One Poll, Two Numbers

From Holden:

Pop Quiz, Multiple Choice: What is Chimpy’s job approval rating in the latest AP-Ipsos poll, conducted June 5-7, 2006?

a) 33%

b) 35%

c) I don’t know.

If your answer was c, “I don’t know”, then you are in the same boat as I.

Here is what the AP released yesterday without a byline, timestamped 06.08.2006, 10:50 AM:

The death of al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq comes at a time when more Americans than ever think the war in Iraq was a mistake, according to AP-Ipsos polling.

The poll was taken Monday through Wednesday before the news broke that terrorist leader al-Zarqawi was killed by U.S. troops. That polling right before the death of al-Zarqawi found that 59 percent of adults say the United States made a mistake in going to war in Iraq – the highest level yet in AP-Ipsos polling to say that. Approval of President Bush’s handling of Iraq dipped to 33 percent – the lowest level yet on that measure in the poll.

Bush’s overall job approval remained at 33 percent – still at the lowest level of his presidency.

And here we have analysis of the poll by AP writer Donna Cassata released this morning (via CBS):

The latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that many Americans perceive the alleged atrocities against Iraqi civilians by U.S. forces as isolated incidents while saying the U.S.-led invasion was a mistake, an unusual disconnect that sets this conflict apart from Vietnam.

The survey of 1,003 adults was completed Wednesday, shortly before the announcement that U.S. airstrikes had killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida leader in Iraq, and the Iraqi parliament’s approval of candidates for ministers in charge of the army and police.


The survey also found that the war continues to take a toll on the public’s view of Bush. Approval of the president was at 35 percent, essentially unchanged from his rating of 33 percent last month based on the poll’s margin of error of 3 percentage points.

I added the emphasis in both yesterday’s AP story and today’s Cassata story to show that both articles are refering to the same poll while reporting different numbers.

So what’s the correct number? Did AP get it wrong in their original release, or did Cassata get it wrong today? Cassata seems to be spinning the Assministration’s line in here piece, did she hedge on the Chimpster’s job approval number as well or did the original AP release confuse Chimpy’s approval on his handling (fumbling) of Iraq (33%) with his overall approval rating? is using the Cassata number, and I emailed their editor asking for a clarification.