Presidential Approval

Was America “swept off its feet” with president Obama?

“For 30 months the nation has been in the grip of a certain Obama obsession, immune to countervailing facts, unwilling to face reality, and loath to break the spell. But like all trances, the fit is passing, and we the patient are beginning to appreciate how the stupor came upon us, why it lifted, and what its consequences have been.” National Review October 23rd, 2009

Of course… This could be analyzed in its various parts, but we’ll assume this is accurate.

National Review proceeded to name a few points as to why Obama was elected. That he was eloquent, young, African-American and that John McCain ran a weak campaign.

But are the American people having electors remorse?

And here’s another study, with a couple of other presidents:

Did you notice the amount of measurements we’ve done on Obama? We’ve done 90. I looks as though we have some sort of special interest…

But what is the reason for the recent fall in approval?

“At one time or another, Obama and his supporters have, rather scurrilously, insulted doctors, insurers, the police, tea-partiers and town-hallers, opponents of his health-care plan, non-compliant members of the media, and a host of other groups as either greedy, dishonest, treasonous, unpatriotic, moblike, racist, or in general worthy of disrespect.” National Review October 23rd, 2009

So that’s about it, when you don’t respect people, they don’t normally like you. All he has to do is just treat people like real-live people. It’s not that hard. Treat people with the respect they deserve.

Plus, now that he is president, many people are seeing the real Obamanomics and policies.




  1. Wow, 90 3rd quarter measurements for Obama compared to 10 3rd quarter measurements for Bush. That’s pretty wild.

    I’m not all that surprised by the numbers though. 😛

  2. That Girl · · Reply

    Interesting blogpost, but unfortunately the statistics you are using are so incredibly misleading, they even acknowledge it themselves.

    In your first example of Obama’s approval rating, you show an “approval rating index” (with a strong emphasis on index, meaning that the measurement they are using is a specific construct, probably for the purposes of showing more obvious trends than the raw data alone would show). And sure enough, the index is constructed taking only the tails of the distribution (in this case, the strongly approve/disapprove subjects) and subtracting the two to determine which tail of the distribution is heavier. It is really poor form to draw overarching statistical conclusions from the extremes of public opinion and you can definitely find more well-constructed sources that would better strengthen your argument.

    Your second chart isn’t much better – and you even point out why it’s no good to look at it. Obama has 90 observations to his name. That doesn’t mean that his numbers are necessarily wrong, but it definitely means that there is a huge chance that a large amount of statistical “noise” in the ratings of other presidents with so few observations (such as George HW Bush who has literally thirty times fewer measurements to his name). Additionally, extenuating factors independent of the man in the office are going to make these fluctuate – times of war, economic conditions, national disasters, unemployment, etc. Comparing third quarter averages between presidents tells us almost nothing since there are problems endogenous to the model here – does it mean that one president is worse than another if their third quarter lands in a time of high unemployment, recession, or natural disaster versus that of a president who presides when jobs are plentiful and the economy is doing well? Probably not.

    Please know that I’m not at all saying that Obama’s approval ratings aren’t suffering or any commentary about his job in general. I am just saying that you should consider using data that is higher in quality to bolster your arguments.

    1. That Girl,
      Thank you for your comment and consideration.
      First, you mentioned my index poll. You presented that it was “overreaching” to draw conclusions from extremes of opinions in the public. But most times the extremes will sway the undecided. When taking a poll you can’t exactly answer the question “no answer” or your answer won’t count. Often times taking information from the polarized sides can show you where the undecided will likely go.

      Second, you mentioned that 90 measurements can create “statistical ‘noise’”. While you presented no hint of evidence that this ever happens. While it may have some common sense, It can never be taken seriously until solid credible evidence is presented. 90 measurements simply shows that we have more special interest than before.
      Also, you said that taking polls during bad times doesn’t show real numbers that reflect approval, or might be unfair when compared to others during times when we are the land of milk and honey. I think that the opposite is true, during bad times is the perfect time to see how a president does under pressure. You can hardly say “wow our president is doing a great job” when America already had an amazing economy, etc.

      I appreciate your concern about my sources. Although, I quoted generally well accepted sources. Indeed, I quoted Rasmussen Reports and Gallup. If you have a better source, feel free to let me know and I will be glad take a look at them.

      Thanks again,

    2. Um… did I miss something, but since when was the Gallup Poll considered “terribly misleading”?

      Furthermore would you mind providing the link to where the Rasmussen Report alleges that indexes are poor measurements?

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