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Obama Poll Watch -- October, 2011

[ Posted Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 – 15:06 PDT ]

Flat lines

Once again, we present a rather foreshortened version of our Obama Poll Watch column this month, for which we are going to use the excuse "not much happened." If something had indeed happened, we would have had to come up with a better excuse, but that'll have to do for now.

Barack Obama's job approval poll numbers in October were flat. Very flat. So flat, in fact, that he tied his own "flattest month ever" record, which he initially set back in November of last year. Obama's change in approval and disapproval combined last month totaled only a single tenth of a percent -- which is almost as flat as numerically possible.

This flatness, however, was good news of a sort for Obama fans, because it halted a sharp slide which began in June. The daily numbers also had some good news for Obama, heading into November.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's take a look at this month's new chart:

Obama Approval -- October 2011

[Click on graph to see larger-scale version.]

October, 2011

October was occupied (sorry, couldn't resist) mostly with the Republican campaign, where the field of candidates to take on Obama next year finally was set in concrete, after both Chris Christie and Sarah Palin decided to take a pass. Debates, mudslinging, and all the rest of the normal campaign activities were the dominant story of the month, at least in the arena of pure politics.

In the wider world, two major foreign policy events helped Obama out with the public. The first was the rebels' ultimate victory in Libya, and the execution of Moammar Ghaddafi, both of which were strongly supported by the American public. The second was Obama's announcement that all American troops would be leaving Iraq and be home for the holidays -- which is now polling at 75 percent approval in America. That number includes, not surprisingly, 96 percent support from Democrats -- but the really good news for Obama is that it also contains 77 percent support from independents.

In October, Obama posted almost exactly the same monthly averages for approval and disapproval as he did the previous month -- 43.4 percent job approval, and 51.2 percent disapproval. This was the third month in a row he either set new all-time record lows (approval) or tied an all-time record high (disapproval). But next month is looking decidedly better for Obama.

 

Overall Trends

As previously mentioned, the October monthly lines were flat -- about as flat as could be. Obama lost one tenth of a percent in approval, while his disapproval didn't budge at all.

The good news for Obama fans appears when you look at the daily average trends. While Obama did set a new daily low of 42.0 percent early in the month, from there his numbers began to climb slowly. As the month ended, this climb was accelerating (OK, full disclosure: since I'm writing this three days into November, I can already tell that the numbers have gotten a lot better this month -- today Obama stands at 45.4 percent approval and 49.0 percent disapproval, which are the best numbers he's seen since July). Obama's disapproval numbers were more stable, and didn't show any clear trend all month long (the range they stayed within this month -- 50.3 to 51.8 -- was almost identical to the range they stayed in last month -- 50.7 to 51.7). The only good news on the "all-time" records was that this was nowhere near the highest daily average of 53.2, which was set in August.

Obama seems to be gaining back some ground, but its unclear exactly why. The president has hit the campaign trail in a big way, and begun running against a "do-nothing Congress." Which makes us wish, here, that we had numbers for Truman to compare him with (we'll try to dig these out). Looking over the comparison charts at ObamaPollWatch.com, the closest Obama is tracking right now seems to be Lyndon Johnson's second term. Other possible reasons Obama is doing better have to include the two foreign policy victories Obama chalked up this month, and possibly the 99 Percent movement which has utterly changed the tone of the political conversation in Washington and in the media. The Republican field bickering bitterly among itself also probably adds to Obama looking better in the public's eye.

Whatever the cause, Obama fans can reasonably expect next month to bring some welcome good news on the Obama polling front. He enters November on a relative high point, although this month will be "supercommittee" month, so public opinion of the final week of the month is anybody's guess.

 

[Obama Poll Watch Data:]

Sources And Methodology

ObamaPollWatch.com is an admittedly amateur effort, but we do try to stay professional when it comes to revealing our sources and methodology. All our source data comes from RealClearPolitics.com; specifically from their daily presidential approval ratings "poll of polls" graphic page. We take their daily numbers, log them, and then average each month's data into a single number -- which is then shown on our monthly charts here (a "poll of polls of polls," if you will...). You can read a much-more detailed explanation of our source data and methodology on our "About Obama Poll Watch" page, if you're interested.

Questions or comments? Use the Email Chris page to drop me a private note.

 

Column Archives

[Sep 11], [Aug 11], [Jul 11], [Jun 11], [May 11], [Apr 11], [Mar 11], [Feb 11], [Jan 11], [Dec 10], [Nov 10], [Oct 10], [Sep 10], [Aug 10], [Jul 10], [Jun 10], [May 10], [Apr 10], [Mar 10], [Feb 10], [Jan 10], [Dec 09], [Nov 09], [Oct 09], [Sep 09], [Aug 09], [Jul 09], [Jun 09], [May 09], [Apr 09], [Mar 09]

 

Obama's All-Time Statistics

Monthly
Highest Monthly Approval -- 2/09 -- 63.4%
Lowest Monthly Approval -- 10/11 -- 43.4%

Highest Monthly Disapproval -- 9/11, 10/11 -- 51.2%
Lowest Monthly Disapproval -- 1/09 -- 19.6%

Daily
Highest Daily Approval -- 2/15/09 -- 65.5%
Lowest Daily Approval -- 10/9/11 -- 42.0%

Highest Daily Disapproval -- 8/30/11 -- 53.2%
Lowest Daily Disapproval -- 1/29/09 -- 19.3%

 

Obama's Raw Monthly Data

[All-time high in bold, all-time low underlined.]

Month -- (Approval / Disapproval / Undecided)
10/11 -- 43.4 / 51.2 / 5.4
09/11 -- 43.5 / 51.2 / 5.3
08/11 -- 43.8 / 50.7 / 5.5
07/11 -- 46.2 / 47.8 / 6.0
06/11 -- 48.5 / 46.0 / 5.5
05/11 -- 51.4 / 43.1 / 5.5
04/11 -- 46.4 / 48.2 / 5.4
03/11 -- 48.1 / 46.4 / 5.5
02/11 -- 49.4 / 44.5 / 6.1
01/11 -- 48.5 / 45.7 / 5.8
12/10 -- 45.5 / 48.1 / 6.4
11/10 -- 45.5 / 49.0 / 5.5
10/10 -- 45.5 / 49.1 / 5.4
09/10 -- 45.7 / 49.7 / 4.6
08/10 -- 45.3 / 49.5 / 5.2
07/10 -- 46.6 / 47.4 / 6.0
06/10 -- 47.6 / 46.7 / 5.7
05/10 -- 48.1 / 45.5 / 6.4
04/10 -- 47.8 / 46.5 / 5.7
03/10 -- 48.1 / 46.4 / 5.5
02/10 -- 47.9 / 46.1 / 6.0
01/10 -- 49.2 / 45.3 / 5.5
12/09 -- 49.4 / 44.9 / 5.7
11/09 -- 51.1 / 43.5 / 5.4
10/09 -- 52.2 / 41.9 / 5.9
09/09 -- 52.7 / 42.0 / 5.3
08/09 -- 52.8 / 40.8 / 6.4
07/09 -- 56.4 / 38.1 / 5.5
06/09 -- 59.8 / 33.6 / 6.6
05/09 -- 61.4 / 31.6 / 7.0
04/09 -- 61.0 / 30.8 / 8.2
03/09 -- 60.9 / 29.9 / 9.2
02/09 -- 63.4 / 24.4 / 12.2
01/09 -- 63.1 / 19.6 / 17.3

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

8 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- October, 2011”

  1. [1] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    if you're going to get out the hole you dug, the first step is to quit digging. While most of Obama's current actions are undoubtedly for the campaign to come, he is beginning to act and sound like a Democrat. Which, for Democrats, is a good thing.

    Up to now I suspect that most people haven't paid much attention to the tin-foil hat brigade ... sorry, the Republican Presidential primaries. However, we have now infused SEX into the mix. Always good for bringing out the couch potatoes.

    My brother called me up tonite to ask who was trying to change the US motto. When I answered that no one was, that it was strictly a bill to say that the House was in favor of the motto he wanted to know why the dumbasses did that. My brother then cursed a few minutes and said "I give up. They're ALL dumbasses and ain't no one running that's any better" and hung up. My brother stands firmly to the right Adolf Hitler and is probably not going to vote.

    Four years is a long time to keep the troops fired up. Especially when the troops came thru and nothing is getting done, anyway. Perhaps both sides have an enthusiasm gap.

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    In the wider world, two major foreign policy events helped Obama out with the public. The first was the rebels' ultimate victory in Libya, and the execution of Moammar Ghaddafi, both of which were strongly supported by the American public. The second was Obama's announcement that all American troops would be leaving Iraq and be home for the holidays -- which is now polling at 75 percent approval in America. That number includes, not surprisingly, 96 percent support from Democrats -- but the really good news for Obama is that it also contains 77 percent support from independents.

    All that good news and yet Obama's poll numbers didn't improve much at all...

    Why???

    Michale....

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    DerFarm -

    An emerging enthusiasm gap on the right would be good news indeed. Keep us posted on what your brother thinks, as it is interesting data in the great scheme of things....

    Michale -

    Actually, before the foreign policy victories, Obama was polling as low as 38-39 percent in some polls. Now, he's polling at 43-47 percent. That's a pretty big improvement, in such a short time (a 5-8 percent bump).

    Where's Chris1962? She knows polls, and is unafraid of facing the reality they show...

    Heh.

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting information about poll numbers and re-election..

    Since 1974 (the year NBC started asking the question) no president has won re-election with 74% of Americans saying that the country is on the "wrong track"..

    And no president has won re-election with 13% of Americans saying that they are satisfied with the way the country is.

    No president has won re-election with approval numbers as low as 43%.

    No president has won re-election with Unemployment higher than 7%.

    And, since 1952, no president has won re-election with a consumer confidence index of 60.9.

    And, barring an upheaval or something really dramatic, there really isn't any reason to expect that these numbers will change..

    Obama needs to be looking for a Hail Mary here real soon...

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    The second was Obama's announcement that all American troops would be leaving Iraq and be home for the holidays -- which is now polling at 75 percent approval in America. That number includes, not surprisingly, 96 percent support from Democrats -- but the really good news for Obama is that it also contains 77 percent support from independents.

    I wonder how many Americans would support such action, knowing it will lead to the wholesale slaughter of over 3000 Iranian and Iraqi dissidents at Camp Ashraf..

    The Obama Administration guaranteed the safety of the residents of Camp Ashraf in Aug of '09 when control of the city was handed over to Iraqi authorities..

    Since then, there have been several massacres of residents at the hands of the Iraqi military at the behest of Tehran.

    Once all US Forces are out of Iraq, there will be absolutely nothing to stop Iraq from wiping out the residents of Camp Ashraf on the orders of Iran..

    The last American soldier to leave Iraq will not be cause for celebration..

    It will be mark the beginning of the end of the lives of over 3000 Iranian and Iraqi peaceful dissidents..

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking Of Obama...

    I got an email from someone named "Nancy-Ann DeParle" from the White House...

    Normally, I don't share emails in any way, shape or form, but since this is obviously a SPAM email, I figure I am on safe ground..

    Good afternoon,
    When President Obama says that we can't wait to put Americans back to work, he's not just talking about the White House. He's talking about all of us. That "we" is everyone.
    The President has a proposal -- the American Jobs Act -- that economists say could put nearly two million Americans back to work. But some in Congress are determined to block that jobs plan, so we're getting started with concrete actions that President Obama can take without waiting on lawmakers to debate legislation or pass a bill.
    We are looking at everything that the government can do, and we know that some of the best ideas are going to come from people like you.
    If you have an idea for something President Obama can do without the help of Congress, or know of a program in your community that needs to go nationwide, I want to hear from you.
    Submit your recommendations at WhiteHouse.gov/Advise

    Now, I have to ponder..

    What would be the reaction from the Left if a GOP President had sent emails out to American citizens asking them for ideas on how to bypass and evade Congress...

    I really have to wonder that...

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    What would be the reaction from the Left if a GOP President had sent emails out to American citizens asking them for ideas on how to bypass and evade Congress...

    i can't speak for "the left," but if president bush had sent out an e-mail like that, my suspicion would have been that it was empty rhetoric. i would likely have assumed that bush already knew what he was going to do, and was simply looking for a public relations angle on it. perhaps a "regular guy" type of conservative citizen would emerge to be the face of the legislation, by suggesting bush do what bush had already planned to do anyway.

    in such a scenario, any suggestion i made would be at best pointless. is this what obama is doing now? possible, perhaps even probable. then again, as we've established, obama has governed in a way more similar to bush than anyone on either side of the aisle is particularly comfortable admitting.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    All good points..

    But I am more concerned regarding how Obama is attempting to bypass the power of one third of our government...

    This attempt to thwart or ignore the power of Congress is most disquieting...

    MIchale.....

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