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Monday, August 23, 2004

Has Bush Lost His Mojo?

According to the conventional wisdom (or at least Republican talking points), George Bush can win reelection in 2004 because of his leadership fighting the "war on terror." Most presidential elections turn on perceptions about the state of the economy, which is not good if you are the first president since Herbert Hoover to govern during a period of net job loss.

Luckily for the President, polls show that people are going to vote on foreign policy and national security questions, and they still think Bush is doing a good job -- despite the mounting evidence accumulated in this blog and elsewhere.

So, what should the Democrats do about the apparent public perceptions that Bush is a good leader for the "war on terror"?

Can they steal Bush's mojo?

Maybe the Dems should just wait patiently, as at least one source says the President's ratings may be about to slide.

I received a link to the following report in email from Media Tenor today:
President Bush's ratings on anti-terror policies are likely to decrease in the next weeks. A study by Media Tenor, a non-partisan, independent institute analyzing the presidential campaign coverage, shows the connection between TV network coverage of Bush's anti-terror policies and public approval ratings on his handling of terrorism.

While the media has turned more critical of Bush's anti-terror policies, the public, according to the latest Gallup poll, still highly approves of Bush's handling of terrorism. However, this public approval is not likely to persist. Media Tenor's study of media trends and their effect on public opinion has shown that the view of a situation or issue presented on TV usually impacts public opinion within the following two weeks. When TV ratings of Bush's handling of terrorism were high, public opinion followed approximately two weeks later. Likewise, media criticism of Bush's anti-terror policies has also affected public opinion.
The group, Media Tenor, describes itself as "the world's leading provider of international media content analysis and provides in-depth analysis of new and traditional media content worldwide." It has offices in NY, London, Bonn/Berlin, Monaco, Pretoria and Ostrava (CZ).

[Page down for the graphic and rest of this post, which is apparently too wide to fit the space]

Source: Gallup Report, August 9-11: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling terrorism?”

Basis: Total of 408 statements in ABC, NBC and CBS news 3/29 -8/12/2004

Media Tenor also has a page that monitors the media coverage of Bush and Kerry. From August 2-12, the group claims Kerry got slightly positive coverage, while Bush's was somewhat more negative. CBS was the most neutral toward the President, ABC the kindest to Kerry.

Anyone know more about this outfit? They seem to have some interesting material about Al Jazeera, Tony Blair and various demographic groups (age, race, etc.). It's all in the context of mass media coverage.

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