November 28, 2006

"Americans know who he is, and have pretty much decided they don't like him."

John Kerry finishes last in a likability poll. Possibly a botched poll.

(Via Memeorandum.)

12 comments:

Simon said...

Typical Reuters bias. They may admit that he finished dead last out of 20, but they didn't mention that Richard Nixon came in at 19, The Noid at 18 and a swift kick in the shins at 17. They have to spin it somehow...

hdhouse said...

aren't polls helpful! so i take it you were to rank order the choices...hmmm i wonder who finished 21st....was tom cruise in the poll?

tjl said...

Even Newt Gingrich, not exactly Mr. Charm, finished well above Kerry in the poll. Apparently just Being John Kerry has a more toxic effect on the public than announcing at your wife's deathbed that you're divorcing her for a younger woman.

SteveR said...

People liked him before they didn't like him

the pooka said...

Why "botched"? Seems fine to me...

If you look over the thermometer results, a pattern emerges. Being a well-known likely future prez candidate (generally) beats being a lesser-known, which in turn beats being a well-known former candidate. (The big exception is Bill Clinton, not surprisingly).

On the other hand, most feeling thermometers have a lot of variability in their responses, which makes it likely that all 20 of the ratings are within the margin of error of the others.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with this poll. Therefore it is not botched.

ignacio said...

"botched poll" as in "botched joke" is I think Althouse's rather witty light touch.

Kirk Parker said...

No, it's clearly botched. Any genuine poll would have had Kerry far lower than last.

JorgXMcKie said...

How good feeling thermometers are depends on the type of question asked. When people are aware of the subject of the question (be it a person or a policy) but don't know much about it and are unwilling to say they don't know enough (which is pretty common) they have a tendency to give it a lukewarm response of 50.

So, in this case, regardless of the margin of error {where did you see that reported?](or were you thinking of the standard error of the mean for each question, which is another matter?), what would appear to be important is the distance of the rating from 50 given the percentage who felt they knew enough to give a rating.

Thus, those above 55 are pretty well-liked for sure and those below 45 are pretty well dis-liked for sure and those between 45 and 55 are really within the margin of error when a fairly large percentage of the respondents give a rating.

So, despite their likability quotients, neither Bush nor Bill Clinton can run for president again, so why should they worry. Kerry should worry, as should Al Gore. Both below 45 and evidently are well enough known to large percentages of the respondents. Bill Richardson, for instance, gets rated by only 1/3 respondents. His rating is probably skewed severely by those claiming to know him well enough and giving him a 50.

Also, I'd like to see the range, variation, skew, kurtosis, etc on the individual thermometers, although at 95% responding and a 39, Kerry is obviously in trouble.

Theo Boehm said...

My wife, who, in the course of 18 years of marriage, has almost never said anything bad about anyone, called John Kerry, "the most loathsome human being I've ever met." She's a liberal Catholic with an advanced degree in international relations, who happened to encounter John Kerry at the Fletcher School upon a time. Meeting him and hearing him speak in person made her a confirmed Bush voter when the opportunity came. I was shocked. She's politically to the left of me, and I wouldn't vote for George Bush. (I hasten to add I don't hate Bush; I just disagree with him. That seems to disqualify me for membership in the Democratic Party.) I also wouldn't vote for John Kerry, so the top of my ballot was unpolluted by either of these twerps.

My wife was spoiled by meeting and spending some time with Paul Tsongas, who was the Senator and Presidential candidate we should have had. May he rest in peace.

knoxgirl said...

Sorry, haters, God's not finished with him yet!

Robert said...

I have no difficulty believing this poll. I found Kerry even less likeable than I found Bush, and that's saying a lot.

I still voted for Kerry, but only because the alternative was even worse (IMNSHO). Didn't mean I _liked_ him - in fact, I pointed out to all and sundry at the time that his candidacy was proof that the process whereby political parties select candidates is critically flawed.