10/14/2005

Daily Kos: Terror Threats: MSNBCs Countdown Counts Thirteen Coincidences

Keith Olbermann has ..found at least 13 times when threats were linked to an effort to stymie Bush's popularity decline...

UPDATED: Terror Threats: MSNBCs Countdown Counts Thirteen Coincidences
by DelicateMonster [Subscribe]
Tue Oct 11, 2005 at 09:23:28 AM CDT

A friend of mine recently wrote and asked whether anyone I knew had published a correlation study on the timing of so-called terrorist threats and declines in Bush's public approval ratings? It was a great question.

Well, I was hunting about for an answer when lo and behold it looks like Keith Olbermann has taken on the same issue and found at least 13 times when threats were linked to an effort to stymie Bush's popularity decline...

On Thursday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann did his part to question the NYC subway threat. "Keith said that his staff found 13 circumstances when a brand new terror alert "just happened" to come at a time when there was trouble in the administration..

Republicans at least have good reasons for using this under handed tactic. There's also a study out that posits a positive correlation between 'terror threats' and Bush's popularity. (hat tip to Colton Ross for the link)

Those were the findings of a Cornell University sociologist last fall http://www.uiowa.edu/~grpproc/crisp/crisp10_1.pdf.

Ph.D. candidate Robb Willer tracked the 26 times that a government agency increased the threat level for terrorist activity in the United States between February 2001 and May 2004 and mapped those instances to Gallup polls showing Bush's approval ratings during those periods.

The study was published in the September 2004 issue of Current Research in Social Psychology.

"Results showed that terror warnings increased presidential approval ratings consistently," said Willer, who found that Bush's approval rating went up an average of almost three percentage points in the week following each terror warning.

Willer began his study after watching Bush's approval rating leap from 51 percent on September 10, 2001 to 86 percent five days later.

Daily Kos: UPDATED: Terror Threats: MSNBCs Countdown Counts Thirteen Coincidences

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