Weekend Review

This weekend was filled with preconvention coverage from all the cable news networks. I watched nearly all of it with the exception of Fox News simply because it makes my blood boil. Some interesting things to note from this weekend:

All of the pundits reported that polling shows Bush in the lead heading into the convention. With all of the fallout from the Swift Boat ads I am not surprised by these findings yet I don’t put too much weight in them either. An article appeared in this weekends Detroit Free Press which mentions a huge Zogby/Williams poll which shows Kerry with a healthy lead.

Nationally, a large Zogby/Williams poll of 20,900 voters found Kerry leads Bush by 50.8 percent to 46.7 percent among likely voters, with only 2.4 percent undecided or so soft in their support of either candidate that they could easily change. That survey had an error margin of plus or minus less than 1 percentage point.

In the following exchange between Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press one major inconsistency stood out in my mind:

MR. RUSSERT: …some quick poll numbers. Where the country is headed, 36 percent right direction, 50 percent wrong track; president’s handing of the economy, 52 percent disapprove; was the war in Iraq worth it, now 49 percent say no, and yet if the election held today, George Bush 47, John Kerry 45, Ralph Nader, 3. The Republicans point to these two numbers, Tom: 53 percent approval for the war on terrorism, and then this–Bush is easygoing and likable, 55 to 27. They think those are the linchpins of his success.

MR. BROKAW: Can I just add one more?

MR. RUSSERT: Please.

MR. BROKAW: I’ll put you through this. When it comes to issues such as the economy, education and health care, do you think President Bush has provided a clear set of goals? Has provided a clear set of goals, 29 percent, has not spelled out his goals, 63 percent, two to one. So I think you see in that poll the challenge for both candidates here. George Bush has to come here, spell out his agenda for the next four years that go beyond fighting the war on terrorism and dealing with issues like education. It’s going to be a kinder, gentler Republican Party with the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger and others.

On Hardball they also made mention of some new polling results that show the pResident’s greatest strength in is his handling of the war on terror yet his worst is the war in Iraq.

Yet while Bush leads the horse race, both the economy and Iraq continue to dog his re-election campaign. The poll shows that 52 percent of respondents disapprove of Bush’s handling of the economy, compared with 43 percent who approve. Regarding Iraq, 49 percent say removing Saddam Hussein from power was not worth the casualties or financial cost of the war, while 43 percent say it was worth it.

However, the poll also shows that Bush’s standing in the war on terrorism has gotten stronger. Fifty-three percent of registered voters approve of his handling on terrorism, while 42 percent disapprove. For Bush, that’s an increase from June, when 48 percent said they approved, compared with 47 percent who disapproved.

This just doesn’t make any sense to me since Bush continues to assert that the war in Iraq is the “central front in the war on terror.” How can people say he is doing well on the war on terror yet not like the single largest action he has taken in it? Weird.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook