Poll: More Americans blame Bush for 9/11 screams the CNN headline. No doubt they rely on few people opening up the pdf file at link, which still only contains 2 questions out of what looks to be at least 27, or more. But an examination of even that tells us this is bogus news.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The percentage of Americans who blame the Bush administration for the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington has risen from almost a third to almost half over the past four years, a CNN poll released Monday found.
Asked whether they blame the Bush administration for the attacks, 45 percent said either a "great deal" or a "moderate amount," up from 32 percent in a June 2002 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.
But the Clinton administration did not get off lightly either. The latest poll, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for CNN, found that 41 percent of respondents blamed his administration a "great deal" or a "moderate amount" for the attacks. (Read the complete poll results -- PDF)
If you look at the results I've extracted below, you'll notice a few important items the article basically ignores. There has been no change at all since June of 2004. The percentages, 42 and 45 percent in 04 and 06 respectively, being within the polls margin of error. Five months after that result, Bush was elected to a second term. I suppose if this were a Presidential Election year, they'd be predicting a Bush third term.
Also, if you take into account the polls margin of error (3%) and the fact that they used a partial sample in 2001 (MOE 4.5%) and, for some reason, have no results for Clinton in 2002 ... the fact is, there is no significant difference between the numbers for Bush and Clinton, except for right after 9/11, when Clinton stood at 45% to 40% for Bush.
Now, look at the top three categories, which would mean any blame at all. Clinton polls 62%, Bush 64% in a poll with a 3.5% margin of error = no significant difference.
Also note the timing of the release. These polls are often released within a day or three, at most. This poll was conducted from August 30 through September 2, prior to Bush's recent speeches on terrorism and well before Sept. 11th - the day they decide to run the headline.
Lastly, look at the results for Clinton in 2001, taken just 3-4 days after the attack. That would be 45% when the reaction to events would be least subject to outside variables interfering in how some would respond. You know, like dissatisfaction over a war. This story is a crock and a blatant hit job by a now third rate media outlet that blew the biggest lead in cable television ratings there ever was. Too bad they haven't done a poll on that.
AUGUST 30-SEPT. 2
The Bush Administration The Clinton Administration
A great deal 23% 19%
Moderate amount 22% 22%
Only a little 19% 21%
Not at all 35% 36%
No opinion 1% 1%
CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP TRENDS
The Bush administration
A great deal Moderate amount Only a little Not at all No opinion
2004 17 25 23 34 1
2002 9 23 26 40 2
2001* 9 25 20 44 2
The Clinton Administration
2004 13 27 24 34 2
2001* 16 29 18 34 3
2004 Jun 21-23
2002 Jun 7-8
2001 Sep 14-15*
The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points and for results based on half-samples is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.