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September 09, 2005

Katrina: AP-IPSOS and More from SUSA

Two news polls today on the response to Hurricane Katrina: another one-night update from SurveyUSA and a three-night survey just completed by AP-IPSOS.

The SurveyUSA poll conducted yesterday shows 42% approve and 53% disapprove of George W. Bush's "response to Hurricane Katrina."  This rating has shown no statistically significant variation over the last three nights:  approval was 43% on Tuesday, 41% Wednesday and 42% last night (see these three posts for discussion of SurveyUSA's Katrina surveys).

AP-IPSOS fielded its survey  over the last three nights (September 6-8) among 1,006 adults (margin of sampling error  3.1%).  On the trends we have been following, the AP-IPSOS survey mostly confirms the results of the other surveys but reports one discordant result. 

The differece: they show a bit more approval of Bush's handling of the response to Katrina than other polls.  Surveys fielded this week by CBS News, the Pew Research Center, Zogby and SurveyUSA have shown between 38% and 41% approving Bush's handling of the response to Katrina, between 54% and 58% disapproving.  By contrast, AP-IPSOS shows 46% approve of "the way George W. Bush is handling the relief effort for the victims of Hurricane Katrina," 52% disapprove.

Random chance alone does not appear to explain the difference between the Katrina approval ratings of AP and the other pollsters, as the differences are statistically significant in each case.  We can only speculate, but MP suspects the minor difference in wording as the primary culprit.  The AP-IPSOS is the only poll to frame the question in terms of the "relief effort for the victims."  The other pollsters use more general language:

  • "The way George W. Bush is handling the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans" (Pew Research Center)
  • "The way George W. Bush has handled the response to Hurricane Katrina (CBS)
  • "The way Bush "handled...Hurricane Katrina" (Zogby, from a table in a summary report, exact text not available).
  • "President Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina" (SurveyUSA)

On other measures, the AP-IPSOS survey yields results similar to the other polls.  On a forced-choice question, for example, they find roughly two thirds of the voters (69%) agreeing that "the federal government should have been better prepared to cope with the effects of a disaster of the magnitude caused by Hurricane Katrina."  Only 30% chose the alternative statement: "The federal government was as prepared as it reasonably could have been to cope with a disaster of the magnitude caused by Hurricane Katrina."  Both CBS News and the Pew Research Center showed nearly identical results to similarly worded forced-choice questions. 

Also, like the other surveys, AP-IPSOS shows George W. Bush's overall job rating falling to an all-time low since early August, although it remains unclear how much of that decline occurred in the last week.  On their latest poll, 39% approve and 59% disapprove of "the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President."  In early August (8/1-3) they had Bush's rating at 42% approve, 55% disapprove.  As noted yesterday, other public polls have picked up a similar trend, although only CBS News polled just before and after the worst of the Hurricane news, and they show no significant change in the President's overall job rating. 

Charles Franklin, a professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin and loyal MP reader, notes on his new blog that the four surveys released in the last week show results consistent with the year-long, ongoing decline in Bush's job rating.  He had not yet factored in the new AP-IPSOS, but did some additional number-cruching and prepared the helpful graphic below to illustrate the point. (Franklin's  new blog, Political Arithmetik, is well worth the click). 


A note on links to the AP-IPSOS survey:  Will Lester's summary of the results for the AP is widely available, as always.  IPSOS also posts the complete questionnaire with results filled in (including time series comparisons), but unfortunately that very helpful document resides behind the IPSOS paid subscription wall happily, the folks at AP emailed with this link (www.ap-ipsosresults.com), providing full free access to AP-IPSOS results!

Related Entries - Polls in the News

Posted by Mark Blumenthal on September 9, 2005 at 03:24 PM in Polls in the News | Permalink


Since Polls show how Pres. Busah responded to Katrina...Why not take a poll and ask how Gove. Blanco and Mayor Nagimn responded to yjre Hurricabne.

Posted by: Vincent J.DiPentima | Feb 16, 2006 7:31:34 PM

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