ChrisWeigant.com

Obama Poll Watch -- May, 2012

[ Posted Monday, June 4th, 2012 – 12:54 PDT ]

Divergent (but minor) trends

Hello from (soggy) Maine! This is going to be an abbreviated version of our monthly Obama Poll Watch column, mostly because I am writing this while I'm supposed to be on vacation. Also, because while I did prepare the graphs before I left, I do not have full access to all my data. Having said that, let's just dive in and see what we can do with such limited resources.

May was not all that exceptional a month for Barack Obama, poll-wise. Both approval and disapproval rates were up slightly, but not significantly. It is a bit odd to have both numbers increase within the same month, but this is mostly due to the fact that the numbers themselves are so close to being even (statistically, this does odd things right around the point where they perfectly balance).

Here's the large version of the chart, where the differences are admittedly hard to see:

Obama Approval -- May 2012

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

May, 2012

May wasn't all that eventful a month, politically. Mitt Romney finally wrapped up the Republican nomination, as everyone but Ron Paul dropped out and left him a clear path to victory.

President Obama made the biggest splash during the month, by completing his "evolution" on the subject of gay marriage, and finally announcing his support for full equality. On the Left, the reaction was mostly: "Eh… it's about time…" while on the Right, the reaction was curiously muted -- perhaps the Republicans have finally figured out that this is a long-term losing issue for them, as they are fighting the headwinds of history. The media had some handwringing moments about Obama losing support of African-Americans, but polling showed that this was actually false, as African-American support for gay marriage jumped noticeably in response to Obama's leadership on the issue. But overall, it turned out to be insignificant in the president's national polling.

Gas prices continued to fall all month, which may have given Obama some background goodwill, but the weakness of the employment situation likely counterbalanced this with the public.

Obama finished the month with a monthly average 48.1 approval rating, up 0.3 percent from last month. But he also chalked up a 47.8 percent monthly average disapproval rating, up 0.7 percent from last month. Because both these numbers rose at the same time (as mentioned, a rarity), his "undecided" number fell a full percentage point, to 4.1 percent -- the lowest number Obama's ever posted in this category. However, as noted, this is likely a statistical anomaly due to the closeness of the approval and disapproval numbers -- which are only three-tenths of a percent apart, the closest they've ever been.

 

Overall Trends

Because the differences in all these numbers are so minute, a closer look is necessary to even see the changes to the chart:

Obama Detail

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

As you can see, Obama's monthly average approval rate continues a very flat trend. Four months ago, he hit a high of 48.2 percent, then he slipped back to 47.7 percent, and has slowly been climbing back ever since. These minor fluctuations indicate that, at least for now, Obama seems to have hit a ceiling of roughly 48 percent approval, which is two points lower than the halfway point his re-election team would really prefer to see, at this point during his campaign. His monthly average disapproval rate has also been fairly flat for the same time period -- last month's rise notwithstanding.

Obama's daily approval and disapproval rates stayed remarkably steady throughout the month as well, with not much in the way of highs or lows which diverged much from the overall monthly averages.

While Obama enters June with some disappointing unemployment news, this may not hurt his numbers all that much because of the countering trend of the continuing fall in gas prices. June will see an intensifying debate in Congress over the subject of student loan rates (which must be acted upon by the end of the month), and so far at least Obama seems to have the upper hand in this debate. The spin will be fierce on whatever compromise is reached, though, so it remains to be seen what effect it will have on public opinion.

OK, that's it for this month -- once again, apologies for the abbreviated column this month, as we prepare to head to Rhode Island for the Netroots Nation conference. See you all next week!

 

[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

[Apr 12], [Mar 12], [Feb 12], [Jan 12], [Dec 11], [Nov 11], [Oct 11], [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)
05/12 -- 48.1 / 47.8 / 4.1
04/12 -- 47.8 / 47.1 / 5.1
03/12 -- 47.7 / 47.2 / 5.1
02/12 -- 48.2 / 47.2 / 4.6
01/12 -- 46.3 / 48.3 / 5.4
12/11 -- 45.1 / 49.5 / 5.4
11/11 -- 44.4 / 50.2 / 5.4
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

 

17 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- May, 2012”

  1. [1] 
    dsws wrote:

    When will the Poll Watch start including Romney's numbers?

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    As you all can see, my brain is currently on vacation, even as I sit and type.

    I failed to mention, in the above article, that June will also see two very large Supreme Court decisions -- the constitutionality of Obama's mandate in the health care law, and the Arizona immigration law (and possibly a few others, as SCOTUS wraps up a whole bunch of its cases).

    Mea culpa. Of course, if the decisions come down at the very end of June, they may in fact affect July's numbers more than June's, but still, I really should have mentioned them.

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    It is rainy in the east, isn't it? I'm sitting here in NY, freezing my butt off.

    So another month in the 40's. When is this race gonna get exciting — if ever?

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    Never. However, we will be starting a companion series "Electoral Math" which will compare a totally different metric -- the "who are you going to vote for?" question -- which will indeed pit Obama and Romney, head-to-head. The first of these columns will appear shortly after I get back from Netroots, say along about mid-June.

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Chris1962 -

    I know what you mean. Looks like we're not going to see the transit of Venus across the sun tomorrow...

    As for the polling, man, I almost fell asleep typing this article...

    heh. Sooner or later, something's got to change, one would think... but one would be wrong, more often than not!

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am assuming that Obama's poll numbers do not take into account last "Week Of Hell"....

    It will be interesting to see Obama's numbers in the coming week...

    Michale....

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Isn't that what you said last month?

    Heh.

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale -

    Isn't that what you said last month?

    Heh.

    -CW

    Yes I did..

    But ya gotta admit, Obama's numbers are defying all logic...

    It's like NOTHING that happens influences his monthly average, for better OR for worse...

    Ya gotta admit..

    It's weird...

    Michale.....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now, looking at INTRADE....

    http://nation.foxnews.com/president-obama/2012/06/04/obama-tanking-intrade

    Obama has tanked and tanked badly...

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:
  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    France hits back at Obama over Europe debt crisis
    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business/view/1205746/1/.html

    Have you ever noticed that Obama is ALWAYS blaming someone else for the problems of this country..

    It's all Bush's fault.

    It's all Europe's fault..

    It's all the tooth fairy's fault..

    The guy can't even CONCEIVE that maybe it's HIS policies that are the problem..

    And ya'all call ME arrogant!?? :D

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not sure where to take the Wisconsin Recall comments??

    I guess the latest commentary would be best...

    Looks like things are coming down to the wire.. I think the Polls in Wisconsin are open til 2000hrs CDT, which makes it 2100hrs on the East Coast and 1800hrs on the West Coast...

    Gonna be an interesting evening..

    Anyone sticking around for the results???

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77057.html

    That's our POTUS....

    Leading from behind.... :^/

    Michale.....

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    EXIT POLLS SHOW WALKER HOLDING SEAT
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120605/D9V778VG0.html

    Well, THAT was kinda anti-climatic...

    Reminds me of the time I live-blogged the Brown/Coakley race and it was over in less than an hour.... :^/

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wonder what the mood is at NRN...

    CW?? hint hint hint :D

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    dsws wrote:

    Well, THAT was kinda anti-climatic.

    Ah, so now we know the real cause of global warming.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    DOH!!!!!

    I guess that would be 'anti-climactic', eh?? :D

    Michale.....

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