Saturday, December 06, 2008

Bush's Favorability Post-9/11/2001 to 10/20/2008

I was wondering for a while what people felt of President Bush now that we are one year into a depression, and seven years into the Afghanistan War and five years into the Iraq War. I found this site, which has data through 10/20/2008.

The two lines show respondants who answered "Very positive" and "Very negative". (The categories of "somewhat positive", "neutral", and "somewhat negative" had much weaker trends, and are therefore omitted here.)

For those of you who might feel that I should have included data prior to 9/11, since there is data, and this seems to be cherry-picking data from only a part of his presidency. However, there are only four data points between January 2001 (his inauguration) and the first data point after 9/11. These don't show much in either group of people. If you were to include all the data from the campaigning, there is a slight positive (R2 = 0.521) correlation among people who were very positive, but a slightly stronger negative correlation (R2 = 0.7371) among people who were very negative. Thinking back, though, one will recall the biggest contentious issue during the first months of his presidency was whether or not it was a good idea to have faith-based non-profit fedral fundings - and Bush's apparent many trips to Crawford. In other words, it wasn't anything like the Presidency that it transformed into on 9/11.

Similarly, the country on 9/11 was not the same as it was on 9/10, and the polls showed that there was a massive support for the president once we started to move into Afghanistan against the Taliban. From there, though, his largest support continued to decline, as did his continued largest "anti-support." True, there was a slight uptick leading up to and just after the invasion of Iraq. However, it is really telling that the latest (10/20/2008) polls show that his "very negative" rating (46%) is almost as high as his "very positive" rating was in 2001 (54%). What a turnaround. I wonder how his numbers look now that the recession is official, and all the last minute attacks against the environment and civil liberties are being brought into the spotlight....

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