Echoing other conservative media figures' claims about Gallup polls, Ann Coulter falsely claimed President Obama is "actually the second least popular president, 100 days in, we've had in 40 years." In fact, Gallup itself recently reported that, by two different measures, Obama's approval rating is the second highest of any president since 1969.
Several media figures and outlets have falsely claimed that President Obama's approval rating is lower than that of most or all recent presidents, according to Gallup. In fact, Gallup itself recently reported that, by two different measures, Obama's approval rating is the second highest of any president since 1969.
Joe Scarborough claimed that a recent Pew poll "said [President Obama] split the country." However, a Pew official has reportedly stated it is a misreading of the poll to conclude that Obama has "caused this divisiveness."
Remember how during the stimulus debate, the media kept insisting that Republicans had "taken control of the debate," were "driving the message" and all those other phrases journalists love to use in order to pretend that something is happening other than the media deciding to pay more attention to the GOP's arguments? How we kept hearing that congressional Republicans got their groove back by effectively painting the Democrats as big-spending coastal liberals?
Well, earlier today, Politico's Glenn Thrush noted a new Gallup poll that he thought showed that approval of congressional Democrats had spiked, while approval of Republicans had dropped. Turns out, Thrush misread the poll; it didn't measure approval of the two parties.
But it led me to wonder what the public does think of the two parties' congressional leaders. Is all that noise we've been hearing about Republicans having The Big Mo legitimate, or is it another case of the media being badly out of touch with the American people?
If you guessed "out of touch" -- and, really, why wouldn't you? -- you nailed it.
CNN conducted a poll just a little more than a week ago that found 60 percent approval for Democratic leaders in congress, and 39 percent disapproval, for a net of +21 points. Republican leaders in congress, however, had won the approval of 44 percent of the public, while 55 percent disapproved, for a net of -11 points.
That's a 32 point gap between the net approval for the Dems & the GOP. That's huge.
But the Republicans have produced a web video featuring a 32-year-old Aerosmith song, so get ready for several days of cable news pretending the GOP is, indeed, "back in the saddle again."
Newsweek's Evan Thomas and Richard Wolffe repeated the assertion previously made by Newsweek colleague Jon Meacham that the country "remains right of center." Thomas and Wolffe cited as evidence exit polling that showed more respondents identifying themselves as "conservative" than as "liberal." But political scientists dispute the reliability of voters' identification with political ideologies, and the former editor of The Washington Times' editorial page asserted "the only problem" with conservatives claiming America is a "center-right" country is that "[i]t isn't true. Or at least, not anymore."
Several conservative commentators claim America is ideologically a "center-right" country, citing as evidence general election exit polls showing that 22 percent of respondents identify themselves as "liberal," 44 percent as "moderate" and 34 percent as "conservative." But political scientists dispute the reliability of voters' identification with political ideologies, and other polling has found that a strong majority favored the more progressive position on a number of issues.
MSNBC's Morning Joe echoed the Drudge Report by displaying the on-screen text "Gallup shock" and selectively citing only one of three findings from an October 13-15 Gallup daily tracking poll of the presidential race -- the one that showed Sen. Barack Obama holding his smallest lead over Sen. John McCain.
In an editorial, The Washington Times asserted that President Bush "had very high poll ratings (80 percent to 90 percent) throughout his first term" and went on to say that during his tenure, he "reduced unemployment to still record-levels." In fact, Bush's approval ratings peaked between 80 percent and 95 percent in September 2001 before trending downward through the end of his first term, which he finished at around 50 percent. Additionally, the unemployment rate under Bush after the 2001 recession bottomed out at 4.4 percent in March 2007 -- a higher level than when Bush took office in January 2001, when the rate was 4.2 percent.
The New York Post's Charles Hurt wrote that when Sen. Hillary Clinton proposed national health-care reform as first lady, "Americans revolted over her proposals," adding that "she still doesn't understand that most people believe the federal government is the only thing that could actually make health care worse." In fact, recent polling suggests that a majority of Americans support health-care reform proposals that expand the government's role.
The Washington Post reported that "Democrats are trying to prove that they can be an equal partner to [President] Bush" and that "congressional approval ratings dropp[ed] this week to 32 percent, a notch below Bush's 33 percent, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll." But according to the Post's own polling, congressional approval is not dropping, and the approval rating for "Democrats in Congress" is seven percentage points higher than Bush's in the latest poll.
On Hardball, citing "a new Zogby poll," Chris Matthews stated: "Tonight, our Big Number is the number five. That's the number of Republican presidential candidates that [Sen.] Hillary Clinton trails in the November matchups." However, Matthews did not note that the poll was an online Zogby Interactive poll in which participants were chosen from a database of volunteers. Matthews omitted this fact despite statements by the American Association for Public Opinion Research and Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal -- who appeared earlier in the day on MSNBC -- that such polls are unreliable.
Moderator Chris Matthews asserted during the October 9 Republican presidential debate, "Polls show that Republicans are known as the party of national security and of moral values." But recent polling shows Democrats either tied or at a slight advantage against Republicans on the issue of national security, as well as holding an advantage in sharing voters' moral values.
In a Washington Post article, Shailagh Murray wrote: "GOP Senate offices circulated the results of a Gallup poll released this week that showed 54 percent of those surveyed think [Gen. David] Petraeus's plan for removing troops is the right pace, or even too quick." However, this poll question did not explain to respondents how many troops Petraeus' plan called for removing or over what period of time this withdrawal would take place. Other polling shows that when respondents are told specifically what Petraeus recommended, the results are dramatically different.