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A is not A « The Washington Independent

A lesson: When Glenn Reynolds asks whether “Barack Obama’s popularity has already plunged 15 points,” he is linking facetiously to a post that makes no sense. In this case, one by Don Surber.

Citing a Gallup Poll, the London Sun reported President Obama is “down” to 68% approval. If this keeps up, he’ll be in negative numbers by Easter.

Let’s take a look at that Gallup Poll.

With a 69% job approval rating in the latest Gallup Poll Daily update, Barack Obama continues a strong start to his presidency. That rating follows his initial approval rating of 68% — based on Jan. 21-23 polling and reported Saturday — and ranks him near the top of the list of presidents elected after World War II. [...]

Obama’s initial approval rating of 68% looks more impressive compared to the average 55% approval rating for the four presidents whose first ratings were measured in January after their inaugurations.

What the heck were Surber and Reynolds talking about? Well, before he became president, Obama’s approval ratings for his transition and his personal favorable ratings were quite a bit higher than 68 percent. As much as 15 points higher. Then he became president, and pollsters started asking a different question, which elicited a higher “don’t know” number. The number of Americans who don’t like the president has remained about the same, in the mid-to-low teens.

Obviously, the president’s popularity is a big problem for Republicans, who are choosing to triangulate and ride the wave. It’s also a problem for conservatives, who are apparently choosing to pretend that if they hold their breath long enough, someone else will be president.

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