Is that a lot, or a little?

Bush up six over Kerry among veterans. Is that good news, or bad news?

Don’t you find it frustrating when a news story points strongly toward a question, but the reporter doesn’t bother to answer it?

For example, this from CBS News:

… polls show Kerry, the decorated veteran, still trails President Bush with veterans. But the margin is narrowing.

A June CBS News poll found that 52 percent of veterans backed Mr. Bush, while 37 percent supported Kerry. Last week, Kerry had closed the gap to 6 points, with Mr. Bush at 47 percent to Kerry’s 41 percent.

Well? Is down six among veterans good news or bad news for a Democratic Presidential candidate? My guess is that it’s pretty good news, but why should I have to guess? Just tell me how Bush and Gore split the veteran vote in 2000. That data must be available to the CBS News polling unit at the touch of a button.

If any reader has access to the data the CBS reporter didn’t bother to look up, I’ll be grateful for a pointer.

Update: Wrong! Kerry is doing no better than Gore did.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: