ChrisWeigant.com

Please support ChrisWeigant.com this holiday season!

Obama Poll Watch -- February, 2013

[ Posted Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 – 17:35 PST ]

Second Honeymoon Ending

Before we begin, we have a caveat for our data this month. The data for this column series comes from RealClearPolitics.com, specifically their page of rolling daily "poll of polls" averages of President Obama's job approval ratings from major pollsters. On this page is a handy chart of all polling all the way back to Obama's first days in office, with every day's numbers visible, if you roll the mouse over the chart.

For some reason, their chart has developed a problem in the past few weeks. It refuses to update beyond February 24. Data for February 25-28 is not available at this time, so this month's analysis will be somewhat incomplete (14.3 percent incomplete, for those of you who love precision). I've tried the page on multiple computers and multiple platforms, but the chart's problem exists in all of them, so I strongly suspect it isn't a problem with my browser (although I could be wrong about that, I'll admit).

In any case, all of these numbers will be updated as soon as data becomes available for the missing four days. Oh, and one more thing -- there's a "housecleaning" note at the end of the column, above the raw data section. Next month we'll be sweeping out all of the first-term raw data to reduce the clutter at the end of these columns, and placing it all on a static page for those still interested.

But enough program notes, let's get on with checking out how Obama did last month. As expected, his "second honeymoon" in the polls is starting to fade. The election is long over, the inauguration is fading from memory, and now the real legislative struggles of Obama's second term have begun. Here is this month's chart:

Obama Approval -- February 2013

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

February, 2013

Obama's approval ratings saw a sharp drop last month. The sharpest drop, in fact, since the summer of 2011, right before the campaign started getting underway. His average monthly approval fell from 52.7 percent down to 51.1 percent, a total drop of 1.6 percentage points. This followed a 0.4 percent drop in January, for a full two-point drop in the past two months.

Obama started the month with his State Of The Union speech to Congress, but since that point his numbers have been falling. The sequester fight for the second half of the month took its toll, as Obama and the newly-seated Congress actually got down to work. There was a huge hissy fit in the Senate over the nomination of Chuck Hagel to run the Pentagon, but in the end it turned out to be nothing more than a political stunt by a few crotchety Republicans, and Hagel was confirmed. There was big news at the end of the month, as the Senate's version of the Violence Against Women Act passed the House after a meaningless year-and-a-half delay, but the news kind of got swallowed up in the sequester fight.

While a 1.6 drop in job approval certainly isn't good news for Obama fans, it's also not as bad as it could be. Obama's average monthly disapproval number stayed remarkably steady, and only rose 0.4 percent, from 42.6 to 43.0. Over the past two months, Obama's job disapproval has only risen 0.2 percent overall, in fact (it fell 0.2 percent in January). That's pretty steady in the same time period as his monthly approval rate falling two whole points.

What this means is that 1.2 percent of Obama's February loss in job approval moved to "undecided" -- people who may still be inclined to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, for now. The overall undecided number has risen (from its all-time low for the election) from 2.7 percent back up to a much-more-normal 5.9 percent in February. I'd be surprised to see this trend continue, though, because the undecided number is back up to its normal range now. If it hasn't topped out this month, it will likely do so next month, and then hold fairly stable.

Overall, Obama is still a healthy 8.1 percent "above water" when comparing approval and disapproval -- about where he was after the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced. This puts things into a little more perspective.

But it's also worth pointing out that Obama's numbers were falling at the end of February, so when the last four days of data is added in, these numbers could slightly change, and probably for the worse. It's a minor point -- the overall monthly averages likely won't change more than 0.1 or perhaps 0.2 percent, but the missing data is worth noting.

 

Overall Trends

Unfortunately for Obama, the overall trendline isn't good, at least for the next few months. Part of this is the end of his second post-election "honeymoon" period with the public, as hopes meet realities once again.

March is shaping up to be a tough month for the president. The sequester has now happened -- something nobody thought ever would come to pass, just a few months ago. Obama has been sounding the alarm over the sequester, which is likely going to help him in the long-term budget debate for the rest of the year, as it has forced the media to focus on what, exactly "budget cutting" means. This is a necessary component to the budget discussions, and it's one that Republicans have been dodging for a long time now.

Obama was charged with overhyping the dire effects of budget cuts, but it remains to be seen how the public will eventually view the sequester. But because Obama's been ringing the "bad news" alarm, some of the public's negative reaction is already eating away at his job approval rating. Again, it remains to be seen how this is all going to play out, and it'll likely be the summer (unless the magic Grand Bargain budget agreement manifests itself in the meantime) before we'll truly know how the public views this latest round of austerity. March may be consumed with budget bargaining as well. There are two more landmines in the budgetary path to be navigated, one of which falls at the end of the month.

None of this really bodes well for Obama's job approval. The public is largely sick and tired of the budget brinksmanship, but the people in Washington quite obviously have not. Obama's best chance for a "bounce" in approval may come if the Senate actually takes up an immigration reform bill with a path to citizenship, but this is likely not going to come until at least April, in my humble estimation. Until then (or until some outside event intervenes in an unpredictable manner), Obama's second honeymoon will likely continue to wear off.

 

[Update:]

I guess someone at RealClearPolitics read this column, because they have now updated their charts and provided full data from February 25 to today. As expected, Obama's approval got a bit worse in the last four days of February, but also as expected it didn't move the monthly numbers much. Obama's average monthly job approval stayed at 51.1 percent, but his average monthly job disapproval will be adjusted upwards one-tenth of a percent to 43.1 percent. The charts and all-time stats will be updated next month. Again, we apologize for this delay in getting full data.

 

[Obama Poll Watch Data:]

Housecleaning Note

This will be the final month we will be providing full data lists here, as it makes more sense to divide them into first- and second-term data. So, for this month only, we've got both first- and second-term data listed below (but separated). Next month, and going forward, we will provide all of the second-term data, with a link to a static list of all the data from Obama's first term. This will clean up the end of these columns a bit, as well as still providing all the monthly data for those interested.

We will be providing, for context, the "all-time highs and lows" from both Obama's first and second terms, but separately. The lists of raw data and the archive of this column series will only have second-term data, with a link to the first-term data page.

 

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.

 

Obama's First-Term Statistical Records

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 Second-Term Statistical Records

Monthly
Highest Monthly Approval -- 1/13 -- 52.7%
Lowest Monthly Approval -- 2/13 -- 51.1%

Highest Monthly Disapproval -- 2/13 -- 43.0%
Lowest Monthly Disapproval -- 1/13 -- 42.6%

Daily
Highest Daily Approval -- 1/31/13 -- 52.5%
Lowest Daily Approval -- 2/16/13 -- 50.2%

Highest Daily Disapproval -- 2/7/13, 2/9/13 -- 43.8%
Lowest Daily Disapproval -- 2/24/13 -- 42.3%

 

Obama's Second-Term Raw Monthly Data

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

Month -- (Approval / Disapproval / Undecided)
02/13 -- 51.1 / 43.0 / 5.9
01/13 -- 52.7 / 42.6 / 4.7

 

Obama's First-Term Raw Monthly Data

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

Month -- (Approval / Disapproval / Undecided)
01/13 -- 52.7 / 42.6 / 4.7
12/12 -- 53.1 / 42.8 / 4.1
11/12 -- 50.6 / 46.7 / 2.7
10/12 -- 49.4 / 47.8 / 2.8
09/12 -- 49.1 / 47.6 / 3.3
08/12 -- 47.8 / 48.3 / 3.9
07/12 -- 47.2 / 48.1 / 4.7
06/12 -- 47.8 / 47.8 / 4.4
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

 

Column Archives (Second Term)

[Jan 13]

 

Column Archives (First Term)

[Jan 13], [Dec 12], [Nov 12], [Oct 12], [Sep 12], [Aug 12], [Jul 12], [Jun 12], [May 12], [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]

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

13 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- February, 2013”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    I know this will come as no surprise to anyone, but I have a feeling that, as time goes on, the American people will come to realize that Obama's Sequester was really no big deal at all.

    The only question is will Obama and the Democrats become more obvious and desperate and try to MAKE it hurt.

    Or will they (ala' ObamaCare) jump on the Sequester Bandwagon and take the credit for it..

    It's a toss-up, but my opinion is that they will try and take credit for it..

    Especially in light of Obama's poll numbers plunging...

    Remember, you heard it here first.. :D

    CW,

    If I am reading RCP correctly, it looks like the numbers HAVE updated...

    Right now, Obama's numbers are at 48.5 approval, 45.5 disapproval..

    If these numbers are accurate, that represents a steep drop from the 52.7 approval of last month..

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    akadjian wrote:

    What I don't understand is why the Obama administration is losing ground (and being upstaged) on the issue of drone strikes:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/03/a-devastating-26-word-challenge-to-president-obamas-leadership/273789/

    This should be a no-brainer for the administration. All you have to say is you support the right of due process before the law.

    It's ridiculous that Obama is losing the moral high ground on this issue.

    -David

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    true, the second honeymoon is over, but republicans really aren't being too bright about this; they're playing right into the president's hands. obama's not going to be elected president any more times than he has already, so why fight a media war over spending cuts? it makes both the president and congressional republicans look bad, and the only ones who have re-election to worry about are them.

    ~joshua

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    This should be a no-brainer for the administration. All you have to say is you support the right of due process before the law.

    How can you claim that when everything that's being reported says just the opposite...

    The Administration's definition of "imminent" alone completely negates the accepted concept of "due process"...

    Contrary to what Obama has asserted, "due process" does not mean a single lone POTUS sitting in front of a list and saying, "this one dies and this one doesn't."

    Again, keep in mind that *I* don't have a problem with that..

    But let's be honest and not call it something it isn't..

    It ISN'T "due process" in any WAY, SHAPE or FORM..

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/how-white-house-quieted-gun-control-groups-88546.html?hp=t1_3

    Welcome to Activism... Obama style...

    "Oh, how the Mighty (Left) have fallen..."
    -Guinan, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, Deja' Q

    :D

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    obama's not going to be elected president any more times than he has already,

    {{cough}} {{cough}} FDR {{cough}}

    And the funny thing is, I bet everyone here would support a third Obama term...

    I would love to be proved wrong on that.. :D

    it makes both the president and congressional republicans look bad, and the only ones who have re-election to worry about are them.

    While I may not agree with it, I CAN see the logic in it..

    It makes the POTUS look bad and, by extension, Democrats...

    Especially in light of the fact that Democrats have their heads so far up Obama's ass, it's impossible to tell where they end and Obama begins..

    In other words, what tarnishes Obama tarnishes Democrats because NO Democrat has the testicular fortitude to break away from Emperor Barack The First and state unequivocally that the Emperor is buck-assed nekkid......

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It ISN'T "due process" in any WAY, SHAPE or FORM.

    Exactly.

    I guess what I'm saying I would like to see is people standing up for this belief.

    -David

  8. [8] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    {{cough}} {{cough}} FDR {{cough}}

    And the funny thing is, I bet everyone here would support a third Obama term...

    Amendment XXII
    Section 1.

    "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once."

    the whole country acknowledged that FDR was out of line getting elected more than twice, and took steps to prevent it ever happening again. my quatloos say you'd lose that bet.

    ~joshua

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    [Update:]

    I guess someone at RealClearPolitics read this column, because they have now updated their charts and provided full data from February 25 to today. As expected, Obama's approval got a bit worse in the last four days of February, but also as expected it didn't move the monthly numbers much. Obama's average monthly job approval stayed at 51.1 percent, but his average monthly job disapproval will be adjusted upwards one-tenth of a percent to 43.1 percent. The charts and all-time stats will be updated next month. Again, we apologize for this delay in getting full data.

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, I just pasted in the update above, and at the bottom of the column's text as well. RCP seems to have fixed whatever problem they were having with their charts now.

    Anyway, let's get to some comments.

    Michale -

    Thanks for pointing it out. I didn't see your comment until now, but it looks like RCP got their act together. Yes, March's numbers are so far looking significantly lower so far. But we're only one week in, remember, things could change.

    David -

    Wrote about this today, so see Thursday's column.

    Joshua -

    I think the president is currently trying to remove Boehner from the budget equation. He's on a charm offensive to both Senate and House Republicans, but Boehner's invitation seems to have gotten lost in the mail... interesting developments, that's for sure.

    Michale -

    And the funny thing is, I bet everyone here would support a third Obama term...

    Oh, sure. Right after they repeal the two-term constitutional amendment. In other words, it ain't gonna happen. Can you picture roughly half of the red states ratifying that amendment before 2016? I can't.

    Oh, wait -- joshua's quoted the amendment for me, so I don't even have to look it up! Thanks! My point exactly...

    :-)

    -CW

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, wait -- joshua's quoted the amendment for me, so I don't even have to look it up! Thanks! My point exactly...

    I stand corrected.. Obama would NEVER do anything that violates the Constitution..

    {{cough}} Due Process {{cough}} Recess Appointments {{cough}} {{cough}}

    :D

    But we're only one week in, remember, things could change.

    True.. But, as you point out, there are more budget battles in March.

    And, since Obama is taking a major hit on the Fear Mongering Apocalyptic Armageddon inducing Sequester, it's a safe bet that Obama's March number has no where to go but down..

    I can't wait until April's Poll Watch commentary.. :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    {{cough}} Due Process {{cough}} Recess Appointments {{cough}} {{cough}}

    that's grey area constitutionally (as interpreted by the supreme court). amendment XXII is much more explicit; no president could realistically run for a third term without congress passing and states ratifying a new constitutional amendment.

    ninety-five percent of the country has its mind made up about the president one way or another. with no prospects of re-election, president obama can pretty much do whatever he wants. a drop in poll numbers that doesn't get below 45% is unlikely to have much impact.

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    ninety-five percent of the country has its mind made up about the president one way or another. with no prospects of re-election, president obama can pretty much do whatever he wants. a drop in poll numbers that doesn't get below 45% is unlikely to have much impact.

    Wanna lay bets how fast Obama hits 40%?? :D

    Michale

Comments for this article are closed.
[Powered by WordPress]