Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Or not.

As we wade through the puddles of today's Tea Parties, I was curious where President Obama stood with his approval numbers. Per Rasmussen, the pollster considered the most accurate of the 2008 election, Obama's approval rating stands at 55%. This seemed a bit low to me since the President should be experiencing a bit of a Pirate Bump by now.

So I wondered where Bush stood at the same time in his Presidency, mid-April of 2001. Since Rasmussen wasn't available, it seems fair from a statistical perspective to use an average of four major polls to determine Bush's approval rating at the time. That's when the surprise came in...

ABC News/Washington Post Poll

4/19-22/01 - 64%

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll
4/18-19/01 - 63%

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll
4/21-23/01 - 56%

USA Today/Gallup Poll
4/20-22/01 - 62%

An average approval rating of 61.25%. Six points higher than Obama.

All despite being only a few short months out of one of the most divisive elections in American history.

Go figure.

h/t: Duke Buck


  1. How does it seem fair to take the one poll that has his approval at the lowest of all available polls and then compare it to four other polls with different statistical models? I would dear say you are being rather intellectually dishonest.

    Using the same website, you can take the four most recently posted polls and it would show an average approval for Obama at 64% -- higher that your almighty Bush.

    This despite the fact that Bush inhereted a budget surplus and a robust economy whereas Obama has inhereted 2 wars, record public debt, multi-trillion dollar deficits, an economy in free fall...

    Approve Disap-
    prove Approve
    % % Disapprove

    Ipsos/McClatchy *
    63 33 30 4/2-6/09

    61 26 35 3/31 - 4/6/09

    66 30 36 4/3-5/09

    CBS/New York Times
    66 24 42 4/1-5/09

  2. It's very simple.

    I wanted to use the best poll available to gauge Presidential approval ratings. Rasmussen has been rated to be the best(google it).

    Since Rasmussen was not available for 2001, it is fair to use a sampling of polls from the same time period in order to gauge average approval rating.

    Your comment about what each President inherited is moot.

  3. But you miss the point. In your post you dismiss all other polls besides Rasmussen when they relate to Obama (maybe because all other polls give him better positive ratings?, at the same time you cling to the very polls you dismiss to prove great affection for Bush in 2001.

    Seems like 2/3 of the country likes him and that is just killing you...

  4. So I should remove the best poll available in order to be more fair?

    That doesn't make much sense.

    As for the number of people in this country liking him, I couldn't care less. The point was to compare where Obama was to Bush. Obama is either doing equal to(your view) or worse than(my view) Bush.

    Now why would I be interested in comparing the two? In order to gauge coverage of their respective ratings. Unless you want to lie to yourself, you have to agree that Obama's media coverage is much more sympathetic to him and reflects his approval as sky high.

    That just isn't the case, relative to our last President.

    If the number of people liking Obama and my frustration with that was the point of the post, I would have actually made that my thesis.

    But it wasn't.

  5. No you should just not use the poll with the lowest number and compare it to to four unrelated polls to make your point.

    I think it would have been more honest to compare polls from the same outlet.


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