The silence from the Republican noise machine has been deafening this week in the wake of the updated CBS News poll that indicates president Bush is still stuck with an embarrassing 34 percent job approval rating; unchanged since last month. You'll recall that on Feb. 28, when CBS released polling data that showed Bush for the first time dropping to 34 percent, right-wingers, especially online, went bonkers, screaming how the always-liberal CBS had rigged the survey because its pollsters had contacted too many Democrats which meant the results were bogus, which meant Bush wasn't really unpopular.
Off on a debunk fest and anointing themselves polling experts, Ankle Biting Pundits derided the survey as the "latest MSM garbage poll," Fox News' Brit Hume went on the air to talk down the CBS poll, while the always excitable partisans at NewsBusters.org announced the Feb. 28 poll was "slanted." (All, btw, have remained mum in the wake of the follow-up CBS poll, which confirmed the Feb. 28 findings.) It was the usual right-wing tactic, in which bad news for Bush was immediately painted as bogus, phony and purposefully misleading.
Two things. The hysterical cries of bias looked increasingly silly when a conveyor belt of new polls from the likes of AP, Zogby, Harris, and CNN, published in the wake of the CBS survey, all confirmed the same findings; Bush has become widely unpopular among Americans. Secondly, the new CBS poll out this week specifically addresses the issue of response ratio between Democrats and Republicans. And guess what? Even after soliciting opinions from far more Republicans, Bush's approval rating remains stuck at 34 percent.
For the poll released Feb. 28, CBS contacted 272 Republicans, 409 Democrats and 337 Independents. Conservative critics demanded those results were unfair. (Read here why CBS's GOP/Dem ratio was not that far off. Read here about how CBS does not weight, or adjust, its sample by party affiliation.) But for the most recent CBS poll, the results were based on the opinions of 358 Republicans, 366 Democrats and 412 Independents. Note the nearly 30 percent increase in Republicans, the 10 percent decrease in Democrats, and the fact that the final CBS poll numbers did not budge one inch. What gives? Part of the problem for Bush is that over the last month he's been losing support among all voters; most noticeably Republicans. So, just because pollsters call more Republicans doesn't mean Bush automatically gets a better score. Those days appear to be long gone.
The dittoheads though, never ones to acknowledge their errors, have already moved on and embraced a new, comforting conspiracy theory that explains away Bush's losing streak. And wouldn't you know, it's still the liberal media's fault.