Obama Hype versus Gallup Reality

By Dave Andrusko

What a fascinating juxtaposition. A piece titled “Obama’s reelect’s first job: Reconnect” and the results of a Gallup Poll titled “Obama Job Approval at 41% Tying His Low: Independent’s approval rating down to 35%”

The first appeared in POLITICO, which more and more appears to be a virtual in-house organ for the Democratic Party. The point of the story?

Just as Obama’s ability to directly reach voters was crucial to his win in 2008, the retooled messaging team will use every phase of social media (e.g., twitter & Facebook and smart phones) to wing him home to victory in 2012. And going against conventional wisdom—setting up the re-election team 600 miles away in Chicago rather than in Washington, D.C.—is just more evidence of President Obama’s shrewdness and ingenuity.

“The whole campaign benefits from being insulated from the day-to-day in Washington,” David Axelrod [the “spiritual architect of both the past and present campaigns”] said. “Everyone you run into is not pummeling you with the conventional wisdom.”

Well, okay. No one would ever accuse the President or his team of an excess of modesty.

But while the Obama team is floating on a technological high, a more traditional down-to-earth measure of what’s what is sending a far more sober message.

“The latest Gallup Daily tracking three-day average shows 41% of Americans approving of the job Barack Obama is doing as president,” writes Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones. “That ties his low as president, which he registered three times previously — twice in August 2010 and once in October 2010.”

Obama is faring even worse with the most sought after group of campaigns today—the Independent voter.

“Obama’s approval rating in April 12-14 polling is down most among independents when compared with his 2011 average to date as well as his term average among this group,” Jones writes. “Currently, 35% of independents approve of the president, nine points off his average from independents this year.”

If you take the time to look at the tables themselves, the situation is actually worse than that for President Obama.

His average support among Democrats 2009-2011 was 84%. It’s 77% in the April 12-14 polling.

Likewise, but worse, with Independents. The 2009-2011 average approval was 48%. It’s down by 13%–to 35%–for April 12-14.

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