Friday, June 26, 2009

Pew reports high ratings hold as Obama's approval advantage cut in half in five months

Pointing out political bias in major media sources is old hat. When the subjective slant tilts in Barack Obama's favor, reading up on it creates a feeling of novelty comparable to what discovering your great grandfather's homburg from a time before the bombing of Pearl Harbor does.

To ensure that readers remain saturated with examples of that bias, I turn attention to a recent release from Pew Research entitled "Obama's High Ratings Hold Despite Some Policy Concerns".

What does the survey data actually reveal? From February to June of this year, Obama has dropped from a 4 to 1 approval advantage (64% approve, 17% disapprove) to a 2 to 1 advantage (61% approve, 30% disapprove).

On foreign policy, his 3 to 1 advantage (52% approve, 17% disapprove) in February has fallen to a less than a 2 to 1 advantage today (57% approve, 31% disapprove).

Public perception of his handling of the economy has suffered the most. In February, he had more than a 2 to 1 advantage (56% approve, 24% disapprove)--now it is approaching parity (52% approve, 40% disapprove).

The President has to be given credit for those impressive numbers in the face of 10% unemployment, increasing commodity prices, a DJIA stuck in the low 8000s, the tenuous uncertainty of what will happen next in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and North Korea, etc. But there is little doubt that Pew would have come up with a less flattering title if a rightist were in the White House.

16 comments:

Jokah Macpherson said...

My headline would read, "Cult Remains Intact; Uninitiated Increasingly Skeptical"

silly girl said...

I haven't mentioned this before, but the people behind the plans, pension plans that is are, uh, concerned, about the direction Obama is going on the economy. Check out the message boards at actuarialoutpost.com.

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?p=3733077

Anonymous said...

I believe that his high ratings will hold so long as he continues to substitute rhetoric for action.

His lofty rhetoric is simply a form of psychotherapy for the masses, who feel so much better just having someone talking about their problems.

The GOP should learn this technique, and more importantly how to make their constituents into victims. Now, as Eric Hoffer noted, you have a movement!

OneSTDV said...

"The GOP should learn this technique, more importantly how to make their constituents into victims"

Conservatives are generally too proud or too industrious for this to work. Plus, there's no already existing narrative to substantiate victim-hood.

Anonymous said...

Click on to http://www.amren.com/ and you'll see just how many victim's there are.

Anonymous said...

Also see Elizabeth Warren's commentary on the working middle class at:

www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/index.html?id=82 -

Audacious Epigone said...

Jokah,

Good observation, as the bad news for Obama has mostly been from people shifting from neutral/don't know to disapprove. The size of the approval contingent has only slipped a little by comparison.

OneSTDV,

Indeed it is the groups most frequently reminded of their special demographic status who are most likely to self-identify based on that status. As I'll flush out in a little more detail in an upcoming post, white Democrats are considerably more likely to identify by race/ethnicity than white Republicans are, and women are similarly more likely to self-identify based on gender than men are. Pinning down causation is tough, although I suspect it runs in both directions.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

Indeed it is the groups most frequently reminded of their special demographic status who are most likely to self-identify based on that status. As I'll flush out in a little more detail in an upcoming post, white Democrats are considerably more likely to identify by race/ethnicity than white Republicans are

Do you split them up by those who identify themselves simply as "white" or by white ethnic group, such as Irish or both?(Jewish is more problematic because Judaism is both an ethnic group and a religion, and I doubt the GSS questions distinguish between both concepts.)

I know that a sizable chunk of white Democrats are made up of Northeastern "Great Wave" immigrant groups who would be more likely to identify by white sub-ethnic group. But I would have suspected white Southern Republicans will identify as simply "white" more so than Yankees.

OneSTDV said...

"Indeed it is the groups most frequently reminded of their special demographic status who are most likely to self-identify based on that status."

This sums it up perfectly.

Dan Kurt said...

re: " silly girl said...
I haven't mentioned this before, but the people behind the plans, pension plans that is are, uh, concerned, about the direction Obama is going on the economy. Check out the message boards at actuarialoutpost.com. "

Read the link. What a bunch of accountants. All that they seem to be concerned with is blaming Republicans and raising more money for the California government through increasing taxes.

THE NUMB SKULLS DON'T UNDERSTAND AN AVALANCHE HAS STARTED. THE GOD OF GOVERNMENT IS FAILING. ATLAS IS SHRUGGING IN CALIFORNIA. ENJOY THE RIDE CALIFORNIANS! SAUVE QUI PEUT.

Dan Kurt, ex Californian and loving it.

Audacious Epigone said...

TUJ,

Unfortunately, the question combines race and/or ethnicity into a single response category, so its just speculation (at least as far as the GSS database is concerned).

silly girl said...

Dan Kurt,

I'm not sure what gave you the impression the folks at AO are blaming republicans. They seem to think that there is a pension plan debacle around the corner because Obama's economics will lead to flat markets, which in real terms is a loss. The public pensions will be the toughest on us because the gov't will try to actually pay them.

Dan Kurt said...

re:" silly girl said...
Dan Kurt,

I'm not sure what gave you the impression the folks at AO are blaming republicans."

From: yankeetripper "...tax increases didn't get passed the other day because the republican minority will not approve any tax increase and the [republican] govenator has treated to veto anything that has a tax increase."

From: Incredible Hulctuary
"...We can always count on Republicans to use the government to enact destruction just for the sake of showing that government is the problem."

Accountants are catchpoles, the bastards.

Dan Kurt

silly girl said...

Dan Kurt,

Fine, there are some who don't like republicans but that isn't the point I am making. The point is many are concerned that the defined benefit pensions that so many public employees are promised are calculated based on assumptions. Those who calculated those plans now see the assumptions as false and realize that it is not possible to pay out these pensions. If pension plan was underfunded by 20% two years ago, now it could be 60% underfunded. That is virtually insurmountable.

Economic policies that will contribute to slow growth (or no growth) will make these plans fail.

Many were hoping that new policies would change that outlook. ( OH no, not hope and change!) They don't seem to think that is the case.

Dan Kurt said...

re: " silly girl said...
Dan Kurt,

The point is many are concerned that the defined benefit pensions that so many public employees are promised are calculated based on assumptions...[that are] false and realize that it is not possible to pay out these pensions."

This is old news but what isn't.

If you have access to a library read this short book of 51 pages: The pension idea by Paul Lewis Poirot, 1950. Pensions can not work long term, nor can Social Security, or Fractional Reserve Banking, or Democracy.

Dan Kurt

Audacious Epigone said...

Pensions can not work long term, nor can Social Security, or Fractional Reserve Banking, or Democracy.

And I thought I was overly cynical (not that you are incorrect)!