Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The most important number in politics today

48

That's President Barack Obama's job approval rating in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, the first time one of the rare times he has dipped below the critical 50 percent in a national survey since taking office in January.

Already too much and too little -- simultaneously -- is being made of the Q poll numbers.

Too much in that one poll is just that -- a single snapshot in time that should be seen as a portion of the overall political picture not mistaken for the picture itself.

A look back at recent Quinnipiac data suggests not all that much has changed in terms of Obama's standing with the public. Way back in early August, Quinnipiac showed Obama at 50 percent approval and 42 percent disapproval -- numbers that are a near facsimile of the 48 percent/42 percent score in the most recent poll.

And, when the Q poll is compared to the broad swath of data on the job approval question, it appears to be slightly lower than the average:

And yet, it's also possible to make too little of the Q poll. While Obama's name won't be on the ballot in 2010, the midterms will mark the first time that the majority of the country has a chance to send a message about how they think he is doing.

Given that, it genuinely matters to vulnerable Democrats in the House and Senate whether Obama's job approval number is at 55 percent or 45 percent in ten months time.

Under the first scenario, Obama is either a net positive or neutral for most candidates running under the party banner; under the second, he has the potential to drag down some Democrats -- particularly those running in Republican-leaning districts and states.

At issue is whether the Q poll is an aberration built on the difficulties Obama faces domestically (health care) and in foreign policy (Afghanistan) at the moment or a predictor of polls to come in which the president's job approval number will continue to trend more negative.

Democrats have to hope the former scenario comes to pass while Republicans have bet heavily on the latter. The great thing about elections is that in 349 days we'll know which side was right.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 18, 2009; 3:50 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Who's the best member of Congress ever?
Next: Morning Fix: Stupak as Democratic anti-hero

Comments

I am an independent voter. The president needs to get tougher. You can't play ball with big pharma and healthcare companies. Mandate them and talk passionately about the public option. Also, for the repubs who just say no to block the president from doing good; ignore them and move on. Don't waste your energy on people who care not about moving our country to a better place. The Dems need to get as tough and mean as the repubs are. Then, their approval ratings would go through the roof.

Posted by: birdydadum | November 21, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are going to have great difficulty gaining ground on Democrats if they keep their boot on the neck of Middle America.

Ah yes, it has been said that sunshine is a great disinfectant, so here it is. Yesterday Republicans shamelessly thwarted efforts by Democrat Senator Chris Dodd to help Middle America by freezing credit card interest rates on existing balances. At a time when people in this country are literally going hungry and without work, Republicans had the chutzpah to throw Middle America under the bus and instead line the pockets of credit card companies. Oy gevalt . . .

I understand the great plight suffered by credit card companies. The gravy train with biscuit wheels that they’ve been riding for years will soon be coming to an end. However, if they are looking for sympathy from Middle America, they can find it in the dictionary, somewhere between “s##t” and “syphilis.”

As you may recall, especially if you’re an insomniac and have needed something on the nightstand to help you sleep, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act enacted in May, prevents arbitrary interest rate, fee and finance charge increases on a consumer’s existing balance.

In response, credit card companies have been hiking credit card interest rates to 30% in a last ditch effort to take advantage of consumers before all of the CARD Act’s provisions take effect.

To stem the hiking of fees on Middle America, Dodd’s bill would have sped up some of the provisions in the CARD Act, which don’t take effect until February or August of 2010. But yesterday Senator Thad Cochran (R., Miss.) objected to the measure, and it only takes one senator to block a unanimous consent request in the Senate.

This missive has nothing to do with the fact that consumers have a responsibility to spend within their means and to pay what they owe, and everything to do with the fact that the credit card industry has a responsibility to deal with consumers honestly. There is nothing honest about what credit card companies are doing to consumers with these rate increases and fees, which are simply usury and legalized extortion.

Middle America is already frustrated with the political Left and Right for not providing relief on pocketbook issues, and this gets the peasants one step closer to grabbing their pitchforks. If you’re keeping score, let the record reflect that in keeping with its tradition of whoring for big business, Republicans have once again chosen big business over Middle America.

A. Muser
http://americanmuser.wordpress.com

Posted by: AmericanMuser | November 19, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"How was GWB this far into his term? Might be a helpful comparison in poll stories.

Posted by: tartanmarine | November 19, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse"

Since that would have been two months after 9/11, probably not very helpful.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 19, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

It might help the Democrats if they actually did something. They have a comfortable majority in the House, sixty senators in the Senate and the Presidency. Yet besides giving huge amounts of money to the already rich they have accomplished absolutely nothing. Do something, do anything and the numbers might creep up.

Posted by: caribis | November 19, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

How was GWB this far into his term? Might be a helpful comparison in poll stories.

Posted by: tartanmarine | November 19, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

We saw what happened in 2009, as Virginia went bright red as Obama's popularity plummeted in the state. I can say that the Democratic Lt. Gov. of California won that congressional election largely to Obama's credit, as he is popular in that district in California. New York-23 & New Jersey took other dynamics and I don't think Obama was a huge issue there. Which would support the latter theory. I think it just depends on the race at the time. Obama helped in that California district & hurt badly in the whole state of Virginia. In New Jersey, he made no difference as people were just tired of Corslime and his corrupt antics. Nothing could or should have saved that loser! In NY-23, most of the district voted Republican: combining the vote total for Hoffman & Scozzafava, and Owens won on a plurality off of a Republican civil war.

CC, the Club for Growth can ruin Republican chances of pick-ups before the GE's begin if they pick candidates in primaries and help unelectable Republicans get the nomination. They need to live & let live with Mark Kirk (Ill.), Grayson (Ky.) & Ayotte (NH). They are the best candidates and should have Republican support to win those races. If the club wants to ruffle feathers, they should hedge their bets on Rubio in Florida, as he can win the primary & GE and become a great voice as a truly conservative senator. If they so choose, it would be good if they supported DeVore in California against Fariona as the Republican candidate. The Club for Growth should hedge their bets on Rubio & DeVore, from one part of the country to the other. I think DeVore can really offer a true alternative to Boxer in Cali., and is the only Republican, with the Club's help, who even has a real shot against Boxer. Fariona would go down in flames against Boxer & the Democratic establishment. So, if the Club for Growth wants places to run hard, they should go to California & Florida in support of DeVore & Rubio and see if they can win.

CC, you should take polls to see what people think of the Club for Growth vs. Obama. Both players will be important for money & organization in 2010.

Posted by: reason5 | November 19, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The disgrace is that a moron like 37 has access to a computer to embarrass hmself and bore others.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Was this poll taken before or after Obama embarassed the country by bowing to the Japanese Emperor ???


The Emperess was astonished, the look of disbelief on her face - I think she was embarassed for Obama as well.

Does this count as a high crime or a misdemeanor against our country ???


Or just a disgrace?

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | November 19, 2009 3:57 AM | Report abuse

We know the Fort Hood shooter was harassed, probably "community stalked." Was he also a target of this secret government program?

COVERT FED PROGRAM TORTURES, IMPAIRS 'TARGETED' U.S. CITIZENS
WITH MICROWAVE/LASER RADIATION 'DIRECTED ENERGY' WEAPONS SYSTEMS

Thousands of unjustly targeted Americans are being physically harmed and silently tortured by a nationwide microwave and laser radiation "directed energy weapon" system that uses cell tower-like transmitters, satellites and portable devices to inflict pain, impairment and illness upon thousands of Americans targeted by a covert federal "mutli-agency coordinated action program"...

...THE WEAPONIZATION OF THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM... a covert torture matrix used to commit silent, debilitating assaults on citizens and entire families who have been extrajudicially "targeted" as "dissidents" or undesirables.

This Bush-Cheney- spawned "final solution" also may have the nation's political leadership in its ideologically-driven cross-hairs.

The technology is capable of inducing not only pain, but extreme fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, confusion, mood changes, strokes, aneurysms, diseases such as cancer, and a "slow-kill" death.

And key elements of the federal bureaucracy -- chief among them the defense/security/intel establishment -- are proliferating these technologies by various modalities -- reportedly, from hand-held weaponry to satellite and terrestrial cell tower based delivery systems.

Deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya has confirmed that microwave weapons have been used by his nation's military as torture tool.

American citizens and families targeted by this covert torture matrix also are subject to financial sabotage that decimates their livelihoods and financial resources...

...and relentless "community stalking" -- harassment, surreptitious home entries and vandalism, perpetrated by government-enabled vigilantes who are affiliated with federally-funded community policing and anti-terrorism organizations.

Warrantless, covert placement of warrantless GPS tracking devices and misuse of cell phone technology to hunt down the unjustly targeted enables this grassroots terrorism. But the Obama administration continues to allow these warrantless intrusions into the lives of unjustly targeted American families.

PRESIDENT OBAMA/CONGRESS:

BAN the use of microwave/laser radiation directed energy weapons against the American people (including experimentation); and

BAN the warrantless tracking of individuals via GPS or cellphone technology -- the electronic backbone of an American Gestapo now operating on YOUR watch.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA, " "GOV'T TORTURES ME WITH SILENT MICROWAVE WEAPONS, SAYS OUSTED HONDURAS PREZ "

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 18, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Has this blog turned into a moonbat limbo contest. As in Joe
moronic and kooky can you go? There used to be stimulating interactions and various viewpoints. No longer. Hence the decline in traffic and the dominance of a few lunatics.

Posted by: snowbama | November 18, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

@nodebris - Comment of the day.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 18, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

When Bush got to appoint two justices to the Supreme Court there was some really nasty chortling by William Kristol and others, laughing that "liberals were seeing their lives flashing before their eyes," as the got all heated up with excitement over the retrograde social progress and wage slavery we would see under a right-wing Court.

Then McCain (the white guy) and his monkey lost election, and a black guy ended up in the White House.

Now it's the goobers whose lives are flashing before their eyes. This ain't happenin' man this ain't happenin'. I want my country back. This is wrong! wrong! wrong! (bites carpet).

I mean, yeah, we expected them to be mad and I don't mind admitting that I find their discomfiture to be gratifying and rewarding.

But what we didn't expect was that they'd go stark raving nuts over it. And they have.

Death panels, TYranny TYranny TYranny, bullet sales, and jesus god the lies.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 18, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry to intrude on the idiot hour"

Apologize? Why, dear snow globe, it just wouldn't *be* the idiot hour without you.

Posted by: nodebris | November 18, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

G&T: Outside of Faux News/Drudge/Fix World, there are two realities. (1) The Dems will continue to control both houses no matter how many Rasmess-un polls they come up with and (2) BHO beats every GOP wannabe at this point by more than TWENTY points. In fact BHO beats Fix favorite Pawlenty easily...in Minnesota according to a poll this week.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 18, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to intrude on the idiot hour

the AG looked even more bungling and
incompetent than his boss today. How low can you go. Limbo time.

Posted by: snowbama | November 18, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Would anyone be screaming about Palin if she looked like Phyllis Schlafley? No.

And in the year since McCain lowered himself to putting this nasty harpy on the ticket, after lots of speeches in temperate zone sunlight and the ravages of a year preoccupied with what people were saying about her, the Palin of the Oprah interview is looking distinctly more matronly.

By 2012 she won't have the T&A thing working for her anymore, and exposure is not going to raise respect for her. It hasn't yet.

So yes by all means run her for president. It'd be nice to see Obama's re-election in the bag but it'd be pretty disgusting having to listen to all that 85-IQ BS for a whole campaign.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 18, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

G&T: I hear BHOers are rooting for Phalin to go for it in 2012. It'll be like Barry Goldwater in 1964. I know this space and the mothership (Drudge) do not want to accept it, but she loses to BHO by 23 points if she runs. I still don't see how the Fix ignores a positive BHO poll sponsored by his own paper. But I guess that's just me.

==

Well ever since lying became fundamental to Republican ideology the remainders seem to think that the map and the territory are one and the same .. that if they can shape perception by propagating lies -- pardon me, "outliers" .. then reality will change around them.

Get a few nasty-grimy goopers to believe Obama is unpopular and, like TV-commercial magic, it will become so.

Just click your heels three times ...

But is is especially insulting to pass off some Drudgery as "the most important number in politics."

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 18, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

only g-a-y-s, blacks, illegals, and lib-tards like obozo the man/child anymore.
Even they have to be wondering why they still like him because they are hurt more than anyone when it comes to unemployment. These groups are just plain stupid anyway.

==

I think we have a Republican in here. The hate is a dead giveaway

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 18, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

only g-a-y-s, blacks, illegals, and lib-tards like obozo the man/child anymore.
Even they have to be wondering why they still like him because they are hurt more than anyone when it comes to unemployment. These groups are just plain stupid anyway.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | November 18, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Gosh Chris you clutch at any passing straw that might offer a glint of hope to the GOP.

Better wake up and smell the punkin' spice latty, the GOP is moribund and gone below the surface for the third time. They took the wrong lesson from NY23, they're still puffing Palin, still appealing to the eggbound qaida ("base") and alienating everyone else.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 18, 2009 6:03 PM
________

G&T: I hear BHOers are rooting for Phalin to go for it in 2012. It'll be like Barry Goldwater in 1964. I know this space and the mothership (Drudge) do not want to accept it, but she loses to BHO by 23 points if she runs. I still don't see how the Fix ignores a positive BHO poll sponsored by his own paper. But I guess that's just me.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 18, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

How did you not post this ABC/Washington Post BHO poll that just came out. A WASHINGTON POST poll! YOUR paper.

Instead, you chose to post an outlier (showing lower BHO approvals) over your own paper's poll. What gives?
_______

"POLL: Obama Approval Shows Durability
ABC News-Washington Post Poll: 56 Percent Approve of President Obama

President Obama is showing durability against significant economic and policy challenges, maintaining majority approval for his job performance in the face of broad unemployment, a controversial health plan and continued doubts about his work on the war in Afghanistan.

Obama maintains approval in face of high unemployment and health care battle. The trick's in personal appeal, a strong base of support, weak opposition and a teaspoon of sugar in some of the medicine the president's prescribed."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=433x4813

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 18, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

How is this the most important number when when both the ABC and Daily Kos polls have BHO at 56%? This is the same anti-BHO cherrypicked silliness this space's mothership (Drudge) pushes every week.
___________

...and "Pawlenty in 2012"--definitely NOT!

"Minnesotans give President Obama and Gov. Tim Pawlenty roughly equal grades for the job they're doing, but it's no contest when the two are matched in a hypothetical 2012 presidential run.

According to a new poll by the St. Cloud State University Survey Center, 49 percent of those polled said they'd vote for Obama, while 39.7 percent said they'd vote for Pawlenty.

Obama received 54 percent of the vote in Minnesota last year; in neither of his runs for governor did Pawlenty crack 50 percent."

http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/70304667.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 18, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

How is this the most important number when when both the ABC and Daily Kos polls have BHO at 56%? This is the same anti-BHO cherrypicked silliness this space's mothership (Drudge) pushes every week.
___________

...and "Pawlenty in 2012"--definitely NOT!

"Minnesotans give President Obama and Gov. Tim Pawlenty roughly equal grades for the job they're doing, but it's no contest when the two are matched in a hypothetical 2012 presidential run.

According to a new poll by the St. Cloud State University Survey Center, 49 percent of those polled said they'd vote for Obama, while 39.7 percent said they'd vote for Pawlenty.

Obama received 54 percent of the vote in Minnesota last year; in neither of his runs for governor did Pawlenty crack 50 percent."

http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/70304667.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 18, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Dude the yoosta bee troll isn't fooling anyone.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 18, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The President was a breath of fresh air a year ago. But his inability to focus on anything but healthcare in a job the requires focus on the countries most pressing problems has been a major disappointment. The last of my concerns is healthcare when I have family members who cannot find a job. The Stimulus turned out to be a waste and a huge jobs opportunity was missed. Not convinced I made the right call a year ago, but I will next Fall.

Posted by: donchew1 | November 18, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Gosh Chris you clutch at any passing straw that might offer a glint of hope to the GOP.

Better wake up and smell the punkin' spice latty, the GOP is moribund and gone below the surface for the third time. They took the wrong lesson from NY23, they're still puffing Palin, still appealing to the eggbound qaida ("base") and alienating everyone else.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 18, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The job approval rating of the President is largely irrelevant today. In about three months it'll hold the weight The Fix attributes it today.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 18, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to point out that the series of red dots tracking above the Pollster trend line for "disapprove" represent the Rasmussen tracking polls.

Posted by: mnteng | November 18, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

It's mostly about, though not completely about, the economy. Democrats, from Obama on down, have been too hesitant to really tap into the anti-Wall Street rage throughout the nation. The rising unemployment rate has triggered greater anxiety.

Plus the health care debate and intra-party fighting among Democrats on the issue has generated suspicions that Democrats are incapable of competent governance because they still have not passed health care. Health care needs to be passed. People want it passed---they don't care whether it is bipartisan or not.

The ultimate goal is to get the economy turned around. If unemployment is going down and the economy is still growing at or above the 3.5% GDP rate registered last quarter by next September, then Obama's standing will be strong and Democrats will be fine in 2010. But it's about getting the economy turned around.

Obama and Democrats on the Hill lost control of the economic message and allowed the media to become obsessed about deficits, which in a time of economic pain, are really relatively meaningless. Jobs---not deficits----should be the concern. The government needs to do whatever possible and necessary to create jobs and relieve the human misery associated with unemployment.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | November 18, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Evidence that we have too many polls. Obama holds around 50% give or take a few. Not much is going to change unless there is a true rebound or it gets even worse. Say, the massive debt leads to a collapse in the currency, forcing China to drop its peg, and we get hyperinflation.

Lest you chuckle, Argentina once had a standard of living equal to that of Western Europe. And Russia had an empire.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 18, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Joe Klein on poll numbers:

"This is one of my biggest gripes with journalism as it is practiced, particularly on cable news: Polling numbers are "facts." They can be cited with absolute authority, sort of. And so they are given credence beyond all proportion to their actual importance or relevance. But they are not very truthy facts. The are imperfect impressions.

[snip]

They are what journalists hang on to instead of actually reporting and thinking. And they are--for me, too--addictive."

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/11/17/polls/

Just say no!

Posted by: mnteng | November 18, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Barely 100 hits today CC

the drivl effect is taking hold.

Posted by: snowbama | November 18, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"Given that, it genuinely matters to vulnerable Democrats in the House and Senate whether Obama's job approval number is at 55 percent or 45 percent in ten months time."

One way to ensure it is closer to 45 than 55 is for those vulnerable Democrats to chicken out and block the initiatives on which the President was elected.

Posted by: nodebris | November 18, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER IN POLITICS TODAY: (1)

That's the number of days before a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee is likely to ask federal officials whether the Ft. Hood shooter was subject to government-supported "community stalking" harassment and silent microwave/laser weapons irradiation.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA," "GOV'T TORTURES ME WITH SILENT MICROWAVE WEAPONS, SAYS OUSTED S.A. PREZ"

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 18, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER IN POLITICS TODAY: (1)

That's the number of days before a member of the Senate Arms Services Committee is likely to ask federal officials whether the Ft. Hood shooter was subject to government-supported "community stalking" harassment and silent microwave/laser weapons irradiation.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA," "GOV'T TORTURES ME WITH SILENT MICROWAVE WEAPONS, SAYS OUSTED S.A. PREZ"

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 18, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The reason is simple: two wars of convenience that have ZILCH to do with the Saudi-financed and supported al-Qaeda.

Bring the troops home and the numbers will skyrocket.

Posted by: WillSeattle | November 18, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey, it's just like the results of election day!

Posted by: DDAWD | November 18, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company