cross-posted at skippy and a veritable cornucopia of other community blogs.

the hardly-ever-right wing’s favorite pollster, scottie "weighted for republicans" rasmussen writes in today’s wsj that obama’s poll nubmbers are "falling to earth":

it is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on president barack obama’s high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration. indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true. the american people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the obama administration has advanced.

polling data show that mr. obama’s approval rating is dropping and is below where george w. bush was in an analogous period in 2001. rasmussen reports data shows that mr. obama’s net presidential approval rating — which is calculated by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove from the number who strongly approve — is just six, his lowest rating to date.

but, as no more mister nice blog points out, it is simply wrong for rasmussen (w/douglas schoen) to read half the poll and interpret that as obama’s steep decline in popularity (after the jump):

i don’t have time to pick the whole thing apart, but i’ll just comment on a couple of bits of rasmussen and schoen’s evidence:

when gallup asked whether we should be spending more or less in the economic stimulus, by close to 3-to-1 margin voters said it is better to have spent less than to have spent more.i believe that would be this question, from a usa today/gallup survey conducted february 20-22…:

gallup question 1

yes, nearly three times as many people said it would have been better to spend less than more — but almost exactly as many people said the right amount was spent as said too much was spent! and if you add the people who said the dollar amount was "about right" to those who said "better to spend more," you get a majority. rasmussen and schoen’s interpretation is preposterous…

gallup question 2

so we have huge majorities in favor of "funding new government programs to help create jobs," "giving aid to state governments in serious financial trouble," and "giving aid to homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure" — but (in gallup’s own words) "regardless of whether [respondents] favor or oppose the steps the government has taken in recent months to address economic problems," they have worries about the items rasmussen and schoen listed. (& get their numbers by adding the "very worried" and "somewhat worried" numbers in response to the second question group.)

you know what? if i have a life-threatening illness and i need surgery, i’m going to be at least "somewhat worried" about dying on the operating table; depending on the nature of the surgery, i might be "very worried." that doesn’t mean i’m anti-surgery. that doesn’t mean i’ve suddenly developed doubts that surgery can often prevent death. it just means i recognize risks.

so, once again, the hardly-ever-right must spin the facts to obtain the result they want…which is, in this case, nobody likes obama.nobody except everybody except them, that is.

unrelated editorial addendum: seriously, fdl, this flickr shit is the pits. photobucket is far easier to use. i had to reformat this sucker 8 times just to get it looking right.

just my two cents…