December 29, 2005

Polling Confirms What I Already Know

A recent Rasmussen poll has 64% of respondents approving of wire-tapping people communicating with suspected terrorists. Again, the majority of Americans understand that it's not a coincidence that we haven't been attacked again. Surveillance operations like the one that the NY Times reported on not only make sense but are well within the President's Constitutional authorities.

The support is pretty broad even across party lines. Captain Ed observes:

While almost the entire Democratic Party leadership has accused Bush of high crimes and talked about impeachment, a majority of their own party approves of the NSA program (51%), even as it might be endangered thanks to the NYT's exposure of it. Fifty-seven percent of independents also approve of the program, and combined with the 81% of Republicans, Bush has a solid mandate to continue using all the tools at his disposal to protect the nation.
Of course, not everyone is interpreting these numbers the same way.

John in DC at AmericaBlog sees the glass as half-full for the anti-Bushites, calling the 64% "an abysmally low number for Bush":

"That number should have been in the 90 percentile and up, Americans who support the NSA eavesdropping on conversations with suspected terrorists. Yet it was only in the low 60s. Something's up.

And may I also add that the poll question has nothing to do with the current scandal. It says nothing about whether the administration should be able to break the law in doing such eavesdropping, nor whether the administration should be permitted to do such eavesdropping without having first obtained a court order. Again, each of those added facts would presumably lower the poll number considerably.

Again, that number should have been in the 90s. The fact that only 6 out of 10 Americans are willing to agree to such a broad question, to me, says that Bush is not on solid ground on this issue at all." [his emphasis]

Hookay. That's an interesting way to look at it. First of all, when you consider that about 25-30% of the population would disapprove of anything the President did or said, I don't see how you could get to 90%. The other factor, according to John's logic, is that the respondents weren't sufficiently led with such phrases as "breaking the law" and "without having first obtained a court order". He is assuming that the respondents aren't familiar enough with NSA story and the questions need to be phrased in that context. But one of the other findings of the poll was that 68% said they are following the NSA story somewhat or very closely.

Like the Fitz-mas present that wasn't, Liberals can frame these results however they like. However, it doesn't change the fact that more Americans are concerned with protecting the homeland and winning the Global War on Terror than trampling on the "civil liberties" of people that would very much like to kill as many of us as they can or those that would help them.

Unlike the teeming masses in the Left-wing fever swamp, the Democrat leadership is more likely to look at these numbers and rethink their current strategy. As Captain Ed says:

I think we can expect to see the end of this particular line of attack. Instead of weakening Bush, this demonstration of executive will to defend the nation has Bush's numbers rebounding faster than anyone could have guessed. By the time November 2006 rolls around, these Democratic attacks might make Bush the most popular president since FDR.
But then again, many high-profile Dems have already descended into the fever swamp themselves and they've demonstrated very little political wisdom in the last five years. Why should they start now?

Posted by: Gary at 09:50 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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