The making of a poll bump — of sorts

Bush’s poll numbers are up — a bit:

(Investor’s Business Daily) Bush’s Approval Up On Zarqawi’s Death, But It May Not Last, via BuzzFlash

For one day at least, President Bush was more popular than he’s been all year.

The president’s lagging poll numbers got a swift boost from Thursday’s news that U.S. warplanes had killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted-terrorist in Iraq.

Polling done on Thursday for the IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index gave Bush a 44.2 rating, up from 39.1 in the prior days of June and 38.9 in May. The last time the Index reached this level was in December, when it hit 44.3.

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While Zarqawi’s death was a big victory for Bush, “much like the capture of Saddam, the bounce will be very temporary,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

So, why would people (or at least 5 percent of them) have such a positive (if temporary) reaction to the killing of one terrorist leader? Could it possibly be because our government has been engaged in a long campaign to deliberately exaggerate his importance?

(Washington Post) Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi, via BuzzFlash

The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The documents state that the U.S. campaign aims to turn Iraqis against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, by playing on their perceived dislike of foreigners. U.S. authorities claim some success with that effort, noting that some tribal Iraqi insurgents have attacked Zarqawi loyalists.

For the past two years, U.S. military leaders have been using Iraqi media and other outlets in Baghdad to publicize Zarqawi’s role in the insurgency. The documents explicitly list the “U.S. Home Audience” as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign.

Meanwhile in Iraq:

(AP) British troops battle Iraqi insurgents

Insurgents set a fire in a vegetable market to lure British soldiers into a gunbattle Sunday that left five civilians dead and more than a dozen hurt by the crossfire, Iraqi police said.

The fighting was part of a string of violent incidents Sunday amid a government stalemate and threats of continued violence from insurgents after the death of al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Enjoy your bounce, George, while it lasts.

3 Responses to “The making of a poll bump — of sorts”

  1. RJHall Says:

    You know what makes the ULTIMATE long-lasting poll bump? Being assassinated. After all, it worked for JFK, right? Heck, it even made Julius Caesar’s name the word for “great leader” in several languages for thousands of years!

    I have long been afraid that if Prexy got killed, by terrorists or something, he’d go down in the history books forever as a great president who was slain before his time by his enemies. Lately the following thought has occurred to me: what if Emperor Palpatine (Dick Cheney) decided, in the final days of 2008 or early days of 2009, to stage (or allow) a terrorist attack or assassination that led to Prexy’s untimely demise? Prexy’s name and reputation would get the ultimate poll bounce, and Palpatine would solemnly declare that in these tragic times he was unfortunately forced against his will to disregard the election and carry on in Prexy’s name until the war on these terrorists was won.

    I sure HOPE that nothing like that happens, but if only I could be sure….

  2. Again Says:

    (Washington Post) Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi, via BuzzFlash

    working propaganda means to control the paths of information - that’s why they IGNORE any kind of democracy in the rush for the control over the net: House Turns Deaf Ear To Net Neutrality

    “Despite the flurry of phone calls, emails, videos and pleas from a wide base of passionate pro-Net Neutrality constituents, representing hundreds of thousands of people from all political persuasions and hundreds of consumer groups, the House of Representatives crushed an amendment to safeguard an equal opportunity Internet….

    Think MoveOn and the Christian Coalition. Think the American Civil Liberties Union and the Gun Owners of America. Think Parents Television Council and the National Coalition Against Censorship. Add their support to the very founders of the medium as Vinton Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee stand beside unlikely cohorts Moby and Alyssa Milano….

    …the US House of Representatives ignored it by siding with telecommunications and cable duopolistic entities. The ears of a dinosaur are difficult to reach, but his carrion is easy enough to see - it leaves droplets of green behind it…

    Whether the issue is antitrust, freedom of speech, democracy, or the influence of PAC money in Congress, many feel that the House has no true understanding of Net Neutrality - which is gentler, a salve for audacious wounds, than thinking it does understand and ignored it anyway.” (emphasis mine)

    reminds me of Mussolini: “Fascism is the merger of state and corporate power”.

  3. Larkrise Says:

    CBS reports that Bush’s approval rating remains the same, at 33%. I looked at the AOL poll today (6/12/06) and the majority did not feel that Zarqawi’s death would make any difference. The majority continue to believe the War in Iraq is not worth the cost. AOL’s poll is not random, so it is not scientific. However, it is interesting to note that in the past, it has skewed to the right. Go to AOL Daily Pulse to see the numbers. It is getting more difficult to wear those rose-colored glasses.

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