The Corner

The Polls

Rich, it seems like everything is hurting Bush. The fact that he is deriving no benefit whatsoever from an economy growing at a 5 percent rate with declining unemployment is surely a landmark in the history of public-opinion research. The polling so clearly out of whack with the stats that one of two things must be true. 1) The economic data — including a jump in personal income — are only numbers on a page and aren’t having any positive impact on people. Or 2) the degree of discontent being measured is actually far less severe than the polling numbers suggest. People say the country “is on the wrong track” but they don’t actually believe it, or act in accordance with that sentiment. If #1 is right, then the GOP will indeed reap the whirlwind this year and in 2008. But if, as seems more likely to me, #2 is right, then we’re going to learn something very telling about the nature of political polling in a non-presidential-election year. 

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