After the GOP victory in the November 2010 elections, with a net pickup of 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats, the Obama Administration has been attempting to cultivate a moderate, centrist image to regain its footing with the American public. President Obama’s deal with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts, which would have expired on January 1, 2011, and his personnel shakeups in the White House worked to improve Obama’s standing with the public to above the critical 50% level by the end of January 2011.
However, in the past week, President Obama has now returned to the approximate level of public approval prior to the November elections, with about 45% of the public approving of his performance. The two main daily pollsters, Rasmussen Reports and Gallup, demonstrate this recent decline in approval, with Gallup measuring 45% approval/47% disapproval and Rasmussen showing 46% approval/53% disapproval. The mainstream media has yet to report upon this end to Obama’s polling resurgence, despite the lavish attention paid to the rise in ratings. Rasmussen reported on this recent slide today in its report:
The president’s Approval Index ratings have fallen nine points since Monday as the crisis in Egypt unfolds. Most of the decline comes from a fall in the number who Strongly Approve of the president’s performance (30% on Monday, 23% now). However, for the first time since mid-December, the number who Strongly Disapprove has moved back over the 40% mark for five straight days. The Strongly Disapprove total had been above 40% for most of 2010 but fell to the high-30s after the president and Senate Republicans reached a deal to extend the Bush Administration tax cuts.
The major issue commanding media coverage in the past week or so has been the ongoing protests in Egypt against President Mubarak’s regime. The inconsistent and highly publicized statements of the Administration about the crisis, from Vice President Biden asserting that Mubarak was not a dictator and shouldn’t resign to Obama’s recent demands that Mubarak “immediately” begin a transition to a new government, may have unsettled some Americans who were moving in Obama’s direction in response to his post-election centrist manoeuvrings. Unfortunately for President Obama, it appears that his Administration’s handling of the crisis may have again soured the middle 10% of the country on his leadership.
Total Respondents 1059 1059
Total Republicans 272 [25.7%] 235 [-37, now 22.2%]
Total Democrats 355 [33.5%] 396 [+41, now 37.4%]
Total Independents 432 [40.8%] 428 [-4, now 40.4%]
Incredibly, and in what must be the intentional placing of a thumb on the scales to avoid a shocking embarrassment of its favored President and Democratic Party, CBS News took its unweighted polling sample that had an 8% partisan ID edge for Democrats (which is a realistic finding compared to other polling, see below) and then “weighted” their data to show a completely fraudulent and unrealistic 15% partisan ID edge for Democratic voters over Republican ones – adding 7.4% to the partisan ID edge for Democratic voters. Keep in mind that President Obama, at a time of record turnout for the Democratic base, a depressed GOP base and with independents breaking Obama’s way by double digits, won the 2008 election by only 7%. Yet CBS is claiming tonight that the Democrats own a full 15.2% partisan ID edge over the Republicans amongst the American people, despite the indisputable slide in Obama’s popularity, as well as that of his party, since that historic election night.
No one in the polling community, other than CBS News, deigns to claim that this 15.2% partisan edge anything other than fantasy – even senior Democratic strategist James Carville’s left wing Democracy Corps polling shows only a 7% partisan ID edge for Democratic voters [38%-31%], while NBC/WSJ shows 9% partisan ID edge for Democratic voters [32%-23%] and Fox News’s polling shows just a 3% partisan ID edge for Democratic voters [40%-37%]. Based on those three, well-respected pollsters, CBS News’s unweighted data showing a 7.8% partisan ID edge for Democratic voters [33.5%-25.7%] appears to be a reasonable sample of the actual electorate in America. For reasons known only to CBS News, they then decided to take that representative sample of the electorate and stand it on its head by essentially padding all the numbers in their polling by 7.4% in favor of President Obama and the Democratic Party by creating a fantasy-land 15.2% partisan ID edge for Democrats.
By doing this, CBS News was able to make the ridiculous claim that President Obama’s approval on the specific issue of health care is rising now:
Overall, Americans are critical of the President’s handling of health care, but his approval rating on this issue has risen in the last month. Now, 41% approve, up from 35% in February; but still more, 51%, disapprove. More people have disapproved than approved of the President’s handling of health care since November.
As shown above, CBS News claims that President Obama’s approval on health care policy has “risen” by 6% from 35% to 41% – yet their manipulation of the polling data via “weighting” actually shifted the numbers by 7.4% in President Obama’s favor, more than the alleged rise in President Obama’s health care approval. Regarding Obama’s overall approval, CBS News again claims that Obama is “up” from last month:
Americans’ rating of the overall job President Obama is up slightly from last month: 49% now approve, compared to 46% last month. President Obama’s approval rating has hovered at or slightly below 50% since December.
The 3% rise in Obama’s overall approval crowed about by CBS News, from 46% last month to 49% now, is also fully eviscerated by the intentional manipulation of the polling data engaged in by CBS News by “weighting” the partisan ID advantage to increase the Democratic advantage by 7.4%, from the unweighted 7.8% to the weighted 15.2%. Taking the unweighted data, President Obama actually lost a few points in approval this month, continuing his downward trend into the low to mid 40% range. By adding 7.4% to the partisan ID edge for Democrats, CBS News was able to obfuscate this continuing decline and actually claim that Obama’s approval was on the way “up”.
On the issue of health care reform, even with the manipulation of its data, CBS News reported that Americans oppose Obamacare by an 11 point margin, 37%-48%:
As the health care bill headed to its Sunday night vote in the House of Representatives, nearly half of Americans said they disapproved of it, while 37% approved. Among those opposed to the bill, a third strongly disapproved.
Of course, the results would look much worse if it were not for the addition of 7.4% to the Democratic partisan ID edge by CBS News’s disgraceful manipulation of its own polling data.
One possible explanation for this disgraceful behavior by the allegedly neutral CBS News is the access being provided to CBS News, and specifically to CBS anchor Katie Couric, by the leaders of the Democratic Party. Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, gave an exclusive interview to Couric over the weekend – a much sought-after interview that certainly helped CBS’s ratings. Trading access to prominent Democrats for intentional manipulation of polling data, as appears to be the case here, is serious journalistic malpractice and all objective, independent observers of American politics must immediately condemn CBS’s behavior.
One could possibly expect an avowed partisan like James Carville to engage in such misrepresentations of polling data, however, it is the allegedly neutral CBS News who has disgraced itself with its undeniable, and unforgivable, manipulation of its polling data. CBS News is trusted by millions of Americans to be an objective, neutral source for both the news of the day and polling data, and this disgraceful manipulation of its polling data, in exchange for exclusive access to Democratic leaders, surely undercuts any confidence Americans may have that CBS News is actually an objective source of information. The fact that the duty to expose CBS’s journalistic malpractice falls to a tiny centrist blog like this one is a sad commentary on the state of the American media today. Centrist and independent Americans can only hope that the rest of the establishment media investigates this undeniable manipulation of polling data by CBS News to determine if CBS did indeed rig its poll for access to White House officials.
UPDATE: CNN’s release of polling, over the same period as the CBS News sample, showing President Obama at 46%/51% approval conclusively proves that CBS News is guilty of intentional manipulation of its polling data to distort the actual preferences of the American electorate at this time. Such behavior by CBS News calls into question its status as a news organization at all. CNN’s polling:
For the first time, a CNN poll has found that a majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s job performance.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday, 51 percent of respondents disapprove of Obama’s job performance and 46 percent approve of it…
Obama’s approval rating has dropped steadily each month since December, when it was 54 percent. His highest approval rating in a CNN poll was 76 percent in February 2009 shortly after he took office.
President Barack Obama continues to endure a steady slide in his approval rating amongst all American adults as Gallup revealed yesterday that, for the first time in his young Presidency, more Americans disapprove of Obama’s job performance (47%) than approve (46%). Gallup, of course, has been a left-leaning pollster for many years now and, despite President Obama reaching this historical milestone of more disapproval than approval amongst all Americans, Gallup has not issued any form of article or press release regarding their own data. The chart from Gallup to the left shows the slow but steady deterioration of Obama’s approval and building disapproval since Inauguration Day.
Further, well-respected Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling (“PPP”) also now shows Obama underwater with the American people for the first time, at 47% approval and 48% disapproval amongst American registered voters. PPP’s director Tom Jensen, who it should be noted was one of the few pollsters to accurately predict Republican Scott Brown’s victory in January 2010, discussed his polling and the first net negative showing for Obama in the Gallup measure, pointing out that Obama is now losing core supporters who delivered him the Presidency:
Barack Obama dropped into negative territory in Gallup for the first time today, and I can tell you one big reason why from our polling.
Since the calendar turned to 2010 there has been a noticeable drop in Obama’s approval among people who say they voted for him in 2008. Our monthly surveys from August to December found him at anywhere from 89 to 93% approval with his original voters. Our January to March polls have shown that number down in the 83 to 85% range.
Most of Obama’s approval drop over the course of 2009 was the result of people who voted for John McCain but initially wanted to give Obama a chance shifting from approval to disapproval of him over the course of his first year. That was really no big deal for Obama and a perfectly normal thing to happen to any President once the honeymoon is over. But this drop in support he’s seeing now from his core supporters is a more troubling sign and something he’s going to need to overcome.
A final troubling trend for President Obama, who has prioritized the environment during his Administration so far with his push for “climate change” legislation, is the historical decline in Americans who prioritize environmental protection over economic growth as “for only the second time in more than two decades and the second straight year, Americans are more likely to say economic growth should take precedence over environmental protection when the two objectives conflict (53%) than to say the reverse (38%).”
Taken together, the Obama Administration’s focus on the unpopular comprehensive health care bill and the environmental measures such as cap and trade appear to be causing Obama to now lose core supporters who put him the White House in 2008. Indeed, it appears to us that the President’s overall job approval is moving down, while the support for Obamacare is moving up slightly, and the two numbers may be destined to meet somewhere in the low 40% range. As the tension builds over the Obama plan to use procedural trickery in the House (“Slaughter Solution”) and the Senate (reconciliation) to pass Obamacare, the continued move of former core Obama supporters away from the President may have an impact on the all-important vote just days from now.
PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama’s job approval is the worst of his presidency to date, with 46% of Americans approving and 48% disapproving of the job he is doing as president in the latest Gallup Daily three-day average.
Obama’s approval rating has hovered around 50% since November, but in the last two days has declined to the point that slightly more Americans now disapprove than approve of his performance in office.
The new low ratings come during a week in which the White House and Democratic congressional leaders are working to convince wavering House Democrats to support healthcare reform, which they hope to pass using a series of parliamentary maneuvers in the House of Representatives and Senate.
Gallup is out with a new poll today regarding the upcoming 2010 midterm elections of about 1500 registered voters over the first week of March 2010. The most significant finding from the polling is that the Republican-supporting voters are substantially more enthusiastic than Democrat-supporting voters, with a full 18 point gap between the parties amongst those “very enthusiastic” about voting in 2010. The Gallup release, of course, buries the lede by trumpeting in its headline and throughout its release that the Democrats hold a slim 47% to 44% lead amongst all registered voters, while failing to even release its views on the likely voter turnout split. Gallup’s release:
PRINCETON, NJ — Democrats lead Republicans by a slight 47% to 44% margin when registered voters are asked which party’s congressional candidate they would support in their district “if the elections for Congress were being held today.”At the same time, Gallup’s inaugural weekly tracking update on the 2010 elections shows Republicans with a distinct advantage over Democrats in terms of enthusiasm about voting this year.
While Gallup alludes in its opening paragraph to significant GOP strength in likely voters, nowhere in its release does Gallup actually state its findings on the margin between the parties amongst likely voters. Other pollsters have released numbers regarding the 2010 preferences of likely voters and have found a small but consistent GOP lead: Rasmussen Reports (GOP +8, 44/36) , James Carville’s Democracy Corps (GOP +3, 47/44), Democratic pollster PPP (GOP +3, 43/30), GOP pollster McLaughlin Group (GOP +7, 47/40) are examples. Gallup breaks out its “enthusiasm” numbers in detail instead:
Gallup’s reported enthusiasm gap, eighteen points amongst those “very enthusiastic” to vote in November 2010 and fourteen points amongst all those either “very” or “somewhat” enthusiastic about voting, almost certainly translates into a lead of at least a few points for the GOP amongst “likely” voters instead of the broader registered voters metric. As noted above, other pollsters, even those from the left, back up those conclusions about likely voters.
Another final warning sign for Democrats regarding turnout in the Gallup report relates to young voters – who apparently are not too enthusiastic about voting in November 2010. Gallup dryly notes that the “apparent lack of motivation to vote — if it continues until Election Day — could deprive Democrats of the full benefit they could in theory derive if all 18- to 29-year-olds were to vote.” Well, of course the Democrats would benefit if all young voters were to turn out in November 2010 – Gallup’s restatement of this fact is another example of Gallup’s attempt to spin the very negative data produced by their polling. Indeed, if all over 65 voters “were to vote”, the Republican Party would gain a significant benefit because older voters are trending GOP, especially now as a strong majority of older voters oppose the Democratic comprehensive health care reform plans.
To summarize, Gallup findings, as buttressed by James Carville’s Democracy Corps polling, Democratic pollster PPP’s polling, GOP pollster McLaughlin Group’s polling, and Rasmussen Report’s polling, clearly indicate that the GOP is in a strong position to make significant gains in the November 2010 elections because Republican-leaning voters are much more likely to vote than Democrat-leaning voters. As the health care reform endgame plays out this week and next in Washington, this batch of polling data will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion for politicians of all stripes as decision time on their individual votes draws near.
UPDATE: While the establishment media has had little to say about the results of this Gallup survey and the supporting data from other pollsters, left wing bloggers are todaysounding the alarm about the paucity of Democratic enthusiasm to vote in November 2010. Of course, the left wing spin on these numbers is that the Democrats must ram through the unpopular comprehensive health care reform bill to remedy the problem:
Only twenty four percent of Dems and Dem leaners — that would be less than one fourth — are “very enthusiastic” about voting in 2010. And a startlingly high 44%, nearly half, are “not enthusiastic.”
Meanwhile, 42% of Republican voters are very enthusiastic, versus only 30% who are not enthusiastic. Those are more or less mirror images of each other. Indeed, the percentage of Dems who are not enthusiastic is almost exactly the same as the percentage of Republicans who are very enthusiastic!
One other clear measure of how much the bloom is off the Obama rose: Only 20% of voters 18-29 are very enthusiastic.
Dems might want to think about giving their base voters something to get enthusiastic about. Maybe a health care reform signing ceremony in the Rose Garden, perhaps? It’s hard to picture these enthusiasm numbers getting worse for Dems, but imagine if reform failed!
James Carville, senior Democratic pollster and strategist, released a new poll today from his Democracy Corp polling outfit with results generally in line with other pollsters, showing Obama’s approval at 49% while finding a 3 point edge for the GOP in the 2010 elections amongst likely voters. However, one finding stands out: Over half of all Americans believe that America is less respected by the world than two years ago in 2008.
The Democratic polling firm’s release states that “a 51 to 41 percent majority says the U.S. is less respected in the world than two years ago. This is surprising, given the global acclaim – and Nobel peace prize – that flowed to the new president after he took office.” This finding is particularly newsworthy because of the massive focus of the Obama Administration in their first 14 months on improving the image of the United States on the world stage. The Washington Times reports:
A majority of Americans say the United States is less respected in the world than it was two years ago and think President Obama and other Democrats fall short of Republicans on the issue of national security, a new poll finds.
The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — Americans think the standing of the U.S. dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama’s presidency.
While ratings for the president may be softening, his party is facing an even more troubling trend. When the questions move beyond the president to Democrats generally, we see that the public once again has real and rising doubts about the Democrats’ handling of national security issues, as compared to their faith in Republicans. This security gap, which has roots stretching back to Vietnam, was as wide as 29 points earlier in the decade. The deficit began to close in 2006, with the Bush administration’s catastrophic mismanagement of Iraq and other national security challenges. As public hopes about the Obama presidency rose and peaked, the gap all but vanished. Last May, Democracy Corps found Democrats essentially tied with Republicans (41 to 43 percent) on the question of which party would do a better job on national security.
But now the gap shows signs of re-opening, with Democrats trailing by 17 points, 33 to 50 percent on which party likely voters think would do the better job on national security. The erosion since May is especially strong among women, and among independents, who now favor Republicans on this question by a 56 to 20 percent margin.
It appears the so-called “security gap” is reasserting itself, as the public now prefers GOP handling of national security issues by a 17 point margin, 50%/33%, with independents going GOP by a whopping 36 point margin. While Obama’s personal ratings on national security are hovering around 50%, as noted by Democracy Corps, this new security gap may be a sign of trouble for Democrats leading into the 2010 election season. The security gap, combined with the 51% of Americans who feel America is less respected now than in 2008, could be seen as polling evidence that the “Miss Me Yet” movement regarding George W. Bush has significant backing in security matters.
UPDATE: Hotair notes that Obama is also losing the public on the interrogation and prosecution policies regarding terrorists debate:
Fifty-seven percent of likely voters approve of Obama’s handling of national security—ten points higher than his general 47 percent approval rating, according to a new Democracy Corps/GQR/Third Way poll out Monday.
Where Obama loses: interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects, where a 51-44 percent majority disapproves. Republicans have hammered the administration for its decision to read the alleged Christmas Day bomber his Miranda rights, and the poll results show the message is sticking…