Polls: From The Left, From The Right

I have said before I do not like polls. Not only are they snapshots of an America that seems consumed with the latest and greatest or whatever the crowd finds most appealing that day or that week. But I have always viewed pollsters with a certain amount of skepticism, especially when it comes to weighting (Democrats, Republicans and Independents).

So I thought this might be an opportune time to take a look at a couple of “How do you like Obama now?” polls and how pundits on the left and on the right see whatever it is they want in them. Or do they?

The Washington Post released a poll today, that I referenced on the show, that indicates that Obama’s still the man, although the halo’s slipping a bit. Here’s the poll … and here’s how the self identified liberal blogger “The Reaction” reads it.

And why has it eroded? Because the Republicans have no interest in working contructively with Obama and the Democrats, because they’ve entrenched themselves, once more, behind extremist ideological lines, because they think they can score political points by being obstructionist.

Now, I’m not one to think that polls are infallible reflections of the truth, nor that the American people, according to the polls, are right about everything all the time. But it’s an awfully good sign, not least given how virulent and, for a time, narrative-forming the Republican attacks over the stimulus plan have been, that Obama still seems to have such overwhelming public support.

Indeed. But if Obama does not turn this economy around, my guess is that erosion will continue. Here’s the conservative take on a different poll from Jules Crittenden

His approval is headed south (from a high of 70 to 63), his disapproval is headed north (from a low of 12 to 24), and more people are unwilling not to have an opinion (down from 21 to 13). Gallup.

Among recent presidents, only one-term trainwreck Jimmy Carter had better numbers one month in … 71-9-20. Correction, war-winning economy-flummoxed one-termer George H.W. Bush, though tied with Obama in approval, had significantly lower disapproval numbers and benefited from higher uncertainty, at 63-13-24.

Both are worth a read, both indicate the Republicans have peeled away, but not because they are obstructionists. Because Republicans do not believe the stimulus will revive the economy. My guess is with time … more Americans will peel away as the economy flounders. But then I am a republitarian.

1 reply
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Why, I can remember a time when "obstructionist" meant "patriotic."  I think it was when the Democrats were in the minority.

    And since when does having meeting in which Republicans are exluded mean "working constructively?"

    The speed with which Democrats can change their tunes defies the laws of physics.

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