cross-posted at skippy and a veritable cornucopia of other community blogs.
pew (pronounced "pee-you!!!") research has released a new poll w/the headline obama’s approval rating slips amid division over economic proposals.
and it’s true that pew shows obama’s approval rating to be only 59% @ in march, compared to 64% in february. and, granted, that is "slipping."
if you don’t count cnn’s poll w/his job favorability numbers @ 64%; or ipsos-mcclatchey @65%; or diageo/hotline @67%; or even faux news’ poll @63% (all conducted @ similiar times as pew).
many other blogs, each more erudite in political wonkism than we, are discussing the pew poll’s low low low (nearly non-existant) numbers for congressional repubbblicans (we recommend our blog buddy steve benen’s discussion over @washmonthly).
but we want to point out pew’s spinning of their own results to make it appear as if obama is doing worse than he is (after the jump):
while obama’s job approval ratings have edged down, they remain on par with george w. bush’s ratings in march 2001 (55% approved, 25% disapproved). the balance of opinion regarding obama is more positive than it was for clinton in march 1993: at that time, 53% gave clinton a positive job rating compared with 34% who gave him a negative rating.
now, even tho we majored in math in our freshman year in college, it’s true that we switched to theater arts when we hit advanced calculus. so we may not be the ones to speak authortively on the subject of numbers.
but it seems to us that 55% (bush in march of his first year) is a lot closer to 53% (clinton @ the comparative time) than it is to 59% (obama now).
wait, let’s be sure. let’s get out our calculator…hmmm…55 minus 53…goes into 59 minus 55…twice! that’s right! obama’s number is twice as far from bush’s number as bush’s is from clinton’s! yet pew equates obama to bush, but says obama’s number is "more positive than it was for clinton."
now, this is not the first time the hardly-ever-right wing has tried to spin obama’s numbers their way. but if it were us, or any reasonable mathmatician, we would say "obama, while experience a slight dip in job favorability ratings, is still perceived more favorably than either bush or clinton, who were both at about the same numbers at similiar points in their presidency."
but then, we tend to be biased.