Thursday, October 13, 2005
Bush's Black Poll Day
Actually, "non-black" poll day might be more accurate.
It seems like, when Steve Gilliard and I were doing our blog version of "playing the dozens" a few weeks back (here, here, here and here), evidently, we were wasting our time.
Why? Because George W. Bush has managed to bring the two of us together! We are part of this historic Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll result, released Wednesday, that finds only 2 percent of African Americans approve of the job Bush is doing as president.
Yes, 2 percent. As in -- right after the number one. If you factor in the margin of error, one could safely say that, without a doubt, African Americans have, ahem, a "negative" view of President Bush.
Now, in fairness, the true margin of error is pretty large, given that the poll "included 807 people nationwide, and only 89 blacks."
A Pew Research poll released Thursday had the black "approval" at 12 percent, which is obviously low -- but actually right around the 2004 election result for Bush among blacks. In short, a pro-administration spinner might say that despite Katrina and everything else, Bush's black approval is, ahem, as good as it has ever been.
But, ultimately, who cares? The fact that a Republican president is polling low among black people isn't exactly a man-bites-dog story. But, I'm a Republican and I "disapprove" of the job George W. Bush is doing. My reasons are generally going to be a lot different than Mr. Gilliard. However, in the context of polling, we are going to be listed as part of the 88/98 of black disapproval.
My reasons for discontent:
1) Failing to recognize that the drowning of a major American tourist destination warranted a prime time response much sooner than two weeks after the event.
2) GOP Affirmative Action -- the white male variety.
3) GOP Affirmative Action -- the white female variety.
4) Beating LBJ in "No Spending Limit, Texas Hold 'Em."
5) Opening up a civil war in the Republican base.
It's the last item that bears watching. The big story in the poll is not that blacks disapprove of this president -- or that this black person disapproves (Heck, I've been disgruntled for quite some time.) The major finding is -- like other recent surveys -- the 39 percent, below 40, figure dramatizes that the president is in danger of losing favor with his core supporters. The reason for that is Harriet Miers.
When state GOP organizations are being mobilized to to demand "fair treatment" (second item) of their president's Supreme Court nominee from senators of their own party;
when the RNC Chairman has difficulty getting support for his president's nominee on a pro-GOP blogging conference call;
when the Republican Senate aides are doing opposition research on their Republican president's nominee;
when Christian conservatives are forced to battle Christian conservative organizations;
when its conservative law professor vs. conservative radio host vs. conservative lawyer -- over a Republican president's nominee;
something is profoundly wrong.
The "black" mood that should most trouble the White House comes not from African Americans, but from Red State.
UPDATE: NRO's Byron York further supports my last point.