Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, March 03, 2006

Bruttal LAT Dubai Poll Not Flawed

Really bad numbers often reflect really bad polls, but that does not appear to be the case in a new LATimes/Bloomberg poll that shows the public overwhelmingly disapproves of the Dubai Ports deal -- that's "overwhelmingly" as in about 3-to-1 in opposition.

LAT links to its topline poll summary, as any good newspaper should (many don't). Here's the question in question:
Now turning your attention to an issue in the news. As you may know, a Dubai state owned company in the United Arab Emirates has made a deal to buy a British company that supervises port shipping operations in some major cities in the U.S. Opponents of the deal say that the September 11 hijackers used Dubai as a transit point, and they say the security of the US ports could be weakened if a Dubai company was in charge of operations there. Supporters of the deal point out that the United States Coast Guard and Customs would continue to handle port security and that Dubai is a strong ally in the US war on terror. How about you? Do you support or oppose allowing the Dubai-based company to oversee shipping operations at US ports, or haven't you heard enough about that yet to say?
That's a pretty straightforward and balanced question, and it's asked right out of the Dubai chute. It's only set up with Bush performance and Iraq war questions, not War on Terror or Arab/Islam questions.

The result: Support 17, oppose 58, of which 47 is "strongly oppose." Only 8 percent strongly support. Republicans are 29/59 opposed, with only 17 strongly supporting.

The poll may reflect a lack of trust in the Coast Guard and Customs, and an awareness of how deficient current port security is. It may also reflect understandable and even legitimate concerns about increased opportunity for terror attack. It certainly reflects badly on how Bush handled this deal.

I've heard some news on the deal that's moved me from the strongly opposed to the not quite as strongly opposed column, but this deal is still a stinker in the public's eyes.

And, unfortunately, Bush's poor judgment on this is dragging down public opinon on the overall Iraq war/global war on terror effort.

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