It All Depends on Whom You Ask

Reader Rick Hine appears to have the explanation for the New York Times/CBS poll a few days ago that showed a sharp drop in President Bush’s approval rating:
“A question at the end of the poll asked, ‘Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what?’ Results from the Jan 12-15 04 poll – R 28, D 32, I 33, DK 8. These results were within the ranges over the past year – R 28-31, D 30-35, I 30-35 – although the Republican percentage was at the bottom of the range.
“However, the next question was the kicker – ‘Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?’ Results from the Jan 12-15 04 poll – R 34, D47, DK 18. The Republican number was significantly below the range over the past year – R 38-46, D 45-50. In fact, only twice in the last 17 polls (the post-9/11 polls) had the ‘closer to Republican’ number dropped below 40 (38 in the 2/10-2/12 03 poll and 39 in the 12/14-12/15 03 poll). In fact, the recent poll results track this question from Jan of 92 and this was the LOWEST number on this question in any of the polls over the 12-year period.”
And it certainly isn’t the case that Democratic Party affiliation is booming. This would appear to be either deliberate cooking of the books, or polling malpractice.

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