Poll-Cooking With AP: Obama Approval at 60% -- With 46-29 Dem-GOP Split

The chefs in the kitchens at AP-GfK, a joint effort of the Associated Press and GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, have been working overtime cooking up a scrumptious dish for fans of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

After tasting the output this morning, the AP's Liz Sidoti and Jennifer Agiesta could hardly contain their glee (also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):

President Barack Obama's approval rating has hit its highest point in two years - 60 percent - and more than half of Americans now say he deserves to be re-elected, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll taken after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

In March, the same poll had the president's approval rating at 53%. The graphic which follows, obtained from the the poll's "topline" at AP-GfK's web site, reveal that the AP pair enjoy feasting on empty calories:

GfKpollSamplesJanMarMay2011

The graphic demonstrates that even March's 53% Obama approval rating was cooked, as its Democrat-Republican-Independent mix of 45-33-4 is wildly at odds with more comprehensive polls, like this one from January at Gallup showing a 45-44 Democrat-Republican split.

In May, AP-GfK doubled down on the filler. The 46% Democrat, 29% Republican, and 4% independent sample makeup alone is responsible for at least five points of the 7% "bounce" from March. The increase from 17% in March to 20% in May in the "Don't Know" component, a group which would seem to be more likely impressed by the most recent news reports they may have seen or heard than others, could explain the other two points. If so, May's cooked poll, adjusted for the change in recipe ingredients, would show no bounce.

The latest poll's sample is so laughably distorted that Sidoti and Agiesta should be ashamed of themselves as journalists for taking its results seriously. Instead, they've reacted like over-candied kids. Their report, to coin a phrase, spikes the football, and even tries to create a sense of further momentum:

In worrisome signs for Republicans, the president's standing improved not just on foreign policy but also on the economy, and independent Americans - a key voting bloc in the November 2012 presidential election - caused the overall uptick in support by sliding back to Obama after fleeing for much of the past two years.

 

Comfortable majorities of the public now call Obama a strong leader who will keep America safe. Nearly three-fourths - 73 percent - also now say they are confident that Obama can effectively handle terrorist threats. And he improved his standing on Afghanistan, Iraq and the United States' relationships with other countries.

 

... Overall, Obama's approval rating is up slightly from 53 percent in March and a 47 percent low point following last fall's midterm congressional elections, in which Republicans won control of the House and gained seats in the Senate. It was 64 percent in May 2009, just months after he was sworn into office.

 

Also, 53 percent now say he deserves to be re-elected; 43 percent say he should be fired, making it the first time in an AP-GfK poll that more people say he should get a second term than not.

It seems likely that a party-ID makeup in the neighborhood of January's, which is still a bit distorted compared to Gallup's 45-44 split, would have returned a May presidential approval result of about 50%.

The sad thing is that the AP surely knows that folks like yours truly and others will see through the poll's outrageous distortion. It seems pretty obvious that they don't care. What's appears to be far more important to the self-described Essential Global News Network is convincing the relatively less-informed who will see or hear the fantabulous 60% headline and won't look any further that the President is hugely popular, that his popularity is growing, and that they might as well get used to having Barack Obama in charge until January 20, 2017 -- while of course betting that most readers and viewers will never see the dirty work done in the kitchen that brought about the phony results.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.