CBS Reports Bad Polls for Obama, But Left Out Drop in ObamaCare Numbers

In the last two days, CBS has reported on its latest poll, emphasizing that Americans are pessimistic about an improving economy, with a little emphasis on how their measure of Barack Obama’s approval rating (44 percent) has tied his lowest number in their poll. But none of the CBS on-air stories have mentioned the poll’s findings on how the approval of ObamaCare has shrunk by seven points. Stephanie Condon reported for the CBS News Political Hotsheet:

Americans continue to be more likely to disapprove than approve of President Obama's sweeping health care reforms, a new CBS News poll shows. While approval of the law is slightly higher than it was when the reforms were signed into law in March, support for the measure has dropped seven points in the past two months.

Forty-nine percent of Americans now disapprove of the health care reform measure, according to the poll, which was conducted July 9-12. Thirty-six percent support the law.

Americans continue to see little personal benefit from the health care reform legislation. By more than two to one, Americans think it will hurt (33 percent) rather than help them (13 percent). Forty-eight percent expect the reform to have no effect on them personally.

The Early Show reported poll results on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, but not about health care. On Tuesday's Evening News, reporter Dean Reynolds found a grumpy public (and tried to explain away their disapproval):  

KATIE COURIC: As this crisis in the Gulf enters a 13th week, a CBS News poll out tonight finds more than half of Americans disapprove of how President Obama is handling it and his overall job approval rating is down three points, tying his all-time low of 44 percent. National correspondent Dean Reynolds is in Chicago tonight and, Dean, this seems to be the summer of our discontent.

DEAN REYNOLDS: Boy, it seems that way, Katie. Pessimism just permeate this survey, along with a gathering sense that the man in charge is not doing enough to alleviate it...Indeed, in our new CBS News poll, the economy is seen as the biggest problem facing the country by far and specifically the lack of jobs.

WALTER POWELL, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: A job period! A job, you know? Most people they can`t get jobs.

REYNOLDS: 52 percent say the president has spent too little time addressing the issue and 63 percent say his economic programs have had no effect on them personally. That's politically ominous for Obama and probably frustrating given that a number of independent economic research organizations say at least 2 million jobs were created or saved by the stimulus. And yet 75 percent of the country believes the effects of the recession will last two more years or longer.

On screen, the economic research organizations said to claim 2.3 million jobs saved or created are Moody's economy.com and IHS Global Insight. But Reynolds is overstating those groups' estimates, according to PolitiFact:

Separately, the council's report cited four independent analyses of the same question. These estimates were by the Congressional Budget Office, Congress' nonpartisan number-crunching arm, as well by three private-sector economic-analysis firms. Here's what those groups found:

-- CBO: Between 800,000 jobs (low estimate) and 2.4 million jobs (high estimate) saved or created.

-- IHS/Global Insight: 1.25 million jobs saved or created.

-- Macroeconomic Advisers: 1.06 million jobs saved or created.

-- Moody's economy.com: 1.59 million jobs saved or created.

In the report, Obama's economic advisers argue that their estimates "are consistent with a broad consensus of numerous professional forecasters. The fact that such a range of public and private forecasters broadly agree with our assessment should increase confidence that the act is having a substantial stimulative effect."

But focusing on the 2 million figure, as Obama does, is a somewhat generous view of the data.

CBS seems to share that "generosity" with the estimates. 

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis