure how a link to a self-proclaimed "Professor" and "Doctor" (which he is neither) in which he makes the polls say what he wants is helpful at all.

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. An adept statistician can contradict everything this partisan hack says.

How objective and fair are we to find someone who says the following statements:

The Index is cited, approvingly, by none other than Paul Krugman himself! (swoon)
The Halliburton Follies
See! 3% fall in share price ($300 million in market cap) after Cheney outed for lying about being on the payroll!
See! Steady run-up in price after Bushies "rolled out" their "product;" i.e. death and destruction in Iraq!
Marvel! At the gyrations in the share price caused by Cheney's brilliant acquisition of Dresser Industries!

I admit – hell, proclaim – my bias. Unlike Right-Wing organs such as Fox News, the Washington Times, the World Net Daily, etc., etc., I don't pretend to be “fair and balanced.” I believe that the Bush regime is catastrophic for the nation and I try to marshal any legal means I can think of in the general effort to bring it down, the sooner the better. But, this political position does not, repeat NOT, affect my analysis.


What on earth could be objective or worth reading from someone with such an agenda????

Look, I am a former socialist (called myself a Trotskyite) and now think more along the lines of a libertarian, but I have no patience for the cant of either political wing. It is becoming alarming to me the dearth of objectivity coming out of the Left. It used to be only a problem of the Right, now the Left has exceeded it.

There are all kinds of things to criticize and disagree with the president about. But rational discourse requires a modicum of reason and objectivity. Unfortunately, discourse has now become "look how completely evil they are!" and blowing minutiae out of proportion.

Being correct doesn't require that those who disagree with you are lying evil people. It is becoming ridiculous how polarized everything has to be now, including, it seems, statistical analysis.
posted by Seth at 1:45 PM on December 4, 2003


What on earth could be objective or worth reading from someone with such an agenda????

Different questions for which you assume the same answer. That tends to beg this: What is your agenda, Seth?

An adept statistician can contradict everything this partisan hack says.

As you know this to be true, perhaps you could perform such contradictions for us, rather than stating as fact your own opinion of the source? I mean, good heavens, isn't that what you're railing against the good "professor" for?

Being correct doesn't require that those who disagree with you are lying evil people.

Unless, of course, they are lying, or evil, or both. Isn't logic fun?

Seth, it appears that you believe rational discourse will solve anything. In the current climate, as you describe, it won't. I propose that rather than agreeing with the foundational logic of this statistical analysis while attempting to discredit it (right v.s. left, and they both suck which is a fancy way of saying that just about everybody else is fucked up 'cept you) perhaps it would be better to accept that right and left are going to scream at each other. Once you accept the method (screaming ranting and railing) you can look for the facts in the content. If you live in America, you're not on the outside of the conversation, regardless of how much you fantasize that you are by grabbing a different label than others. You can still make up your own mind without assuming that everybody ... how did you put it ... who disagrees with you are lying evil people.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:19 PM on December 4, 2003


Seth: Congratulations for saying essentially nothing in many words. Do you have any specific criticisms regarding the methodology used? If not, please familiarize yourself with the ad hominem logical fallacy.
posted by Eloquence at 2:44 PM on December 4, 2003


Wulgar, I wasn't insinuating that I am above the fray or special.

What I said, and I don't think you disagreed with my premise, is that people on the both sides of the political spectrum are behaving like children. There is a scorched earth idea that the other side isn't merely fairly disagreeing, but that the other side is evil and wretched.

Thus, fair and rational discourse becomes impossible. How could one have a fair discourse if one cannot find any merit with the opposing side? That is dogmatism and destroys the dialectic. You cannot get Krugman to say one good thing about Bush, and no one can honestly say that everything about Bush is bad. Similarly, you can't get Ann Coulter to say one nice thing about Hillary. Both sides are extremist and irrational in the hatred for the other side. Unfortunately, the extremes have become the norm.

This article linked to a statistician, who did various analysis to come to a conclusion which he wants them to. Surely you don't dispute the fact that one can make stats say whatever one wants. And surely you don't disagree that this guy obviously has an agenda. Given those two premises, why would one assume that the analysis was anything more than food for a left love-in. It is the functional equivalent of the "research" done by Ann Coulter.


it appears that you believe rational discourse will solve anything.
Yes, I do. The dialectic is the solution to everything.
I also believe that Anthony Downs was correct that the American political spectrum is lumped around a median in a bell curve. In other words, we aren't that far apart. And because we aren't that far apart, it is absolutely RIDICULOUS to keep chirping the idea that the other side is so completely different.
Until we learn to reject the opinion of everyone who is incapable of respecting the other side, we cannot raise the level of discourse. If we can do that, then we can an intelligent conversation on various subjects.
posted by Seth at 2:53 PM on December 4, 2003


Eloquence: I think I said something fairly damning about the piece. And it isn't ad hominem.

This guy is biased. He admits it. If someone is biased, how on earth can you assume that his conclusions are objective and reasonable?


I appreciate your desire to dodge completely my criticism of your post by saying "prove it," but I don't think I have the time, ability or inclination to prove his statistics wrong. What I do know from my statistical training is that one can make them say whatever one wants.


Here is a question for you, Eloquence:
If a similar analysis was done by Ann Coulter, using similar methodologies, could you accept them as fair and balanced?

I know many wouldn't. I wouldn't. Partisan hacks, are just that: hacks. They aren't worth even considering. Most certainly the ones who proclaim their proud bias and hatred for the other side.
posted by Seth at 2:58 PM on December 4, 2003


If someone is biased, how on earth can you assume that his conclusions are objective and reasonable?

What does that have to do with it? Everyone is biased, one way or another. You don't assume the conclusions are objective and reasonable: you look at the reasoning, try to spot the flaws, and decide for yourself whether the argument is convincing. Knowing that the guy has a point to prove just makes it easier to look for places he might be fudging the data. It doesn't mean that the data is necessarily fudged.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:43 PM on December 4, 2003


I also believe that Anthony Downs was correct that the American political spectrum is lumped around a median in a bell curve.

Unfortunately, the extremes have become the norm.

I've mentally composed a very long rebuttal, but my time is short, so I will simply posit that the above italicised stances are common sensical, widely believed, and absolutely contradictory.

Surely you don't dispute the fact that one can make stats say whatever one wants.

I also disagree with this. Again, it is common sensical, widely believed and not founded in anything verifyable (at least in this case). Consider this another invitation to refute the statistics presented by Pollkatz rather than simply claim that they are bogus. The burden of proof, fortunately or not, lies with those who would refute the thesis ... it lies with you.

If there is a grave disagreement between the "sides", it is about who the sides are. As one of the "Left" (or so I've been labeled) I do, indeed, reject the other side. Understand that the "other side" isn't the Right, or Republicans; it's Bush and his destructive wayward policies of claiming power from God, pre-emptively attacking any who by such attack can further his beliefs and his political and economic goals with disdainful disregard for the ideas presented by those he supposedly represents, and lying with consistent and self-indulgent ferver. Do you believe that one should respect the "other side" when they are completely unworthy of such respect? I do not.

Has Bush done some good? Almost in spite of himself. Must any cowtow to that memory of mistaken kindnesses, when the direction of our nation is at stake? No. Confucious said, to know a man, know his motives. You follow this belief else you wouldn't be so concerned with agendas. The point isn't that we should take to task any who would argue from an anti-Bush agenda ... after all, those persons don't run the nation. If one has concern for a dialectic, than present the synthesis between Bush's Thesis and Pollkatz's antithesis. Simply rejecting the antithesis, as you attempt to do, leads only to a victory for the thesis ... with no debate allowed or engaged. Would you not agree that this a fair and logical assessment of the situation at hand?
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:58 PM on December 4, 2003


Does anyone really think Bush is going to lose the election? Waaaay to much money is involved for it to even get to that point, and the financial incentive for the other side simply isn't there.

I don't believe in conspiracies, I believe in economics. And the fact is that too much money has been invested in a Bush 8-year-program to let it get cut off midstream. On the flip side, there is very little money to be gained by defeating Bush, except from the Unions and trial lawyers, and the amount that they would lose if Bush is elected is miniscule compared with the amounts that might be lost by those who have invested heavily in Bush.
posted by cell divide at 4:00 PM on December 4, 2003


clearly proves that whenever Bush's approval was high, it was driven by an event (the two major events being September 11 and the Iraq war) and steadily declined afterwards

And this proves, what exactly? All presidential approval polls are event driven. People approve of the Presidnet doing/not doing this this, or disapprove of the Presidnet doing/not doing that...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:52 PM on December 4, 2003


Steve: Well, it's not like the President did much on September 11.

Seth: Everyone is either "biased" (i.e. has an opinion) or uninformed. I trust people more if they disclose their opinions upfront, not less. I have read some of Coulter's material and rejected it on the basis of the complete lack of logical coherence, not on the basis of political preference.
posted by Eloquence at 5:16 PM on December 4, 2003


Seth: Congratulations for saying essentially nothing in many words.

He is a man of few words. Been here since January 2000 and only made 13 posts, 3 or more in this thread alone.
posted by stbalbach at 8:26 PM on December 4, 2003


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