Trend v. noise

Maybe Glenn Reynolds is right [*] and the latest Gallup poll is the beginning of a turnaround in the President’s popularity. But none of the other polls has picked up such a trend [*]. And Professor Pollkatz’s Christmas tree seems about ready to have the angel perch on top. [*] [Update: Josh Marshall analyzes the recent trend here.]

Bush’s popularity has steadily drifted downward throughout his adminstration, except for a large and long-lived jump up after 9-11 and a smaller, shorter-lived bump after the invasion of Iraq. As Charlie Cook points out in his latest newsletter, Bush has now finished settling back to earth and has started to eat into his base of support.

There seems to be no prospect that we will invade anywhere else before the election. So unless the economy starts generating new jobs, Bush’s strategists are left with the punchline of an old joke: “How do you arrange a flood?”

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: