Our polarizing president

By Chrissy the Hyphenated

Click graphic to embiggen for easier reading.

Chrissy’s Site Bites: http://news.webshots.com/photo/2666434640056011884gUoVSN

Source: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history

There are a few things to notice here. For one, there are zero No Opinions. In other words, Obama has been very polarizing.

Second, the Total Approval group is now comprised only of those who were Strong Approvers at the beginning, which means ALL of the No Opinions and Approves are now in the Disapprove and Strongly Disapprove groups, which gives the lie to the whole racism thing.

Unless, of course, you are so stupid that you believe those people only noticed Obama’s skin color AFTER the $160 million dollar Inauguration of the First Black President hoopla, in which case, I’m guessing you’re still in the Strongly Approve category and think MSNBC started to go downhill when they canned Keith Olbermann.


Filed under Barack Obama

10 responses to “Our polarizing president

  1. Chrissy,
    I appreciate the work you do on these graphics. It definitely helps put the raw numbers into a bigger picture.

    I do have a couple of suggestions for minor improvement, if you are open to them…

    1) Inauguration day was actually January 20, 2009, but the Rasmussen averaged poll results for January 18-20 are the numbers released on January 21, 2009.

    2) For those results released January 21, you have the somewhat disapprove and strongly disapprove backwards… the somewhat disapprove that day was 14% and the strongly disapprove was 16% (although strong disapprove was 14% the next day). See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history

    I’ve been working on a 30 day rolling average, which I will post once the 30 day rolling average for total approval falls below the 30 day rolling average for strong disapproval…


  2. Another thing to note about the low point of strong disapproval (14%) and the low point of strong approval (19% as of yesterday)…

    Those two groups (a combined 33% of the voting population) are the only people who do not have a more negative opinion of Obama now than when he took office.

    Fully 2/3 of the voting population has a more negative opinion of Obama now.


    • chrissythehyphenated


      Wow, it’s good to see you again! You’re my best watchdog and I missed having you around these past weeks. 🙂

      1) I started this Inauguration high vs. whatever format here:


      You’re right about my inauguration date goof. Dang. I think I’ve got that error on the entire set of these Voter Enthusiasm things. Well, crap. As I recall, I chose the 21st because it was his highest PAI ever and I still think that’s a fair choice, since it included the little 2 point inauguration speech bump he enjoyed where, for a short time, a few of his strong disapprovers hated him a little less. I was careless in the date thing though. Should’ve called it Inauguration High or something. Unfortunately, I cannot correct any graphics without losing the URLs, which are out circulating the internet in emails as we speak. Sigh.

      Obama Approval Polls: Tracking Voter Regret album

      I am looking forward to seeing your 30 day rolling averages. (Anybody who does the math for me is a STAR in my book LOL. My brain ACHES from doing 4 hours of calculations for the “difference” blog that bob inspired.)

      Good point about 2/3! Thanks for the idea.


      • “I am looking forward to seeing your 30 day rolling averages.”

        I’ll give you and the rest of Polination a sneak peak. I use the Rasmussen numbers from both 1/21/2009 to present and 11/06/2008-01/20/2009, as well as the 11/04/2008 election night results (52% voted for him = 52% approval, 46% voted for McCain = 46% Obama disapproval). This gave me data from the election forward. I put it all in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and do some formulas with it (not as straightforward as it may seem at first, because the Rasmussen numbers themselves are already a 3-day rolling average).

        Take note of when lines cross. After the election, but before the inauguration, Obama got a huge bump in approval from people who didn’t vote for him, but gave him the benefit of the doubt in the 2 and a half months between the election and the inauguration. For example, only about 10 days after the election, the strong approval had risen above the declining total disapproval.

        Again, once Obama was declared the victor in the Nov 4, 2008 election, people gave him the benefit of the doubt and his approval numbers surged. Then, once Obama took office and people saw the job he was doing as (p)Resident, that bump disappeared quickly.

        Remember that just before the inauguration, Obama asked President George W. Bush to request the second half of the TARP money. Bush got all the TARP blame, but Obama got half the TARP money.

        Then came Porkulus.

        Then came the onset of Obamacare.

        By 7/12/2009, less than 6 months after the inauguration, the 30 day rolling Passion Index had gone negative (strong disapprove > strong approve), and by 8/14/2009, less than 7 months after the inauguration, the 30 day rolling Approval Index had gone negative (total disapprove > total approve).

        The only lines which have yet to cross are the Total Approval and Strong Disapproval lines.

        At the time of the inauguration, look at the staggering gap between total approval and strong disapproval. On 1/20/2009, the Rasmussen numbers showed that Obama’s total approval among likely voters was 67% (2/3 of likely voters approved of Obama at his inauguration), while the strong disapproval was only 16%. That’s a total approval – strong disapproval gap of 51%. If you look at those same numbers today (8/25/11), you’ll see that Obama is underwater (42% total approval – 45% strong disapproval = -3%). He’s gone from +51 to -3. If that keeps up, it’s only a matter of time until the 30 day rolling average shows the same result: the final lines crossing.

        If we apply the 8/25/11 numbers to 8/26 – 8/31 (the next 6 days), this is how the 30 day rolling average will look on 8/31/11 …

        If the image doesn’t display above, here is the URL…


        • Chrissy,
          What are your thoughts about this?


          • chrissythehyphenated

            I love it, except for the colors. Green to poll watchers means Gallup. I usually use blue for anything Democrat.

            Also the shades are too close to read diff between strong and plain easily. I use a bright red for strong disapproval and brick red for plain disapproval, cobalt blue for strong approval and navy for plain approval. That makes the strong ones pop and say “passion.”

            I’ve started a CtH graphic with a title bar, plus your gravatar and some URLs. I can plug the graph in easily, update it as time goes, post and repost it here.

            If you can easily tweak the colors with your graph maker, that’d be great. Easier for me and the updates would be consistent and faster for me to plop into the template.


            • Thanks for the feedback. I’ll see what I can do, and I’ll definitely post a graph when the 30 day rolling average line for Total Approval drops below the line for Strong Disapproval.


  3. It’s official… Rasmussen has Obama at -21 for the month of August…

    In August, the number who Strongly Approve of Obama’s job performance was at 21%. That’s down three points from 24% in July and the lowest level measured during Obama’s entire presidency. The previous low was 23% reached in both April and June of this year.

    Since July 2009, the number who Strongly Approved of the president’s performance has now ranged from a low of 21% to a high of 31%. By comparison, 43% Strongly Approved of Obama’s performance in January 2009.

    The number of voters who Strongly Disapprove of the president’s performance increased a point from July to 42% in August. The number of voters who Strongly Disapproved has ranged from 37% to 44% since July 2009.

    The full-month Presidential Approval Index rating for August is down four points from July to -21. That’s by far Obama’s lowest full-month approval index rating since taking office in January 2009. Prior to this survey, Obama’s lowest level of approval was -17, reached three times since January 2009. With a few exceptions, the president’s approval index rating has stayed between -14 and -17 since the beginning of 2010.

    The president’s total job approval dipped two points in August to 44%, also the lowest level of approval to date. The last time half (50%) of voters approved of Obama’s performance was in July 2009. For 2011, prior to this survey, the president’s total job approval on a full-month basis has remained in the narrow range of 46% to 49%. Throughout 2010, Obama’s full month approval ratings ranged from 45% to 47%.

    Fifty-five percent (55%) disapproved of the president’s performance in August, the highest level measured yet. That finding has ranged from 49% to 54% since July 2009.