Posting part of a conversation with a flack, Rich Lowry showcases some of the smarts that are keeping the White House on a roll.
The president has usually been at around 47-53% He’s at 39-40% now. Two big things brought him down, Katrina and the government response to it and the Harriet Miers nomination.
Uh-huh. Well. Hurricane Katrina touched down in Louisiana on August 29, and obviously Miers came a month+ after that. I would be prudent to check the last polls before August 29. All polls from August or July.
Gallup – 40% approve, 56% disapprove.
ABC News/Washington Post – 45% approve, 53% disapprove
NBC News/Wall Street Journal – 46% approve, 49% disapprove
CBS News – 45% approve, 46% disapprove
Associated Press-Ipsos – 42% approve, 55% disapprove
Fox News – 47% approve, 44% disapprove
Pew – 44% approve, 48% disapprove
Newsweek – 42% approve, 51% disapprove
Zogby – 45% approve, 55% disapprove
Harris – 48% approve, 51% disapprove
Quinnipiac – 41% approve, 53% disapprove
What do we have here? For starters, Bush was not at 47-53% before Katrina, and hadn’t been for months. Averaging these most trusted, regular pollsters, Bush was clocking in around 45% approval, 51% disapproval before Katrina.
This may sound like splitting hairs, but it’s important whether or not the White House gets this. Their problems started months and months ago. What was the cause? Probably some combination of backlash over the Social Security campaign, the war, and the cost of living (mainly gas).
Possibly this flack is pounding his chest for NRO because, well, NRO readers will see it and like it. But if the White House’s brilliant new strategy is “wait for the Katrina and Miers backlashes to fade, then we’re back to plus territory,” they’re doomed.