Poll Dancing

I’m not one to follow individual polls because they often don’t reflect more than the weeks news hiccup. Far more important are trends and historical values. That’s why Charles H. Franklin’s blog Political Arithmetik is a place I try to visit about once a week. He is a political science professor and teaches the statistical analysis of polls. If you really want to know what the numbers mean, this is the place to look.

So, how are the trends shaping up after the Republican IM nightmare? First, Professor Franklin looks at the generic ballot.

The post-Foley Folly polls find an upturn in the Democratic margin in the generic Congressional ballot. Prior to the Foley developments, Democrats held a 10.6 point lead in the polls. (This is the Dem percent minus the Rep percent.) That lead has now jumped to 12.8 points, the highest my trend estimate has reached in the 244 generic ballot polls taken this election cycle. This is all the more important because prior to the Foley Fiasco the trend had moved a bit down, then flattened (though still at or about 10.6, a very strong margin even then.) Whatever possible gains Republicans were beginning to make have now been wiped out.

I encourage you to go look at the original post. He always has excellent graphics accompanying his analysis. I usually just look at the pretty pictures anyway. It’s like poll porn.

Presidential approval is a second indication of Republican chances next month.

Four new polls find approval of President Bush has declined substantially since the end of September, following revelations of “overly friendly” email and IM messages from Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) to pre-adult House pages. All these polls were completed before North Korea tested what appears to have been a nuclear weapon on October 9.

[snip – Lot’s of detailed numbers]

With these new polls, the approval trend estimate has fallen sharply to 38.1%, a bit more than a 2 point drop since mid-September.

All the work George W. Bush and Karl Rove expended getting the nation nervous – eliminated by one paedophile congressman. And they can’t even manage to blame the Democrats – or Bill Clinton.

I would advise everyone to keep your eye on Professor Frankin’s blog. It’s informative and has just a hint of humor. For me, it’s better than a pole dance.

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