AP running with skewed poll results

August 15th, 2005 7:37 AM

(As read on-air today by Rush Limbaugh. Click here to listen to introduction)

The main political headline from the AP today is the results of an AP-Ipsos poll taken a week ago.

Bush Approval a Low for Recent 2-Termers reports that President Bush's job approval is down to 42% with 55% disapproving. That certainly sounds disturbing, or at least it would if he were running for anything again. But looking at it again, something suspicious jumps out.
The partisan divide for Bush is stark — 80 percent of Democrats disapprove of his overall performance while nearly 90 percent of Republicans approve.
For the past several years, the conventional wisdom has been of a "50-50" America, a country divided evenly between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans have beaten Democrats at the National level in the last several election cycles. If the numbers are fairly close, and the Republican approval rating is higher than the Democratic disapproval rating, how can his approval rating be that bad? If 38% of the sample is Democratic, and 38% is Republican, then he'd have to have a 0% approval rating among independents to have an overall 42%, and that's not realistic. So I went digging around the Ipsos web site, and found the topline results. What they've got is a sample of adults, rather than registered voters. And they've sampled 39% Republicans and 49% Democrats. So that 42% approval rating that they're flouting is a fake number, a number that doesn't represent political reality. But it certainly sounds bad for the President, which seems to be the AP's raison d'etre...