Friday, March 19, 2010

It's About Time: Obama Approval Under Disapproval on RCP

Real Clear Politics, or RCP for short, is a news site that averages approval/disapproval polls together, forming a very non-partisan system. For the last year and change, I have closely watched the approval of the President. Slowly but surely, it kept going lower and lower and lower.

The President was at his peak on January 29, 2009 with an approval of 63.5 and a disapproval of only 19.3, a 44.2% difference. From the beginning of March to the end of June, Obama's approval/disapproval held moderately steady. But then it happened. The President began calling for radical reforms to the American Health Care System. While reform is needed, this "change" that the President was peddling did not sit well with the American people.

On July 1, the President's approval was 59.5 with his disapproval at only 34, a difference of 25.5%. By July 24, little over three weeks, his approval had dived to 54.7, his disapproval at 41.3, a difference of 13.4%, a 12.1% difference from earlier that month. By the end of August, Obama's approval was at 51.2, with a disapproval of 42.4.

October saw an uptick in the President's approval, as he seemed to be mentioning Health Care less as he began to campaign in New Jersey and Virginia. But oh, how he failed in his campaigns there. After October, his approval rating never recovered.

January saw a huge decrease in the President's rating, with the difference between approval and disapproval falling to less than 5%. That month, Scott Brown upset the once-heavily favored Martha Coakley. Once again, the President campaigned for his choice, and once again they went down in flames. Coackley and Obama were brought down by his health care bill.

During February and most of March, there have been back and forth poll numbers, with Obama coming ever-so-close to be disapproved more than approved. But today is the day that it finally happened. Today is the day that Obama's approval sits at 47.3 and his disapproval sits at 47.8, or negative .5%.

Looking further into the polls, however, reveals something more startling. The three most recent polls, Fox News, Gallup, and Rasmussen, have the President's approval spread at -2%, -2%, and -10% respectively. An AP poll is also factored into RCP's latest average; yet the AP poll is the oldest one in the average and has the President at +7%. This means that it is possible that President Obama's approval/disapproval is skewed upwards.

Will the President's approval see an uptick, or will it continue its decline? I think I'll do anarticle on that some other time.

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