THE WHITE HOUSE: Those Puzzling Public Polls

Gerald Ford, father and husband, received four turtleneck sweaters of various hues for Christmas last week as he vacationed with his family at the posh ski resort in Vail, Colo. Gerald Ford, President and politician, received an even more warming present: the latest Gallup poll, released just before Christmas, showed that 46% of those surveyed approve of the way he is doing his job—a sizable spurt of 5% in two weeks.

Ford had a particular reason to be heartened by Gallup's findings. Early last month, Gallup showed Ronald Reagan moving up fast as...

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