May 3, 2009 7:20 pm


Gallup reports that 56% of the public believes that Obama is doing an excellent/good job. Gallup reported 62% approved of George W. Bush's job performance after the first 100 days. MSM tells us how popular Barack Obama is but the numbers tell a different story especially when used comparatively. Comparing the Gallup poll taken following the first 100 day of George W. Bush and Barack Obama is rather informative especially given the highly contentious nature of the 2000 election.

Here are the numbers for other presidents:

April approval ratings in first year in office

Bush now 62%
Clinton, 1993 55
Bush, 1989 58
Reagan, 1981 67
Carter, 1977 63
Nixon, 1969 61
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

Now justify these headlines:

Gallup: First-100-Days-Obama-Meets-Exceeds-Expectations. By the way, the wording of the question is most suspect as many (including me) expected him to do just as poorly as he is doing. But Gallup is going even further. It uses his daily tracking poll to cover up the results of the 100 day poll.

USAToday:Poll: Public thinks highly of Obama

Chicago Tribune: Obama riding high in polls

The CNN headline for W. at the time was: Poll shows praise for Bush in most cases

Here are some more of the W. numbers:

Has vision 74%
Can get things done 69
Tough enough 68
Honest and trustworthy 67
Strong leader 60
Cares about people 59%
Shares your values 58
Keeps his promises 57
Understands issues 56
Inspires confidence 55
Sampling error: +/-3% pts

The same discrepancy can be found in the celebration of Michelle popularity. 79% approve of her performance compared to 85% that approved of Laura Bush.

Ergo? Much of America is still willing to give Obama time to prove himself even if 80% admit that his economic policies will harm their children and grand children and the rest are concerned about his reckless spending.

Update: It seems that the argument surrounding this blog has centered on whether"Just OK" amounts to approval. I do not believe so especially since when given 5 possible answers, the middle one is usually treated as neutral.

Update: It has just come to my attention that Media matters accuses me and those quoting me of touting falsehood for pointing out that Obama did not poll as well after his first 100 days as previous presidents have and that Gallup covered it up by mixing the results of the 100 day snap shot poll with its daily tracking polls.

Media matters attacks me by pointing out that the Gallup comparison of its first 100 day tracking polls of various presidents which show that Obama's numbers are higher than previous presidents.

But that is mixing apples and oranges. The methodology used in daily tracking polls is different from the snap shot of a single poll. Hence, as I pointed out the comparison is bogus. It is like arguing that a combination of 100 day preelection tracking poll equals elections results. No one even dares argue that it is a good predictor of the outcome of an election.

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More Comments:

Jaded ByPolitics - 5/1/2009

In that Media Matters is a George Soro's funded entity I don't think you need take what they say seriously at all. Its one of those things where if you ignore it, it shall become irrelevent! The FACTS are the FACTS and no amount of liberal spin can change the FACTS!

Lauria L Halley - 4/29/2009

One would think a professor would be able to correctly read polls. Alas, one would be wrong in this instance. In her "update" the professor refuses to acknowledge that she used numbers from two totally different polls to arrive at her erroneous conclusion. Ah well, at least she got her "5 minutes" when the conservative media took her apples-to-oranges comparison for the gospel truth and used it to tout how "unpopular" our enormously popular president is. I suppose I should not expect integrity from one who prefaces her alleged "facts" by saying "the wording of the question is most suspect as many (including me) expected him to do just as poorly as he is doing." Wishful thinking, prof, wishful thinking. HNN - what a misnomer.

if f f - 4/26/2009

... but we're not that stupid. ;-)

The numbers you're comparing are from two different polls. On day 96, Obama's average daily approval is 63% the highest since Jimmy Carter and HIGHER than W's average.

Your 56% "excellent/good" poll is from a different poll which asked a different question:

Nice try though. ;)

Terry J - 4/25/2009

You are leaving out the percentage of people that think he's doing an "okay" job, which culminates to a 66% gallup rating, higher than that of most of his predecessors.

..But you probably know this.