blogenlust
9.30.2004

Up is Down


This is ridiculous. The headline reads, "Poll Finds Support for Bush's Handling of Iraq." Here are the poll results:
Of 508 state residents polled Sept. 15-21, 43% said Bush was doing an excellent or good job dealing with Iraq, while 56% said his work was fair or poor. In June, 39% said Bush was doing an excellent or good job; 60% chose fair or poor. Since last October, those figures have not changed much.
The first two paragraphs of the story bury the fact that the majority of people polled disapprove of the President's Iraq policy, opting instead to focus on the fact that slightly more people support his policies now than from a few months ago. In the second paragraph, we are presented with this gem of distortion:
The poll also found strong belief that America would not have gone to war in either Iraq or Afghanistan if Democrat candidate John Kerry had been president. Just 15% said the United States would have invaded Iraq and 29% said it would have warred with Afghanistan.
WTF is this? A strong belief is now constituted by 15% or 29% of the population believing something? Finally, there is this:
If anything, the results show the public has not turned its back on the war in Iraq. Plenty of people support its basic principles, although there is discontent over its progress. That complicates Kerry's efforts to convince voters that Bush should be tossed out of office for pursuing the "wrong war" in Iraq, said pollster G. Donald Ferree Jr. of the University of Wisconsin Survey Center in Madison.
If anything? Plenty of people? Are we talking about the same poll? It is true that the approval for Bush's handling of the war increased from June (ed. note: Earth to Wisconsin??!!). However, a majority (56%) of people still feel Bush's policies in Iraq are fair or poor. So why is the headline and lead of the story positive for Bush? Since when is it good for Bush that a minority of people in WI believe he is handling the war well, and a majority think he is handling it bad?