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Author Topic: The Official Obama Approval Ratings Thread  (Read 1000217 times)
Sam Spade
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« on: March 17, 2009, 06:32:27 pm »

Rasmussen himself gives an excellent explanation in comparing his approval poll vs. others.  I basically agree with every point made.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_scott_rasmussen/comparing_approval_ratings_from_different_polling_firms
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2009, 11:02:20 am »

Remember too, that Rasmussen's new April partisan targets will undoubtedly shift the numbers a bit, and I believe today's sample was the first sample with the new targets (even though it could have been yesterday):

Dems 38.7% (40.8%)
Reps 33.2% (33.6%)
Indys 28.1% (25.6%)
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2009, 11:18:41 am »

Remember too, that Rasmussen's new April partisan targets will undoubtedly shift the numbers a bit, and I believe today's sample was the first sample with the new targets (even though it could have been yesterday):

Dems 38.7% (40.8%)
Reps 33.2% (33.6%)
Indys 28.1% (25.6%)

"Our baseline targets are established based upon separate survey interviews with a sample of adults nationwide completed during the preceding three months (a total of 45,000 interviews) and targets are updated monthly. Currently, the baseline targets for the adult population are 40.1% Democrats, 33.1% Republicans, and 26.7% unaffiliated."

He uses the average of the previous three months, not just the preceding month.

Sorry, I wasn't being clear there.  Still, it will affect the underlying numbers, somewhat.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 12:54:05 pm »

Folks, the Rasmussen national poll for 2008 would have been pretty much *dead on the money* had he adjusted his sample for higher black turnout.  His moving weight party ID was pretty much dead-on, as I recall.

Now, I have issues with Rasmussen national polling *at this moment*, in that I can't figure how you determine what a "likely voter" is when we're a couple of year away from a major election.  But his record on the national poll level cannot be poo-pooed.

At the state-wide level, as I have noted in my "state poll review" thread, I am pretty convinced that the reason certain pollsters fared the best in 2008 was because of loose LV screens.  That would explain why a number of questionable college pollsters did well and why Rasmussen and Mason-Dixon didn't (for example).  Now, this is something to keep in mind, especially for 2012, but I wouldn't expect the same event to happen in 2010.

Anyway, I view this whole thread as kind of mundane.  Obama's approval is around 60% right now (+/- 3% - I lean more towards the minus), with roughly around 35%-40% loving him, 20% thinking he's doing ok and 30% hating his guts.  The 10% who show up as neutral probably would vote against him if he were running today, but don't expect that to translate into activity down-ballot for now.  If and when those 10% move to hating his guts or the 20% start questioning or turning against him whole hog, then it will translate downballot.  But that's not happening now. 

Lastly, if and when his approval has any type of major movement one way or the other, we'll know.  Be patient.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 10:34:22 am »

I think the major difference in approval ratings and why they are lower for Rasmussen and PPP is that they both use IVR while most other pollsters still use live callers.

It's the most logical explanation I can come up with - especially with the higher disapprovals.  I also believe PPP uses *voters*, which translates to me to mean RV.  Any type of voters vs. adults comparison would undoubtedly show higher disapprovals.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 11:55:25 pm »

The WP poll's internals just look wacky.  Partisan polls - well, you know...

I continue to be concerned about the wide divergences between IVR polls and live questioner polls.

However, I want to see what SUSA provides this month before saying too much more.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 10:56:43 am »

Illinois- PPP

Approve 61%
Disapprove 31%

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_IL_428.pdf

I think it's becoming pretty clear that the IVR pollsters are getting lower approval ratings.

That number extrapolates pretty well into a 53-41 national number, all told.

I did my re-check of the SUSA numbers extrapolated from the 14 states polled in March (500 adults) and came up with 59% approval.  Given the way adults skews from RV (or LV), that puts it in the Rasmussen/PPP category of mid-50s approval.  I am curious to see April.

The only other poll out there which gives us an approval in the mid-50s range is Marist and I have no clue why that would be different than the others.  They're not using computer technology, as far as I know.  

They are using RV.  And the other polls using RV with live questioners tend to show lower approval (around 60%) than the adult polls (mid-60%) on average.

But this IVR vs. live questioner skew is troubling me greatly, especially if it continues.  Makes me suspect that lying is going on.  It can't be laid on survey methodology, since Rasmussen has the tightest voter screen (which should skew his polls more Republican) and PPP tends to uses weights which skew Democratic.

Just some food for thought.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 11:16:12 am »

Maybe the "bradley effect" is finally showing up, this time on approval ratings.

I know I'm going to be crucified for this, but JJ is right in a certain sense, I'm almost sure of it.  Among the undecideds who didn't lean (in other words - the "pure"guys), it looked pretty apparent to me that they all went towards McCain (probably worth about 2% or so).  That, however, was counterbalanced by almost all polls underestimating black turnout (an extra 1%-2%, I'm pretty sure as to this exact number), along with some other really minor factors.

But that's not really a "Bradley effect" - that's more of an "undecideds" effect.

If the divergences in the polling are because people are lying, a conclusion which I'm not coming to yet, but is in my mind, the IVR vs. live questioner divergence is a big point in its favor. (remember most polls use college kids/minorities (usually black people) to conduct their polling)

Remember also, there was always the theory out there that the "Bradley" effect was more of a "media" effect - in that people were less likely to say they didn't like someone because of their race when positive media attention was showered endlessly on him.

Of course, one could argue that happened during the campaign and nothing happened.  But this might be different.

Anyway, more food for thought.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 02:06:36 pm »

Still translates into a 59% approval among adults nationally, folks.  No change.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 02:43:41 pm »

Obama Is doing well In the states he won.Here In Missouri people are seeing he Is not the carticure Palin and others were saying.Remember Mccain only won by 4 thousand votes.
Missouri Is the Mccain state most likely to flip In 2012.I am surprised by Kentuckey.Perhapes
White Democrats are coming around.Remember Bill Clinton won It In both 92 and 96.I would be very Intrested In poll out of West Virginia.I am also surprised by him only slightly more disapproved In Alamaba than Approve.I thought It would be higher disapproval.

kinda reminds me of someone...
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009, 01:54:04 am »

This thread will be amusing when unemployment hits 12%.

I don't know, with GOP reactions like that, I'd say that it's pretty amusing right now. Smiley

You can pretty much put me in the Sam Spade level of pessimism camp on the economy.  I basically think we're in deep you-know-what for a couple of years no matter what we do, and it will come as no shock that I think almost every single thing Obama has done has made the problem bigger.  He misdiagnosed both the problem and the solution.

Bush is just as responsible, of course.  But what Obama's doing will not help any, obviously.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2009, 02:06:38 am »

Gallup is a joke. Maybe they should use three different tracking polls like they did during the election. Maybe one of them will be close.

At least Gallup was better than Rasmussen in predicting Bush's approval on Election Day:

Gallup: 26-69

Rasmussen: 35-62

According to the Exit Poll: 28-72

A poll conducted on Election Day is not the same as a poll conducted on Inauguration Day.  Come on.

I am still concerned about the distinction between IVR polls and phone polling - SUSA saying 58% approval with adults translates into somewhere near a Rasmussen (LV) @ 54% or a PPP (RV) @ 53%. (not to mention the higher disapprovals)

Does anyone else have a good explanation for this other than people lying to phone pollsters?   Well, other than people lying to machines and not to phone pollsters (not likely)?  There's only one phone poll not showing this distinction - Marist (and they show lower disapprovals)

Another point I would make is that if the distinction I am noting is accurate and if the IVR polls are picking up a lying distinction, then the "do-over" Alcon posted makes a lot of sense.

And leads to a much more interesting conclusion in my mind...
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2009, 02:28:22 am »

Gallup is a joke. Maybe they should use three different tracking polls like they did during the election. Maybe one of them will be close.

At least Gallup was better than Rasmussen in predicting Bush's approval on Election Day:

Gallup: 26-69

Rasmussen: 35-62

According to the Exit Poll: 28-72

A poll conducted on Election Day is not the same as a poll conducted on Inauguration Day.  Come on.


The Rasmussen and Gallup polls I mentioned were not conducted on Inauguration Day, but between Nov. 2 and 4.

ok, thanks.  My confusion.

The more interesting question is why Rasmussen was much closer in the actual result than Gallup considering the Bush approval calls.  I have a theory, naturally...
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2009, 11:15:29 am »

Looks to me like that his job approval has moved down another 2-4 points from the holding pattern we've been in over the last three months.

The WSJ/NBC is a quality poll, folks, in that it weights its numbers enough that so you're not going to get the weird outliers you tend to get this time of the political season.

If you're trusting CBS/NYT for anything, you need to have your head examined.

The gap between computer-operated polls and phone-operated polls still exists.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2009, 11:34:27 am »

Dan, SUSA doesn't use a LV screen, at least until a month or two before said election.  All of their approval polls right now are of "adults".

The key point to keep in mind - what do SUSA, PPP and Rasmussen share in common?
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2009, 05:16:46 pm »

I fail to see how supply-side is really that different from Keynesian economics, at least in its 1980s incarnation.  In fact, I would argue that supply-side tactics is the only thing that has kept Keynesian-style economics from collapsing under its own weight as long as it has.

Also, any declines in Obama's approval that are occurring (and yes there has been a material one over the past couple of weeks) are because of the economy.  Everything else is pretty much irrelevant and will be irrelevant unless it is really, really major.

There are three material points that Obama's approval has to fall through before we can say "he is in danger".  I believe that we're either touching or very close to #1 right now.  And the regression line is not looking great for now (though that's not terribly surprising)

The first is his 2008 % of vote = 53%.  It's probably slightly higher in adult poll incarnations = 55% or so.

The second is following below the 50% level, but only in adult polls.  It is very hard to get a wave to occur until the incumbent party falls below this point and with Republican's current ratings, I don't think it'll happen here.

The third is the point where disapproval is greater than approval in adult polls.  If and when Obama reaches this point - we will have a different paradigm.  We're not there yet and if it happens, it will be a while. (you have to go through the other two first, you know, and there's always support at those levels)
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2009, 10:25:47 pm »

The SUSA numbers extrapolate out to about a 53% approval rating.

Also, of polls at this time in the game, RV is best.  Adults will skew too Democratic (as always).  I don't know what a LV is at this point, so I tend to leery of that measure as well, though Rasmussen is so heavily weighted, it may not make a difference between RV and LV for him (the distinction may be not statistically significant).

Once again, the key distinction that is statistically significant and that shows up again and again is that Obama does 2-5 points better in adult polls vs. RV polls (expected) AND does 2-5 points better in live operator polls vs. computer-operated ones (adults vs adults and RV vs. RV NOT adult vs. RV).
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2009, 08:28:39 pm »

It's RV.

Look folks, as I've said before, the economy will drive Obama's ratings to a large extent. 

But if Obama is going to attempt to drive legislation through the way he's done, you're going to see something similar to Bush's trendline in the absence of 9/11 and Iraq.  Of course, some other events can occur (similar to 9/11) to affect these numbers (and probably will).  And if the economy were to turn into mid-80s or late-90s style, then you'll definitely see the trendline broken.  I don't see the latter, of course, at all, but just as a hypo...

Presently, Obama's numbers are a bit artificially low temporarily (like maybe 2%-3%) because of the complete mishandling of this Gates thing.  They should bounce up again once this gets out of the news.  The trendline is still there, however,
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2009, 08:45:00 pm »

Is RV the most accurate of methods at the moment?

It seems as if LVs are the least favorable toward Obama, RVs are kind of middle of the road, and Adult Voters favor Obama.  Am I correct in my assessment.

I am naturally inclined to believe RVs are the best measure at this point.  Adults will of course, favor Democrats.  I don't know what a LV is right now.

Though honestly, the difference between RV and LV has not shown up in PPP vs. Rasmussen.  But of course, I tend to believe that a computer-pollster effect exists, comparing SUSA (adults), PPP (RV) and Rasmussen (LV) with other polling firms.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2009, 08:01:18 pm »

Folks, the regression line on Obama's approval has been overextended to the negative side over about the past month or so (imo compared to earlier months).  In the short term, however, what's going on over the past couple of days is the "beer" thing - you have to wait a week to see where it levels out.

Based on this regression line, a bounce for Obama up into the 55% range on Rasmussen or 60% range in Gallup or other adult polls not strongly weighted like NBC/WSJ over the next month would not be at all surprising and would certainly not invalidate it
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2009, 12:53:26 am »

Gallup new numbers

Approve 58%
Disapprove 36%

Wow...Gallup has been all over the place lately.

Isn't that kind of like saying "the sky is blue" or "the Pope is Catholic" or something similar.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2009, 04:04:05 pm »

Folks, it is all about the long-term trendlines here.  Actual numbers really aren't that important.

Also, if what I think is going on and conservatives are excited while liberals are deflated (generally), then Gallup should continue to go down because of its model, even if Rasmussen stays stagnant (Rasmussen weights a lot of this variation out).
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2009, 10:45:56 am »

Read my post above wrt Rasmussen and Gallup.  If what I'm seeing fits, then this should be the general movement that occurs. (Rasmussen flatlines, Gallup moves downward)

Note:  It is, of course, stupid to read anything into any one day samples.  But, some food for thought is that Rasmussen occasionally (and don't place your hopes on this) can show strengthening in approval when approval is actually accelerating downward.  It's counterintuitive but it has to do with the heavy, heavy weighting of his model.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2009, 11:34:08 am »

Why weren't these people more vocal back in 2007 or 2008, when Obama's health care plan was first proposed?

Obama had a health care plan in 2007 or 2008?  Actually, Obama has a health care plan now?  Must've missed something.

I'm not going to necessarily brag about what I've said for many years, but it is the truth and gets proven "more truthier" every day.

Health care is to the Democrats what immigration reform is to Republicans - an issue that can be campaigned on, but must never be legislated on, otherwise it ends up destroying you.

This is so mainly because the polls lie.  Everyone says they want "universal health care" but the moment when you get into the specifics as to what is required, the people (and your base) turn against it and you.
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Sam Spade
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« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2009, 11:23:37 am »

Why weren't these people more vocal back in 2007 or 2008, when Obama's health care plan was first proposed?

Obama had a health care plan in 2007 or 2008?  Actually, Obama has a health care plan now?  Must've missed something.

I'm not going to necessarily brag about what I've said for many years, but it is the truth and gets proven "more truthier" every day.

Health care is to the Democrats what immigration reform is to Republicans - an issue that can be campaigned on, but must never be legislated on, otherwise it ends up destroying you.

This is so mainly because the polls lie.  Everyone says they want "universal health care" but the moment when you get into the specifics as to what is required, the people (and your base) turn against it and you.
Yeah, passing and prtecting Medicare has been a pain for Democrats to run on the last 40 years.

Medicare?  You have to go back that far for a reference.  You do realize my comparison issue - immigration reform - was not really on Republican radar screens until the last 15-20 years or so.  So, my comment is really not intended to go back that far.

Also, the comment refers to passing legislation, not protecting or whatever euphemistic term you want to come up with.  Which reminds me, the present legislation in front of Congress does not protect Medicare one bit.  Go read it.

Btw, if we're going to get real technical about it, LBJ signed Medicare into law in 1965.  And then examine how Democrats performed in the 1966 or 1968 or 1970 or 1972 elections.  Not that it was about Medicare, but I'm really growing tired of the stupidity around here.
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