Cal Thomas offers wisdom on approval ratings and other polls, especially given that they don’t measure what people actually think, but what they perceive to be real based on what they are told by a biased media.
The first question in the Gallup survey asks, “Based on what you have heard or read, please say whether you favor or oppose each of the following economic proposals. ”
Heard or read? Heard from whom and read in what? Do we know where the respondents are getting their information? If it is from the broadcast networks, or newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post, the likelihood is they will reflect the bias against Bush’s domestic and foreign policies contained in those media. ... Amazingly, the poll reveals that while Gallup’s measure of the president’s approval has declined, most people support the very economic and foreign policies he is pursuing. An earlier Gallup Poll, conducted Jan. 3-5, just before either party announced its economic “stimulus ” proposal, found that 86 percent of those surveyed want to expand tax credits for families with children and nearly as many (80 percent) support reducing additional taxes married couples must pay when both spouses work. Sixty-five percent want the tax cuts approved in 2001 to take effect immediately and not over several years, which is precisely what the president has asked from Congress.
In other words, when asked whether they approve of the president’s tax cut plan, people respond based on the negative impressions they get from the mass media, but when questioned on whether they like specific elements, not explicitly connecting them to any particular proposal, the people prefer the president’s plan.