Every so often I will likely post data from recent polls. Numbers are sometimes skewed to fit a designated storyline, however when broken down correctly they can be informative. Plus…I am giant stat geek whether its athletics, professionally or in politics. So indulge me as we look at a few:
Washington Post/ABC News Poll (July 15-18th): Quite long and detailed but some interesting information. Also worth noting that the WP/ABC poll was found to have a 3pt lean in the favor of Dems in the 2008 election.
First off, they show Obama’s approval rating at a 59/37 split – still pretty high, yet down 6 points from last month. However, when they ask how people feel Obama is doing handing a certain situation the only topic which exceeds his popularity is the way he is handling Afghanistan (62% approval). Other topics include the Economy and Unemployment – Each at 52% approval, Health Care – 49%, and the Budget Deficit – 43%. All topics are trending negatively compared to previous polls.
So, Obama is popular, but his policies are not. Should be good for Republicans, right? Not exactly. When asked who they trust to handle certain domestic issues Obama beats the Republicans in Congress by at least 20%. Although Republicans are trending upwards, they are still behind Democrats in Congress 47%-36%.
Finally, when asked if they generally considered themselves Democrats or Republicans, 33% said Democrats, 22% said Republicans, and 41% responded Independent. However, when asked if they considered their political views liberal, conservative or moderate, 20% said Liberal, 38% responded Conservative, and 39% said Moderate. That is 77% of the vote that is in the air when debating national issues.
Associated Press/GfK Poll (via MSNBC – July 21st): The actual polling data is a detailed PDF that you can find on this site, but I just linked to a summary from MSNBC. The AP poll gives Obama 55% approval rating, which is near equal to the approval rating of G.W. Bush 6 months into his first term. The key to this data however is that Obama’s approval, while down 9pts since the last poll, has dropped 20pts among independents. This drop among independents that voted for him in November have contributed to his significant fall since the inauguration in all the major categories which was also shown in the WP/ABC poll.
Rasmussen Poll (July 5-7): This poll is a few weeks old, but still ties well with the previous two. Rasmussen is rumored to have a right lean, but the data usually is proven to be accurate. For this poll, 4,000 people were surveyed and the results showed in 8 of 10 electoral issues, those surveyed trusted the Republicans over Democrats. This is amazing considering the 20pt difference of Obama’s approval over the Republican Congressmen. However, when the debate is focused on the solutions – people will tend to lean towards a conservative solution over the liberal option.
In conclusion, we can summarize a few key points:
- Obama is popular, no matter what he wants to do. Heck, I like him, just not the direction he is taking the country. Fighting him directly or obstructing him is not the way to defeat his policies until his popularity wanes.
- Republicans can win the national debate by keeping the focus on new ideas and avoiding the same old name-calling games that the left-wing media loves to use to attack. When conservative ideas are effectively presented they are well received.
- To help itself, the Republicans need to push new stars to the forefront. No more of the old, unpopular guard. There is talent in the Republican ranks sitting behind Boehner and McConnell. The charred remnants of the Bush administration are fading and soon will be forgotten; American people identify with conservatives, but are still hesitant to be called Republicans. It will be good to start turning the perception of the Republican Congress before 2010.