I needed some good news for the weekend. Sandy still has me nervous because of the initial perception of a caring Obama erasing the image of immature, whining Obama that
had started to take hold.
It seems to me the perception is more that the administration - and, by virtue of association, Obama - are competently handling matters (a subjective measure, I know, and the bar has been set rather low, including from Katrina); that, however, does not necessarily translate into overall approval of Obama sufficient to garner him more votes simply because of his performance in this emergency. How he handles himself in appearing to be a "leader" in this emergency has no real bearing on the amount of damage he's inflicted on the economy.
If there is a "bounce" of any sort showing up in the polls I would be more inclined to call it a false bounce as far as the actual election is concerned.
There are also issues of the survey sample being overly biased right now that I don't think have been discussed: (1) a large chunk of the population has been cut off from the pollsters, and (2) a lot of otherwise accessible people are simply not talking to pollsters because either (a) they're more worried about how people are doing and don't want to take the time to answer, or (b) they're off helping in whatever way they can - from coming to the rescue to collecting and sending supplies - and aren't reachable.
The first point would, in general, have the effect of skewing the sample toward the republicans because the affected states are deep in the democrat/prog plantation; however, because republicans/conservatives are more intent on getting their voices heard in those states - I know I am - it's possible that those republicans/conservatives in NY/NJ would have been more likely than their neighboring democrats/progs to answer a pollster's call. All things taken together, tho', I would imagine this issue has the effect of slightly skewing the poll sample to the republicans' favor.
The second point would, in general, have the effect of skewing the sample toward the democrats because of the known fact that republicans/conservatives are significantly more likely to actually care about their fellow citizens - to care about individuals rather than the abstract "People" that democrats/progs say they care about - and are significantly more likely to actually take the time and the money to go out and help people. This would have the effect of skewing the poll sample to the democrats' favor because (a) it would be a nationwide effect and (b) it would take more republicans/conservatives out of the poll sample than democrats/progs. I would imagine this issue has the effect of materially skewing the poll sample to the democrats' favor.
Overall, I would think that these two issues, together, would have the effect of skewing the poll sample in the democrats' favor and therefore causing an apparent "bounce" for Obama to appear in the most recent polls; a "bounce," however, that would not in fact indicate stronger support for Obama than before Sandy.