March 30, 2006
Newport's Answer to Kurtz
A belated link: Two weeks ago, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz asked (and Mickey Kaus amplified) a question in his blog about "only compar[e] figures to their own past surveys, when they're fully aware of the others?" I posted some thoughts, which led to more posts on whether a trend is evident in the measurements of the Bush job rating taken since mid-February. Gallup's Frank Newport, looking only at surveys conducted by Gallup argues that the rating has been stable since mid-February, Professor Franklin argues convincingly that the downward trend continues.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, I failed to notice that Frank Newport had posted his own answer to the original Howard Kurtz question on Newport's Pulse of the Nation page (which is free to non-subscribers). The gist, not surprisingly, is that they do not compare their results to those from other polls because "it's not always a direct apples-to-apples comparison." But Newport does endorse the notion of more polling that "integrate[s] poll results into the ongoing literature rather than treating any one result in isolation." He writes:
Where possible, I think that news accounts can point out the trend lines for other organizations that regularly track Bush approval. In the present situation, almost all these trend lines have been drifting downward since the slight uptick measured late last year. And several organizations have reported that their values for Bush job approval have reached the low points for the Bush administration as measured by their particular organizations.
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