Selective quoting

i-94b2a1d32ea6eb324e12393b04ab14e1-_reports_images_313-3.jpgStay Red Kansas – formerly the proprietors of Fire Kansas Democrats – is excited. A recent Pew Poll showed, in SRK's words:

over 40% of the public believe that the situation is going 'very well.'

According to Pew, however:

Four-in-ten Americans say that the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going very or fairly well, up 10 points from February, when positive perceptions reached an all-time low.

That's right, the "very" that SRK quoted should actually read "very or fairly," which is why the graphic SRK borrows from Pew is titled "Situation in Iraq is going well," not "very well." That would be inaccurate, since only 10% of the public think things are going "very well." It's also interesting that SRK presents a graphic showing three months' data, not the one reproduced here with results from the entire history of the war. That context tells a different story than SRK wants you to know.

But it's OK, because "Stay Red is never one to get caught up in polling statistics." Nonetheless, they feel obliged to observe that:

Lately, the American public has trended in a more pro-Iraq manner than anytime in recent memory.

We must conclude that SRK needs some of Pat Roberts's memory pills, because support for our war in Iraq was higher as recently as early September, when 47% of the public thought things were going well (it was 37% in early October, a statistical tie with the current measure).

SRK attributes this unprecedented-in-the-memory-of-small-dogs-and-brain-damaged-children popularity to one powerful force:

the underhanded dealings of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As though her withdrawal timetable wasn't bad enough…

Hang on, that really can't be it. After all, 52% of the people in the same poll SRK is talking about support bringing troops home "as soon as possible," 55% support setting a timetable, 63% think the escalation is making things worse or no better. Four in ten polled think Congress is not doing enough "in challenging George W. Bush's policies," and 59% want their member of Congress to back the Iraq supplemental that Pelosi proposed, "a bill that calls for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq to be completed by August, 2008." Not only is support for withdrawing troops growing, support for an immediate withdrawal is growing faster than support for a gradual withdrawal. If her plan to extract troops is unpopular with the public, it's only because it's too gradual!

I'm guessing his strong opposition to Congress's agenda is why President Bush's approval ratings in Kansas are near their historic lows (currently 37%, lowest ever was 35%), and disapproval is one point below its historic maximum of 61%. Her strong stance on Iraq is probably also why Pelosi's approval ratings are higher than Hastert's ever were (Pelosi: 37% in USA Today/Gallup, Hastert's maximum was 32% between 2/1999 and 10/2006, he left power with 27% approval).

But Stay Red Kansas will hold his breath until he turns blue before telling you that.

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"Lately, the American public has trended in a more pro-Iraq manner than anytime in recent memory." for our war in Iraq was higher as recently as early September, when 47% of the public thought things were going well

Maybe when they say "has trended", they mean that support for the war is increasing at a faster rate than anytime in recent memory. But even that doesn't sound right, because I think I see kinda sharper slopes on the graph around that September peak you mention...

Incidentally, why has support for the war been increasing since February? What exactly set that off?