Apr
23
2010

It's Hard to Make a Flat Line Sound Sexy

A New York Times article (4/23/10) by Peter Baker and David Herszenhorn remarks of Barack Obama:

With his poll numbers sagging, the choreographed confrontation seemed aimed at tapping the nation's antiestablishment mood as well as muscling financial regulation legislation through Congress.

While Obama's confrontation with the financial industry was no doubt choreographed, are his poll numbers really sagging?

This chart from Pollster.com, averaging out all the major national polls, reveals instead that opinion on Obama's job performance is remarkably steady (and remarkably evenly divided, too).

It's hard to turn a line like that into exciting news, which isn't to say that the people who write press releases for polling firms can't try. The Monkey Cage blog (4/21/10; via Yglesias, 4/21/10) noted a release from Quinnipiac that began:

President Barack Obama's job approval, which bounced slightly to a 45-46 percent split March 25 in the wake of his healthcare victory, has flattened out at 44-46 percent, his lowest approval rating since his inauguration, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

The approval ratings since the beginning of this year on which Quinnipiac based this exciting tale: 45, 45, 46, 45, 44. The margin of error of these polls: +/- 2.2 percentage points.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.