New Adventures in Hackwork
This article by Fox News Washington Managing Editor Bill Sammon would be problematic even if its main data point — President Obama’s 47-percent approval rating in the Gallup poll — weren’t negated by the time the article was published. (Obama’s number has crept back up to 50 percent.) The problem is that Sammon fudges the methodology for determining how popular other presidents were “at this point in [their terms].”
Sammon argues that presidents since FDR “all had higher job approval ratings than Obama at this stage of their tenure.” But he pulls his numbers from Gallup’s list of presidential approval ratings from the December of their first year in office. And so far in December, Obama has averaged 50 percent, not 47 percent. That’s slightly better than the numbers for Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman.
This, however, is my favorite part of Sammon’s article.
Obama’s immediate predecessor, President George W. Bush, had an approval rating of 86 percent, or 39 points higher than Obama at this stage.
Now, think: Were there any events in late 2001 that altered George W. Bush’s approval rating? Sammon doesn’t mention any.