NBC vs. WSJ Over Meaning Behind Latest NBC/WSJ Poll

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday April 30, Chuck Todd tried to spin the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that shows half of Americans disapprove of Obama as “Improvement” for the Democrat.

Despite Todd’s desperate attempts to put a rosy picture on Obama’s flailing poll numbers, his analysis differs greatly from the pundits at The Wall Street Journal. James Freeman, assistant editor of WSJ’s editorial page, argues that “A mere 8% of respondents in the new survey say that the Affordable Care Act 'is working well the way it is'.”

Todd argued that “The poll numbers are better, they're still not good, okay? There is slight improvement on the health care law. And that directly related to slight improvement for President Obama.” Yet, Todd’s own statements don’t hold up to the actual findings of the NBC/WSJ poll. 

Freeman notes that:

There are differences of opinion on how to respond to the mess Washington has created, but few Americans think it's time to shut down the debate over the health law. A full 49% say that the law should either be scrapped entirely or given "a major overhaul," while 40% say the law needs "minor modifications to improve it."

Perhaps the White House can take comfort in the fact that the Journal/NBC survey shows modest improvements in support for the President and his signature health law, compared to recent editions of this poll. But both remain underwater. Mr. Obama's 44% approval rating lags his 50% disapproval rating.

And while 36% of respondents say the health law is a good idea, 46% say it's a bad idea. Congressional Democrats up for re-election this fall may be especially troubled by these results given that 43% of survey respondents voted for Barack Obama in 2012, versus 34% who voted for Mitt Romney. In the actual 2012 race, Mr. Obama bested Mr. Romney by four percentage points.

While Todd is NBC’s resident analyst for all NBC/WSJ polls, his views are certainly not reflective of everyone at the two news organizations. To many, Freeman offers a sobering dose of reality for Democrats and the impact ObamaCare will have on the midterm elections. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.