The North Carolina Democratic Party is harping on President Bush’s falling approval rating in North Carolina. The Elon Poll has his approval at 36%, while 61% disapprove. That’s all well and good in the political arena, but it may be a bit of fool’s gold.
The previous five approval rating polls in NC, all since the beginning of February, have Bush at no lower than 38% and the last two have him in the 40-41% range. See the tracking graph below; the last data point represents the Elon Poll.
So what’s the big deal? There’s not much difference between 36% and 41%. Well, in a close election five percent can mean the world.
As I’ve mentioned repeatedly the latest Elon Poll is of all citizens, not just registered or even likely voters. Here is an instance where that odd methodology may lead to an insight. If the Elon Poll really shows Bush with lower approval ratings among all citizens than among likely voters that means non-voters are even more disapproving of the President.
So among the people who really matter in elections (the voters), Bush’s approval might not be falling right now, but is more likely stagnant. It also means that if the Democratic Party can get more historical non-voters into the process they will create an even more anti-Bush electorate.