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.
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:
A new Washington Post poll of Virginians finds that Old Dominion voters are optimistic about the direction of the state, approve of the job of their conservative governor, and are divided on the question of same-sex marriage.
CBS announced on Friday its plans for a "special town hall meeting on the economy" featuring President Obama. Network personalities Bob Schieffer and Erica Hill will host the event. This announcement comes just over a month after the Democrat officially started his reelection campaign, and on the same week that the President's approval ratings on the economy reached a new low according to a CBS News poll.
The network's release also noted that "CBS News is making preparations for a Town Hall next month with leading Republicans about the economy," but didn't reveal whether these were going to be some of the GOP presidential contenders or any of the various members of Congress or governors in the party.
President Bush received a short-term boost in a New York Times poll when Saddam Hussein was captured in December 2003, his job approval rating rising to 58% from 50%, while the assassination of Osama bin Laden similarly benefitted President Obama in yesterday's NYT/CBS poll, 57% to 46%. Yet it was Obama who got the warmer initial greeting on the New York Times's front page.
Support for President Obama rose sharply after the killing of Osama bin Laden, with a majority now approving of his overall job performance, as well as his handling of foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The glow of national pride seemed to rise above partisan politics, as support for the president rose significantly among both Republicans and independents. In all, 57 percent said they now approved of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month.
CBS's Jan Crawford spotlighted the Tea Party movement on Monday's Early Show, but also played up how it might present a "challenge" for potential Republican presidential candidates due its apparent unpopularity: "Recent polls show 47% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the movement. So candidates looking for Tea Party votes have to be careful not to alienate moderates."
Midway through her report, after noting the would-be GOP presidential candidates, such as Tim Pawlenty and Donald Trump, who showed up at some of the weekend rallies, the correspondent turned to possible downside that these politicians might face in appealing to the Tea Party, playing up a result from a recent CNN/Opinion Dynamics poll:
Delay and indecision are beginning to define the Obama administration. One matter the Obama Justice Department cannot decide is whether to file an appeal to the Supreme Court in the "fleeting profanity" case called Fox vs. FCC. They've filed two extensions to kick the can down the road. Their latest deadline is April 21. Without an appeal, the Second Circuit's evisceration of any limitation on broadcast cursing will stand.
That’s right. All bets will be off. If you think the Idiot Box is foul now, wait until Hollywood is allowed to be as gross as it wants.
Some commentators will obviously apply the expected gravity argument. We're in three wars, have a $1.5 trillion deficit, and really, it's crucial to prevent Paris Hilton from swearing at a televised awards show? But Obama's Justice Department is making small decisions all the time.
One sign that the broadcast networks aren’t vigorously opposed to President Obama’s air strikes in Libya is the utter lack of polls. There were no ABC/Washington Post or NBC/Wall Street Journal polls touted before Obama’s Libya address, and a Gallup poll showing only 47 percent support for military action has been barely mentioned.
CBS News did a poll (without The New York Times) and briefly touted its results on March 22. Katie Couric offered one sentence on the Evening News: “A CBS News poll out tonight finds most Americans are following the events in Libya closely and nearly seven out of ten approve of the air strikes.” But the question was phrased in a way to encourage support for a coalition effort protecting innocent civilians:
"As you may know, the U.S. military and other countries have begun cruise missile and air strikes in Libya in order to protect civilians from attacks by Qaddafi's forces. Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. and other countries taking this military action in Libya?"
Appearing on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, Newsweek senior writer Andrew Romano touted a survey in the magazine's latest issue showing that 38% of Americans failed the U.S. citizenship test and claimed to know the cause: "One of the big ones is income inequality in the United States. We're one of the most in-equal societies in the developed world."
Romano argued to co-host Erica Hill: "When people don't have a lot of money, there's a difficulty getting a good education, there's a lack of opportunity and a lack of knowledge. That's one of the reasons why we don't do as well as northern European countries, sometimes on these surveys." Hill observed: "So it's really a question of access." Romano replied: "It is. It's a big problem."
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge touted a new poll claiming people support unions over Republican plans to cut state deficits: "A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that a majority of Americans, 56%, are opposed to cutting the pay and benefits of state workers to balance budgets while just 37% are in favor of it."
While Wragge called them "state workers," the actual poll consistently used the phrase "public employees," never state workers or government workers. On NBC's Today on Tuesday, pollster Frank Luntz explained how one phrase invokes a positive response while the other does not. Speaking to co-host Matt Lauer about the newly released CBS poll, he noted: "If you call them 'public workers' a majority of Americans respect them. If you call them 'government workers' a majority of Americans don't." Clearly, CBS and the New York Times selected wording that would elicit a response favorable to the liberal position on the issue.
Last May when a CBS News poll first asked about Arizona’s immigration enforcement law and found majority support for it (52 percent), the CBS Evening News didn’t report the finding. Two months later, when backing jumped five points higher, the newscast gave it a sentence. And a month after that, when those favoring the Arizona law had risen to 59 percent in August, the evening newscast ignored that number and instead focused on how “Americans oppose building a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero,” a story the network used to castigate Americans, pivoting to how that opposition and “controversies over new mosques in Wisconsin and Kentucky have led some to question is America becoming Islamophobic, a prejudice against Muslims?”
Now, with a CBS News/New York Times survey finding the public in sync with the CBS newsroom, and out of sync with conservatives, Katie Couric trumpeted in teasing Monday’s program: “Our new poll finds most Americans oppose cutting the pay, benefits and union rights of public employees.” She soon announced: “In a CBS News/New York Times poll out tonight, 56 percent of Americans say they oppose cutting the pay and benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits and 60 percent oppose taking away collective bargaining rights.”
The mainstream press has a habit of playing up poll results it likes without really scrutinizing the numbers underlying them.
ObamaCare-related polls, for some reason have often been simply repeated without careful examination. One such survey, conducted late last year, showed an increase in popularity for the law, but no media outlet that reported on it mentioned the poll's 15-point Democratic slant.
The latest ObamaCare poll to receive intense media focus, an AP/GfK survey, showed a decline in opposition to the law. The AP reported its findings thusly:
Yet another poll released Thursday by USA Today suggests that the American public has not bought into the media's ridiculous spin on Saturday's Tucson massacre.
According to the poll, conducted by Gallup, a majority of Americans think that attempts to link Saturday's shooting to conservative political rhetoric amount to "An attempt to make conservatives look bad." Only about a third of respondents said it was a "legitimate point."
While self-identified Democrats were predictably more likely to say blaming rhetoric from the right is a legitimate argument, a full third of Democrats agreed that it was just a partisan stunt.
Introducing a segment on Tuesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric acknowledged the latest CBS News poll showing that 57% of Americans do not believe heated political rhetoric had anything to do with the Tucson shooting. Even so, she added: "Just the same, nearly half say the discourse has become less civil than it was ten years ago."
The poll numbers that appeared on screen showed that 49% of respondents thought political discourse was less civil than a decade ago, while 33% saw the civility level about the same, and 15 % thought the current political climate was more civil. In other words, Americans are evenly divided over the question, with 48% seeing no decline in civility over the last ten years.
A new Gallup poll is out showing that 40 percent of Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so" while 38 percent believe "God guided [the] process" of evolution and only 16 percent believe evolution happened without any help from God.
Among the poll's findings was that a full 37 percent with a college degree and a full 22 percent with a postgraduate degree believe in creation.
Yet today, MSNBC's Chris Matthews sought to seize on another demographic stat from the poll to make the issue a partisan one and to mock Republicans as scientifically illiterate. In doing so he made a gaffe illustrating how behind the times he is when it comes to anthropological discoveries scientists link to human evolution:
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer thinks the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell is a national "priority" that needs to be passed during the lame duck session.
While the Senate considers stand-alone repeal of the ban against openly gay service members today, the MSNBC daytime anchor pressed Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.): "What do you make of the people who say there might not be enough time to do this during the lame duck session? Why not? Shouldn't this be a priority?"
Lieberman, who supports repeal, insisted that repealing the controversial measure now "must be a priority," despite a recent poll showing that only 32 percent of Americans think that taking up the issue is "very important." In fact, 56 percent of the public believes that "passing legislation that would keep the estate tax from increasing significantly" is "very important," and 50 percent believe that extending at least "some form" of the Bush tax cuts is "very important."
Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) ranked second only to the DREAM Act, which would grant a pathway to citizenship for minors, as the least important issue to address during the closing days of the 111th Congress.
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Jessica Yellin bizarrely implied that Congress's low poll numbers was linked to their failure to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." After noting the public's support for repeal, Yellin stated that "Congress has its lowest approval rating in the history of polling...So it's clear that the American people are in one place, and one place where they're not so happy with Congress."
Anchor Brooke Baldwin raised the "don't ask, don't tell" issue and how the House of Representatives was taking up a stand-alone bill that would repeal the 17-year-old policy. She asked the liberal CNN correspondent whether the Senate would pass the legislation, given how a previous repeal proposal was rejected just last week (as part of the defense authorization bill): "Why might the Senate change its collective mind? I remember the vote last Thursday. It was 57 to 40. They didn't have those three extra. So, all right, who's going to change their mind or why?"
A new ABC-Washington Post poll found ObamaCare sunk to its lowest popularity yet: 52 percent opposed, and only 43 percent in favor. ABC mentioned the poll without fanfare at the end of a Jake Tapper report on Monday’s World News, and Tapper added this was the health law's "lowest level of popularity ever." But Tuesday’s Washington Post reported not one sentence on the poll in the paper – even as they reported in the paper that the same survey found Obama’s tax-and-unemployment-compensation deal has “broad bipartisan support.”
The numbers weren't excluded because they arrived late. The Post poll numbers went up on the website yesterday at about 1 pm, under the headline “Health care opponents divided on repeal.” That obscured the numbers a bit, as Cohen found a “slim majority” (not a “clear majority”?) currently oppose ObamaCare:
Which is crazier: believing President Obama was not born in the United States or is actually a Muslim, or believing in total state control of the economy? If you answered the latter, you are probably not a journalist.
The mainstream press went absolutely nuts over an August Pew poll showing that 18 percent of Americans believed that Obama was a Muslim. There was also considerable media chatter over a CNN poll that same month, which found that 27 percent of Americans thought Obama was "probably" or "definitely" born abroad.
But so far, reporters have been eerily silent on a Rasmussen poll showing that 27 percent of Americans believe the federal government should "manage the economy" - as distinguished from simply providing services like Social Security or unemployment insurance.
During Tuesday's 1PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Andrea Mitchell highlighted a new poll from the left-wing pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood that claimed that voters do not trust Sarah Palin on so-called "women's health issues": "A new poll suggests that she may have a tough time getting voters to trust her on at least one front....54% of registered voters do not trust Palin on those issues."
Later in the same segment, deciding to get in a few more shots at Palin, Mitchell claimed that the former Alaska governor's new book, 'America by Heart,' had not appeared on the New York Times best seller list: "All of a sudden, Sarah Palin, with a new book, is not on the list....unless there was something wrong with my edition of The New York Times, she's not on it, with a book that's just come out." Well, apparently there was something wrong with the Times' Sunday December 5 best seller list, because its December 12 list had Palin's book debuting at number two behind George W. Bush's 'Decision Points.'
"Senate GOP: Extend tax cuts or else," reads the teaser headline for an Associated Press story at SFGate.com, the website for the San Francisco Chronicle.
[Screen capture posted after page break]
"Republicans send letter to Harry Red threatening to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts for wealthy are extended," an accompanying caption insisted.
In the corresponding story, AP writer Julie Hirschfeld Davis lamented that "Senate Republicans threatened Wednesday to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts are extended and a bill is passed to fund the federal government, vastly complicating Democratic attempts to leave their own stamp on the final days of the post-election Congress."
Of course, nowhere in her story did Hirschfeld Davis note that a recent poll shows most Americans think extending the Bush tax cuts are the top priority for the lame duck Congress. According to the Gallup organization:
CNN host Larry King channeled the left's frustration with the Obama administration on Thursday's Larry King Live as he questioned Vice President Joe Biden about their approach on overturning the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy: "You were against it, as I understand? Certainly, the President is against it. Most of the administration is against it....So why is this our policy?"
King had Mr. Biden on as his sole guest during the first half hour of his program, and brought on Second Lady Jill Biden to join her husband for the remainder of the program. The host raised the controversial issue immediately before Mrs. Biden came on, and besides noting how "most of the administration" is against the policy, he stated that "apparently, they polled troops- they're against it, and you poll America- they're against it."
On October 29, 2010, The Washington Post cited unnamed "multiple people familiar with the findings" of a Defense Department survey of active-duty and reserve military, which apparently found that "a majority of active-duty and reserve service members...would not object to serving and living alongside openly gay troops," but the actual results would not be available until December 1, when a "Pentagon report...regarding how the military would end enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" law" is released. However, only two years ago, The Military Times, in their annual poll of active-duty service members, revealed that 58% were opposed to the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Moreover, General James Conway, who stepped down as commandant of the Marine Corps on October 22 of this year, stated in an October 15 interview that "as many as 95% of Marines would be uncomfortable serving alongside openly gay troops."
As he devoted his regular 60 Minutes segment on Sunday to complaining about surveys, CBS’s Andy Rooney declared his belief that President Obama is "doing the best job he knows how, and it’s good enough for me." Rooney, who has a history of openly admitting that his political views are liberal, also gave viewers some insight into his social circle as having like-minded views on politics as he relayed to viewers that eight out of nine friends he asked also like Obama. Rooney complained:
Gallup said that they surveyed over 90,000 Americans for this one poll. I mean, where was I when they were calling people about President Obama? The survey said that only 44 percent of us approve of President Obama’s performance. Well, I surveyed nine of my friends, and eight of them said they liked Obama but didn’t trust Gallup polls. As far as I’m concerned, Obama’s doing the best job he knows how, and it’s good enough for me.
On Thursday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric talked to a group of supposedly independent voters in Pennsylvania, but touted how none of them were undecided about one thing: "...there was unanimous agreement in this group, the Tea Party isn't their cup of tea." [Audio available here]
Following that declaration by Couric, each voter took their turn denouncing the conservative political movement. Marketing director Scott Barclay dismissed the tea party "as another voice from the fringe." Janis Fonteccio proclaimed: "They make statements that are just absolutely terrorizing." Single mom Katie Gray Sadler warned: "Making a lot of noise doesn't necessarily mean you have the right answers." Maria Reice, a registered nurse, wrapped up the tea party bashing: "It shouldn't be the Tea Party. It should be the inflammatory party."
There is a simple explanation for President Obama's dismal approval ratings, but ABC's George Stephanopoulos fails to comprehend it. Appearing on the October 13 "O'Reilly Factor," the former Clinton adviser peddled multiple theories to explain Obama's unpopularity, but neglected to consider the possibility that the president has simply failed to connect with the general public.
"As far as the problem with Democrats, they're upset about the economy, but he has also got a problem with liberals, who wish he would have done more on issues like gays in the military, on health care, on other issues," asserted Stephanopoulos.
The argument that Obama's approval rating is suffering because his policies have not been liberal enough shows just how disconnected this political flak-turned-journalist is with the public he ostensibly serves. Obama's approval rating is not hovering around 43 percent, as the latest Reuters poll indicates, because liberal activists, who represent a small percentage of the population, have been abandoning the president in droves. Rather, Obama is floundering because his support among independents and swing-voters has evaporated. In that same poll, according to Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, Obama has a 33 percent approval rating among Ohio voters.
In a report on Friday's CBS Early Show, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante noted that President Obama hitting the campaign trail for Democrats didn't seem to be helping: "...more than half of the voters say that the President's support for any one candidate would have no impact on their decision." However, he then declared: "Not all Republicans are coasting to victory in 2010."
While Plante acknowledged that "Republicans [are] far more energized than Democrats this campaign season," he spent the second half of his report focused on two GOP candidates behind in the polls: "New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who recently got into a fight with a New York Post reporter, is way behind his opponent, Andrew Cuomo....Also running behind in the polls, Delaware's tea party Senate candidate, Christine O'Donnell." Plante went on to proclaim that O'Donnell "made headlines earlier this week with her infamous 'I am not a witch' commercial."
The National Football League is whistling incumbent Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold's campaign team for illegal use of film.
The campaign has been playing a commercial which includes footage of former Minnesota wide receiver Randy Moss's pretend-mooning of Green Bay Packer fans during a 2004 playoff game, and is apparently doing so without the express written consent of the league.
During the course of his coverage of the situation, the Associated Press's Dinesh Ramde demonstrates that he doesn't really know the score of the game that is progress, namely the electoral contest for Feingold's U.S. Senate seat. In that game, the scoreboard at Real Clear Politics has Feingold's Republican opponent currently ahead by an average of nine points over four polls. The latest, from Rasmussen, has Johnson ahead by 12.
To Ramde, these polls indicate that Feingold is "slightly trailing" Johnson.
In my beloved home state of Maryland, this year's governor's race is a rematch of the contest four years ago, and most polls show a close race, with current Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) up a few points over former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R), but at or below the crucial 50 percent mark.
Enter the Washington Post, which two days ago released a poll that shows O'Malley up by 11 points, breaking the 50 percent mark. As might be expected, Post journalists are hyping the results, casting the race as possibly starting to break decisively in O'Malley's direction.
In an online chat, the Post's Chris Cillizza vouched for the poll by stating that pollster "Jon Cohen is the best in the business, so yes," O'Malley has indeed opened up a wide lead over Ehrlich. Today, the Post's Mike DeBonis penned a column about how O'Malley is "right now, in a place where a lot of his fellow Democrats around the country sure wish they were."
Eh, not so fast, veteran Maryland political observer Blair Lee argues in an October 1 article for Gazette.net.
The Post poll oversamples demographic groups that are O'Malley-friendly and doesn't take into account the heightened energy among Maryland Republicans and depressed primary turnout from Democrats this year, Lee argues (emphasis mine):
Should Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, GOP candidates for Governor and Senate in California, respectively, be worried by recent CNN/Time poll numbers showing both trailing by sizable margins? In short: no, not really.
That's because Time/CNN seem to have stacked the deck by significantly overestimating the number of Democrats likely to vote in this year's strong anti-Obama electorate.
According to the Weekly Standard's Jay Cost, the Time/CNN poll seems to think that Democrats will have more of their voters this year than in their banner 2008 year. Cost examined the Time/CNN numbers, compared them to exit polls from previous elections, and concluded - accurately, I believe - that the poll significantly oversampled Democrats.
Gallup also again confirmed that three times as many recognize a liberal bias than perceive a conservative tilt:
Nearly half of Americans (48%) say the media are too liberal, tying the high end of the narrow 44 percent to 48 percent range recorded over the past decade. One-third say the media are just about right while 15 percent say they are too conservative.
Most telling: While Republicans have the least trust in the news media and are the most-likely too consider the media “too liberal,” independents are much closer to Republicans than Democrats: 61 percent of independents don’t trust the media and 45 percent call the media “too liberal” compared to just 15 percent who say the media are “too conservative.” [Jpg of a table showing the rundown by party and ideology.]