Posts Tagged ‘polls’

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%.)

Miscellaneous House-Keeping

Thursday, 31 July 2008
  • The LJ Syndication Journal corresponding to this 'blog only presents public entries. Other entries are placed in a friends-only category, to make them relatively easy to find if you have an account at this 'blog. (There really aren't many a friends-only entries, though.)
  • If you have an account with this 'blog, but have forgot your username or password, then just let me know. I can easily recover the username or reset the password. And if you'd like your username reset, that would be easy as well.
  • Comments to entries should be made at the 'blog, rather than at the syndication journal; I'm not automatically notified of comments to the syndication journal, and the entries at the syndication journal are erased on a regular basis, along with any comments there.
  • There's been a poor, lonely poll at the 'blog, which has received answers from only three brave souls. I'll probably move on to a new question soon.

Kamchatka Kryptonite

Friday, 20 June 2008

BTW, a couple fo days ago I posted yet another poll at my 'blog. This time, it's not quite a matter of a dollar having fallen on the floor….

More Litter

Sunday, 1 June 2008

I have posted another poll in the series.

Here are the previous two:

In a restaurant, you find a dollar bill on the floor; you…

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In a mom 'n' pop store, you find a dollar bill on the floor; you…

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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The latest poll at my 'blog has a very similar form to the previous poll, but the scenario is somewhat changed.

I'd like to note that these two polls, and those that are to follow in the series, are not Socratic exercises; they're just an exploration of various intuïtions.

Also, I chose a specific denomination (rather than just some money) because I know that answers may change for different amounts. Unfortunately, there seems no good way to use the poll software to map such nuances.

A cat is penned up in a steel chamber

Friday, 25 April 2008

Neither the Woman of Interest nor I would ordinarily wish to live forever, whether it be on Earth or on the other side of some Pearly Gates. But I posed a problem to her:

What if I had a device by which I could make the Beet Weasel immortal?
I have little doubt that, so long as it were kept in good health and otherwise fairly physically comfortable, the typical cat would choose not to die. A dog might additionally need friendly companionship, but then it too would not ever want to die.

I don't know whether the Woman of Interest knew where I intended to go with my hypothetical, but in any event her first question about the device was of who would take care of the Beet Weasel, and I offered that I would have a slightly larger device for her. So, now the question becomes one of whether one would allow one's companion animal to die in order that one might oneself have the freedom to die.


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