David Kirkpatrick

March 13, 2009

Obama’s popularity numbers

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:38 pm

Nate Silver at 538 takes on an od-ed from the Wall Street Journal today. Looks like the WSJ conclusion isn’t borne out by the actual numbers.

From the link:

This is the first paragraph of a commentary by Doug Schoen and Scott Rasmussen in today’s Wall Street Journal:

It is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on President Barack Obama’s high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration. Indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true. The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced.

Scott is an extremely fair-minded guy and someone whom we have partnered with in the past. I don’t know Doug Schoen, other than that he’s Mark Penn’s business partner. In any event, I think their lede is just wrong. Barack Obama’s Gallup approval ratings, as of this afternoon, are 62 percent approve and 27 percent disapprove. Those are pretty good scores. The average of all Gallup approval ratings taken for all Presidents, going all the way back to 1937, is 54.9 percent approve and 35.2 percent disapprove; Obama is about 8 points ahead of those numbers on either side. He is notably more popular than an American president usually is, and it would therefore stand to reason that he has proportionately more power than average to advance his agenda. It is not wrong for commentators to notate this fact.

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