Howard Approval

Much is being written these days about Howard’s recent high approval ratings. But what I find most interesting is not that the level is high — but rather that the volatility is markedly lower in recent years. According to Newspoll, in his first 5 years, Howard fluctuated from a low of 28% to a high of  67%. But in the past 3 years, his ratings have only varied between 46% and 65%. The real story about Howard isn’t just that he’s more popular — it’s that he isn’t making mistakes like he used to.Howardapproval

To the left is a graph of Howard’s approval ratings, or for an Excel version, click here.

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3 Responses to Howard Approval

  1. Steve Edney says:

    The graph pretty clearly divides in to a pre and post tampa/ 9-11 regions. – The two regions you describe. There seems to be a segment of the population who have stuck with him solidly since then.

    Of course most of that period post the 2001 election has been marked by Crean’s and then Lathams Leadership. Crean I can only think is a factor in Howard making less mistakes.

  2. Giles says:

    You’d expect that the longer he is in office, the better voters know him and so the less volatile their assessment of him will be. So this graph is perhaps not that surprising.

  3. Andrew Leigh says:

    Giles, you should try downloading my Excel file, and then changing the graph so it goes back to 1985, when the poll started. Hawke’s ratings don’t become noticeably less volatile over time, but Keating’s do (big swings in 1993, very stable in 1994-95). So there’s at least partial support for the “voters get to know ‘im” thesis.

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