Posts Tagged ‘Gallup’

A Rising Tide to Sink His Boat

Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Gallup Organization has acknowledged that the President's disapproval rating and approval rating are now matched, at 47%. I am highly skeptical that it took until now for that to happen.

[Correction and Up-Date (2010:01/24): It seems that initial reports were slightly off, that Gallup reported a 48% approval level and 47% disapproval level. And to-day they report both as simultaneously holding steady, skating against each other. (2010:01/25): Well, no, the Gallup Orgainzation indeed had them equal in their report for 20-22 Jan; then they showed his approval rating ticking up to 48% while the disapproval rating held steady.]

The Financial Times explains that things are almost certainly going to become more awkward for the President. The Republicans smell blood; moderate Democrats feel more free (or obliged) to say no. The Secretary of the Treasury is enmeshed in scandal over his actions when with the Federal Reserve; the Chairman of the Fed may not have the votes for reconfirmation.

I'd note other things. Unemployment has stayed high; some of the President's defenders say that there isn't much that he can do about that, but he and his party hugely increased the deficit on the claim that they could, with few people now believing that the money were well spent. The American automotive manufacturing industry has no real prospects for long-term health. The two wars that so many voters expected to be neatly or quickly resolved (one of which Obama said must be fought to victory) are still grinding-up American soldiers. Russia and China want Iran to continue to be a problem. The Guantanamo naval prison is still unclosed, and the ACLU has denounced the plan to continue holding prisoners without trial once they are relocated. Skepticism about anthropogenic climate change is growing, and supposed points of no return have been passed. The world still treats America with disdain, and much of it is on the cusp of telling us that Obama is a failure or that he's better than we deserve or both.

It is very likely that the Gallup Organization will one day report that this President's disapproval rating has passed 50%.

Lies, Damn'd Lies, Statistics, and…

Sunday, 29 November 2009

In my previous entry, I noted that, as the Gallup report of the President's approval rating approached 50% from above, there was an asymmetry in its perturbations, that it skated the 50% line, without blipping below it, for an extended interval. And I noted that, as the disapproval rating approached the approval rating from below, it tentatively seemed to be displaying a complementary asymmetry, plateauing when it might be expected to rise further.

Indeed, that reported plateau was stretched for a full week. If you'll look at the previous reported figures for the disapproval rating, you'll see nothing like it.


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The news noted a few days ago that, according to the Gallup Organization, the approval rating for President Obama had fallen below 50%.

I've been watching the Gallup poll (along with other polls) for some time now, and had become increasingly doubtful of its reports. As the rating approached the 50% line, an apparent asymmetry developed in the perturbations, to which I refer as skating. This skating was at its most pronounced when the rating would hit the 50% line; it might blip up, but it would not blip down.

The Gallup Organization has referred to the President's drop below the 50% line as symbolic, but in a nation that likes its decisions made by majorities or by super-majorities, and with the President being of a party that named itself for democracy, having less than majority approval is more than merely symbolic.

The next milestone comes if-and-when the reported share of the population who disapprove of the President's performance exceed those who approve. The Gallup Organization has reported the disapproval rating being as high as 44%, and as generally climbing. But, guess what? For the last few days, even as the President's approval rating has been admitted to have dropped below 50%, the disapproval rating has been reported as plateauing, as if the loss of approval completely translated into indifference or indecision. Perhaps we are now going to see a sort of complementary asymmetry of reported perturbations for disapproval.

(The third milestone would be when the disapproval rating climbed above 50%.)