Monday, September 19, 2005

Democrats: By the Polls

I love Polling Report. If you want to see what’s what on a topic in an opinion poll, you can’t do better than visit Polling Report, who present side-by-side polls to show the consensus without a word of their own preference.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Democrats, and I have to admit, if these guys had been steering the Titanic, they’d have aimed for the iceberg, but anyway. I thought it might be interesting to see what people think of the party that used to bring us men like Truman and John Kennedy, and now has to settle for Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy. Here's what the numbers say:

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll says that 47% of Americans viewed the Democratic Party as “Very Positive” or “Somewhat Positive” in January 1997. That rose to 50% in January 2000, but was down again to 46% just after the 2000 election. April 2003 saw the Democrats drop to 36%, and in September 2005 the Democrats are at 37%.

Then there’s the CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. In October 1997, the Democrats held a 54% “Favorable Rating”, and in July 2005 own a 52% rating (no newer data). But the Democrats, who reached 61% approval in January 2000, have also been as low as 46%, that mark in February 2005. Before the midterm elections the Democrats were generally above 50% in the this poll, after 2002 generally below it.

The ABC News/Washington Post Poll has a shorter timeline, starting in December 2000 at 64% Approval, but dropping down to 51% in June 2005, their lowest rating since ABC started tracking.

The CBS News/New York Times Poll showed the Democrats at 51% Favorable in June 1999, rising as high as 58% in January 2002, and dropping as low as 46% in May 2003. Their July 2005 number sat at 54%.

And finally, the Pew Research Center showed the Democrats at 60% “Very Favorable” or “Mostly Favorable”, as high as 61% in June 1997, falling as low as 52% in August 1997. Their last reading was 54% in December 2002, no data after that.

Note that only the NBC/WSJ Poll has asked about people’s opinion of Democrats since July.

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