Dec 27, 2003 1:43 am


After reading the appallingly dishonest headline"Economic Gains Bolster Bush" I'm still trying to figure out how in the world Newsweek can possibly spin these recent poll results as providing anything positive for the president.

Here's the opening paragraph:

With news that the economy grew at a surprisingly robust 7.2 percent annual rate and that some 300,000 new jobs were added during the third quarter, an increasing number of voters say they approve of the way the President George W. Bush is handling the economy, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. While more registered voters say they disapprove rather than approve of the way Bush is handling the economy (48 percent vs. 44 percent), the margin has narrowed considerably since October’s 37 percent vs. 56 percent.
Okay, so fewer people think W's an absolute damn fool with regard to economic matters. Okay, well that sounds like his public support is increasing.

However, wait a minute -- take a look at the rest of the article. Almost nothing else in the poll is positive for Bush, including the fact that his approval rating has not come up at all since the last poll:

Bush’s overall approval rating is holding steady at about 52 percent, though that’s down considerably from its peak of 88 percent in the weeks following the September 11 attacks. Half approve of his approach to education. However, approval ratings of the president policies on the following are still stuck below the halfway mark, as they have been for the past few months: taxes (45 percent), the environment (44 percent) and foreign policy in general (46 percent). Just 36 percent approve of his health care policies.
Wait. Wait. I thought they said"economic gains bolster Bush." If his approval rating remains the same and his poll results on other issues are about the same, how can they say his support is"bolstered" by the new economic numbers?

In reality, this poll has a great deal of bad news for the president and shows W has not gained an inch in support on most issues and, to top it all off, his approval rating is staying quite steady at the rather mediocre level of 52 percent.

Yet, because one poll question shows an improvement, the folks at Newsweek have spun this poll as showing his public support has been"bolstered."

How the hell can they say that?

Am I missing something?

Update:Here's a bit more about this poll -- it now shows 50% of Americans don't want to re-elect Bush. How did this poll"bolster" anything for W?

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