Tuesday, April 25, 2006

When red is actually purple

For the first time, The Birmingham News reports today, a major statewide poll has found that a majority of Alabama's registered voters think the Iraq war "is not worth it." More than half also would vote President Bush out of office if given the chance.

I place limited stock in the survey, because its respondents' partisan breakdown is 46 percent Democrats and 43 percent Republicans. As a reflection of the whole state, that just doesn't ring true to me, nor does the suggestion that only 4 percent of voters identify as independents. If future surveys from a variety of pollsters show that lots of independent voters have moved to the Democratic camp, that'd be a different story, but it's not a story to accept as gospel based on one poll.

Still, other recent polling has shown that Bush's popularity is in freefall even in a state where he won re-election with 64 percent of the vote in 2004. The April installment of SurveyUSA's 50-state tracking poll shows Bush's approval rating down to 45 percent in Alabama, with 51 percent disapproving of his performance. That number is down 6 points from the previous month, and it's one more indicator of the fallacy of the idea that most voters can be painted immutably red or blue.


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