What Are 4 Points Worth?

Today's San Francisco Chronicle ran the front page, bottom-of-the-fold story, "Bad news not hurting Bush in polls."
It is hard to imagine a worse month of news for President Bush's re-election efforts than the past four weeks: 100 Americans killed in Iraq, chaos in Fallujah and wrenching public questions about the administration's pre-Sept. 11, 2001, intelligence failures.
Go on to read the story and you'll find that Bush's numbers against Kerry have gone up in the last month by 4 points, from 44% to 48% against Kerry's 48% to 43% decline.

What you'll miss unless you continue reading on page A4 is the real reason why Bush's numbers have gone up, albeit slightly.
Democrats were quick to point to Bush's $50 million advertising blitz, his domination of the news over the past several weeks and a natural post-primary cooling in support for Kerry as explanations for the president's continued strong standing in the polls. An analysis of cable news networks starting the day after California's March 2 primary through last week found that stations devoted 12 hours and 11 minutes to live coverage of Bush as compared with three hours and 47 minutes for Kerry.
$50 million for 4 points! Go ahead and spend your money, BushCo. You're still going to lose in November.