Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Barack Obama, a Year Later

A year after his election, how popular is Barack Obama?
I went over to to take a look at the numbers. Polls asking about job performance doesn't allow us to go back a year, since he was in office yet. But some polls have continued to ask
the favorable/unfavorable question through the campaign and into his first year in office. Of these, the CNN, Gallup and NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls ask the question frequently enough to give us a rough comparison to a year ago. By looking at the number from just before the election, we avoid the glow that surrounded Obama after his historic win and before his inauguration.
Gallup, Oct. 1-4, 2009: 56 favorable, 40 unfavorable
Gallup, Oct. 10-12, 2008: 62 favorable, 35 unfavorable

CNN, Oct. 16-18, 2009: 60 favorable, 39 unfavorable
CNN, Oct. 17-19, 2008: 62 favorable, 35 unfavorable

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll asks a slightly different question:
NBC/WSJ, Oct. 22-25, 2009: 36 very pos., 20 somewhat pos., 11 somewhat neg., 21 very neg.
NBC/WSJ, Oct. 17-20, 2008: 39 very pos., 18 somewhat pos., 10 somewhat neg., 24 very neg.
By using the last weeks of the 2008 campaign as a baseline, we get a better understanding of his relative political strength, and Obama is holding up rather well amid the din. This is worth noting considering that the cries of socialism we heard during the campaign seem tame compared to the invective and epithets that have been hurled in Obama's direction in his first year in office.
As for last night's election results, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight
cites exit polls that show Obama's strength extends to folks who voted for Republicans. In Virginia, 20 percent of those who approve of Obama voted for GOP candidate Bob McDonnell. In New Jersey, 27 percent of those who expressed approval for Obama voted to oust John Corzine.
Overall, Obama has seen his poll number fall a just few points from the last weeks before the election in which he beat John McCain 53 percent to 46 percent and 365 to 173 in electoral votes.


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4:16 PM, November 23, 2009  

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