Accuracy in Media

While much of the liberal mainstream media have focused on the Edward Snowden and NSA scandal, one of the most recent overlooked stories has been President Barack Obama’s job approval and disapproval ratings. Ever since his re-election in November 2012, Obama has seen his job approval fall to new lows.

Perhaps some of the stories of Obama administration scandals, many of which have been covered in the conservative media, have seeped into the mainstream, including to the low-information voters. Those include spying on and tapping Associated Press reporters’ phones; suppressing Tea Party and other conservative groups through the IRS during Obama’s re-election campaign; and most prominently, the disastrous reality of Obamacare—not just the rollout and the computer “glitches,” but the realization that it was sold to the American public with lie after lie (“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor;” your insurance costs will be reduced by an average of $2,500 per year; it will not only pay for itself, it will reduce the deficit). And this list barely scratches the surface.

Many on the left are also upset with Obama, but for different reasons. They don’t like his broken campaign promise to close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, nor the administration’s continued surveillance and spying on foreign leaders and allies like Germany’s Angela Merkel and Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff. They also don’t care much for Obamacare, only because they want it to be fully run by the federal government. Obama’s job approval rating has been beaten by these scandals and other domestic and foreign policy missteps.

According to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) job approval poll numbers, which are averages of the USA Today/Pew, Gallup, Rasmussen, Reuters, The Economist and Quinnipiac polls:

  • On Election Day 2012, Obama had a 50.1% job approval rating and a 47.1% job disapproval rating
  • Obama’s highest job approval rating was on December 24, 2012 at 53.8%. His job disapproval rating that day was 41.8%
  • On November 9th, 2004, two days after Election Day, Bush had a 51.9% approval rating and a 46.7% disapproval rating

  obama poll numbers

It has been downhill ever since then…

  • A presidency-worst job disapproval rating of 55.6% and a job approval rating of 40% to start the 2014 year
  • As the Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow reported, Obama’s 2013 job approval average, according to Gallup, was 45.8%
    • This barely passes George W. Bush’s fifth-year average of 45.7%

His ratings on the economy and foreign policy have not fared well, either. Regarding his handling of the economy…

  • Currently, Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy 56.5% to 39.6%
  • None of the polls have less than a 12% difference between job disapproval and job approval ratings, with the disapproval numbers being the larger numbers
  • The largest polling gap was from the CBS News/New York Times poll at 21% and the smallest was from the USA Today/Pew poll at 11%

Compared with previous months and years, Obama’s ratings have been on a downward slide since the end of 2012. Before December 2012 and going back to 2009, the majority of poll numbers showed Obama was enjoying positive job approval ratings on the economy—between 47 and 51%. He has seen his job approval ratings go down from the high 40s to the high 30s, and his job disapproval ratings soar from the mid-40s to the mid-to-high 50s.

Just like his other job approval ratings, Americans’ approval of Obama’s foreign policy is almost as bad.

  • The latest polls indicate that Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of foreign policy by 49.2% to 42.4%

The Quinnipiac and Fox News polls saw double-digits deficits in approval ratings, while the CBS News/New York Times and NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls had between 2 and 4 percentage points difference. Before June 2013, Obama enjoyed a positive rating on foreign policy, and avoided double-digit approval deficits.

Yet, these ratings are being buried, and these trends ignored, by the liberal mainstream media.

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