Just How Bad Is That CBS News/New York Times Poll for Bush?
Very bad. There's a reason why Matthew Dowd pledged his immortal soul to Gallup when confronted with the results of this survey.
And it's not the horse race result of the survey though that was pretty poor for Bush (45-45 in the 2-way RV matchup). It's the other results and the poll's internals that are so gruesome for the Bush-Cheney campaign.
Here are some of the key findings:
1. Kerry leads by 7 among independents.
2. Bush's approval rating is only 44 percent among RVs, but a truly abysmal 34 percent approval/50 percent diapproval among independents.
3. Democrats are up by 6 in the generic house content (10 points among independents).
4. Right direction/wrong track is 39/57 and a stunning 34/61 among independents.
5. Bush's approval ratings on Iraq, the economy and foreign policy are, respectively, 42, 42 and 41 (35, 34 and 33 among independents).
6. More voters think the economy is getting worse (34 percent) than think it is getting better (24 percent).
7. Among independents, the Democrats' favorable/unfavorable rating is 54/35, while Republicans' rating is 42/49.
8. More than four times as many voters believe Bush administration policies have increased the cost of prescription drugs (47 percent) than believe their policies have decreased the cost (11 percent).
9. By 60 percent to 8 percent, voters believe Bush administration policies have mostly benefitted the rich, rather than the middle class.
10. An amazing 81 percent of independents believe that Bush administration policies have either decreased the number of jobs in the country (55 percent) or had no effect (26 percent).
11. Perhaps even more amazing, 72 percent of independents believe that Bush administration policies have either increased their taxes (27 percent) or had no effect (55 percent).
12. About three-quarters of independents (74 percent) believe the Bush administration did a poor job of thinking through what would happen as a result of the Iraq war.
13. Independent voters are evenly split, 46-46 on whether Kerry has the same priorities for the country as they do, but, by 60-24, they believe Bush does not have the same priorities.
14. Independent voters believe, by 8 points (50-42) that Kerry understands the needs and problems of people like themselves but, by 59-37, they believe Bush does not understand these needs and problems.
15. Independents believe, by 65-21, that Kerry is more interested in protecting the interests of ordinary Americans than in protecting the interests of large corporations; by 69-22, they believe Bush sides with large corporations rather than ordinary Americans.
16. Among independents, just 30 percent believe Bush will make sure Social Security benefits are there for them, but 58 percent believe Kerry will make sure those benefits are there.
17. Also among independents: 65 percent believe the Iraq war is only a minor part (12 percent) or not a part at all (53 percent) of the war on terrorism; 63 percent believe efforts to bring stability and order to Iraq are going badly; and 70 percent believe that Iraq was a threat that could have been contained without immediate military action or was not a threat at all.
18. Finally, 67 percent of voters believe their family is not better off today than four years ago and 75 percent believe the number of jobs in their community has not increased in the last four years.
No wonder Dowd was moved to make his touching declaration of faith in the Gallup Organization. If these CBS/NYT data are on the money, his man's in big, big trouble.
Oh, and the party ID distribution in this poll? A 3 point Democratic advantage among RVs, very close to the Democratic advantage in the 2000 exit poll.
But I guess that's another reason why Dowd fled as fast as he could into the arms of Gallup, when confronted with this particular poll.