Monday, May 4, 2009

Poll Dancing

OK, so the only thing I know for sure is that journalism schools have to do a better job at educating media folks on how to use polling numbers.....

Editorial from Washington Times: 
According to Gallup's April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969... Mr. Obama's popularity after 100 days is the second-lowest for a simple reason: He is more partisan and divisive than his predecessors - including Richard Nixon.

In recent days, several media figures and outlets have falsely claimed that President Obama's approval rating at this point in his presidency, according to Gallup, is lower than that of most or all recent presidents. The falsehood is based on an apples-to-oranges comparison between an April 20-21 Galluppoll question that asked respondents to "rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president so far -- excellent, good, just okay, poor, or terrible," and the historical results of the traditional Gallup approval rating poll question that simply asked whether respondents "approve" or "disapprove" of the president's performance. Based on its traditional presidential approval poll question, Gallup itself recently reported that Obama's average approval rating for the first quarter of his first year in office is the highest of any president since 1969 other than Jimmy Carter, and Obama's most recent weekly average approval rating is higher than the April approval ratings of every first-term president since 1969 other than Ronald Reagan.

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