ChrisWeigant.com

Obama Poll Watch -- April, 2013

[ Posted Monday, May 6th, 2013 – 15:00 PDT ]

Leveling Out

Welcome back once again to our monthly examination of President Barack Obama's job approval polling numbers. In April, Obama's numbers returned to a normal level, after experiencing a very short post-election "honeymoon period" with the public which bounced his numbers up to a peak, and then bounced them right back down again. You can plainly see this effect in this month's chart:

Obama Approval -- April 2013

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

April, 2013

April was a month with a lot of big news, but Obama's numbers didn't reflect much of it. April began with some minor-level budgetary positioning, which was followed later by a sequester squabble over delays at the nation's airports. North Korea rattled sabers to get some attention, which kind of fizzled out into nothing, in the end. Prisoners are waging a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, but it didn't really make a whole lot of news. Margaret Thatcher died, but the news was bigger in Britain (obviously) than it was here. Letters containing the poison ricin were sent to a senator, a judge, and President Obama. A gun control bill got a vote in the Senate, but even the background checks part of it couldn't manage the 60 votes Republicans are requiring on pretty much everything, these days. The Syria situation heated up at the end of the month, increasing pressure on Obama to do more than he's done yet to help the Syrian rebels.

But all of these things were largely pushed off the front page due to the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon by two young men. Now, normally, in times of crisis, America tends to exhibit a "rally 'round the president" effect, but when the perpetrators were caught within the week and appeared to be acting on their own, this effect never really got going (Obama's numbers did go up slightly for about a week, but then eased back down again).

In fact, because the Boston bombing was so large an event and so newsworthy, most of the other news in the world of politics will likely fade into obscurity, with the exception of two things. The first is the background check gun control bill, which may indeed make a reappearance at some point before next year's congressional elections. This likely won't affect Obama's poll numbers much, but it may be important in a few Senate races next year. The big story, though, which is indeed going to be a major subject for the next few months, was the "Gang of Eight" in the Senate finally releasing a draft comprehensive immigration bill. This debate is just getting started, really, and could have a big impact on polling all the way through the summer.

For April, however, Obama's numbers stayed pretty stable. In fact, all of the movement seems to have happened from "undecideds" making up their minds. Obama's job approval monthly average rose up a tenth of a percent, up to 48.6 percent, and his disapproval rose a half a percent, to 46.8 percent, while the undecideds declined by the same 0.6 percent, down to 4.6 percent. Of course, the bad news for Obama fans is that more people moved (by a 5-to-1 margin) to "disapproval" than "approval." But this was the first month since December of last year that Obama saw his approval numbers improve. To put it another way, he stopped the slide. After the "honeymoon" bounce, Obama fell a total of 4.6 percent since the beginning of the year, but this slide seems to have halted for now. Likewise with disapproval, to a lesser extent -- the previous month, Obama's disapproval rose 3.2 percent in a single month, but in April this trend slowed considerably and seems to have flattened out as well.

While the second term honeymoon is definitely over, Obama has settled in to a level of polling which puts him roughly where he was after his first term's honeymoon ended. He's doing slightly better than he was before the 2012 campaign really heated up, to put it into further perspective.

 

Overall Trends

Overall, Obama is trending flat right now. This could change, however, especially if Obama announces some sort of military escalation in Syria. The public's really not in much of a mood for another war, so this could have a negative effect on Obama's polling, at least at first. Republicans think they've finally found some sort of Benghazi conspiracy, which will play out later this week in Congress, which could also have an effect (and not only on Obama, but possibly on Hillary Clinton as well). Countering this may be the fight for immigration reform, where the public is squarely on the side of Obama and the Democrats. The most recent good news on the unemployment figures and the stock market may also provide a background effect on how the public feels about the job Obama's doing.

If I had to place a bet, though, I think I'd put my money right now on small changes (if any) in Obama's approval during May. The immigration battle may move to center stage, but then again it may be delayed into June. Overall, though, public support for Obama seems to have flattened out, which may mean next month's numbers will be pretty close to this month's.

Since that's a rather cautious prediction, I had to include here at the end a more optimistic note for Obama fans. For the past year or so, I've occasionally pointed out how similar Obama's approval has been to the numbers George W. Bush was charting throughout the same period in his presidency. This month, Obama may finally have broken away from this mold, since this month was really when Bush's numbers began taking a fearsome dive from which they'd never recover. See for yourself:

Obama v. Bush -- April 2013

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

Last month, Bush and Obama were just about tied. This month, Bush's numbers had flipped and were about to sink into truly dismal territory. If Obama just manages to stay about where he's at now, in a few months his job approval will be 10 points above Bush's. Since I've been pointing out the Obama/Bush parallels for the past year, I thought it was worth it to see that this trend appears to be over. Barring unforeseen circumstances, of course.

That's it for this month, except to close with a program note to point out that I have now cleaned up the data section (below) so that it only shows data from Obama's second term, to save space. I've moved all the first term data to its own page on my site, for anyone interested in seeing the numbers or the archives of this column for Obama's first four years. Which saves a lot of room, here at the bottom of the column.

 

[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.

 

Obama's Second Term Statistical Records

Monthly
Highest Monthly Approval -- 1/13 -- 52.7%
Lowest Monthly Approval -- 3/13 -- 48.5%

Highest Monthly Disapproval -- 4/13 -- 46.8%
Lowest Monthly Disapproval -- 1/13 -- 42.6%

Daily
Highest Daily Approval -- 1/31/13 -- 52.5%
Lowest Daily Approval -- 4/1/13 -- 47.3%

Highest Daily Disapproval -- 4/23/13 -- 47.8%
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)
04/13 -- 48.6 / 46.8 / 4.6
03/13 -- 48.5 / 46.3 / 5.2
02/13 -- 51.1 / 43.0 / 5.9
01/13 -- 52.7 / 42.6 / 4.7

 

Second Term Column Archives

[Mar 13], [Feb 13], [Jan 13]

 

First Term Data

To save space, the only data and statistics listed above are from Obama's second term. If you'd like to see the data and stats from Obama's first term, including a list of links to the full archives of the Obama Poll Watch column for the first term, we've set up an Obama Poll Watch First Term Data page, for those still interested.

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

20 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- April, 2013”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    April was a month with a lot of big news, but Obama's numbers didn't reflect much of it.

    What IS it about Obama's numbers??

    Republicans think they've finally found some sort of Benghazi conspiracy, which will play out later this week in Congress, which could also have an effect (and not only on Obama, but possibly on Hillary Clinton as well).

    Sorry to burst ya'alls bubble but Democrats are also joining in and wondering what gives. Several Democrats joined in on condemning Susan Rice and the White House for their blatant BS story.

    Now with whistle-blowers testifying before Congress and being threatened behind the scenes, Benghazi is going to be big news..

    Who could have predicted that, eh!??

    Oh wait.... :D

    I am thru predicting Obama's numbers are going to take a huge dive.. It seems that, no matter HOW bad Obama screws up (by the Right's *OR* by the Left's litmus test) his numbers stay flat...

    So, frak it. Obama's numbers are going to be the same pretty much throughout the 2014 mid-terms. :D

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So, frak it. Obama's numbers are going to be the same pretty much throughout the 2014 mid-terms.

    that's what i've been saying for some time now. good to see you've finally seen the light. somewhere between john quincy adams and rutherford birchard hayes on the scale of perceived presidential quality, that's where i think we're likely to find barack hussein obama.

    side note from prior thread: bush i think is probably more in jimmy carter or calvin coolidge territory.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    that's what i've been saying for some time now.

    Troo dat.. Credit where credit is due..

    bush i think is probably more in jimmy carter or calvin coolidge territory.

    Doubtful...

    Bush's numbers now are better than Obama's numbers...

    In 20 years time, Bush will be remembered as fondly as Reagan is and will likely score slightly below Reagan on the GREAT PRESIDENTS scale..

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Benghazi Shitstorm is about to hit the fan..

    http://freebeacon.com/graham-i-think-the-dam-is-about-to-break-on-benghazi/

    That's GOT to drag Obama's numbers down..

    Doesn't it???

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    In 20 years time, Bush will be remembered as fondly as Reagan is and will likely score slightly below Reagan on the GREAT PRESIDENTS scale..

    reagan's current ranking is 17th, better than JQ Adams but not as good as LBJ. dubya is currently 34th, right between benjamin harrison and zachary taylor.

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Bush's numbers now are better than Obama's numbers...

    Um, no. Look at that second chart. Obama's better than Bush, and likely will be for the next 3+ years.

    [52 months into their terms:]

    48.6 - 46.8 - Obama (appr/disap)
    46.5 - 49.6 - Bush (a/d)

    Or, maybe (just re-read it) you were talking about all-time presidential rankings? I could be reading you wrong, I admit.

    nypoet22 -

    As for rankings, where's Clinton? Just curious. How about Ford or Nixon? Got a link?

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Um, no. Look at that second chart. Obama's better than Bush, and likely will be for the next 3+ years.

    No, I meant right now..

    Right now, Bush is more popular than Obama is..

    Joshua,

    reagan's current ranking is 17th,

    Based on what?

    Reagan DID end the Cold War and destroyed the USSR, if I recall...

    And without firing a single shot...

    Pretty damn good leadership, iffn ya ask me.. :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Since RCP is an accepted source here in Weigantia....

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/05/07/mother_of_slain_benghazi_victim_rips_hillary_clinton_i_blame_her.html

    I tell ya, Benghazi is going to get big.

    REAL big...

    You know it's true when even DEMOCRATS start saying that the Obama Administration lied to the American people..

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

    I assume that was meant for me.. :D

    Do you agree with those rankings??

    Bill Clinton number 20??

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now I KNOW the rankings are frak'ed!!

    Barack Obama #14???

    Sheeya, right. When monkees fly outta my arse!!

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Do you agree with those rankings??

    not entirely, though i think reagan's and clinton's rankings are probably close to appropriate. i would place andrew johnson as worst, because i think his sandbagging of reconstruction lasted a hundred years and came from a place of malice, not corruption (harding) or incompetence (buchanan). i agree that obama should not be ranked better than 20. after it's all said and done, i think obama's ratings will hover in the mid twenties with taft and van buren. if you'll notice, the trend has gradually softened on nixon, i believe is responsible for a lot of the events for which reagan is credited (or blamed), watergate notwithstanding.

    ~joshua

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'll let you in on a little secret, Joshua.

    I don't much care for politics.. :D

    My "rankings" of POTUSes pretty much deals with personal experience...

    In my lifetime, Reagan was the finest leader we have ever had. Bush is a close second..

    Jimmy Carter was the worst leader this country ever had.. But Obama is closing the gap at an astonishingly fast rate...

    I'de be willing to wager some major quatloos that, by the time Obama's term is done, he will have far surpassed Carter as this country's most abysmal leader...

    Benghazi is just the beginning of Obama's fall..

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    michale/CW

    In my lifetime, Reagan was the finest leader we have ever had. Bush is a close second..

    here is my favorite piece of writing about ronald reagan: lest we forget...

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x1702986

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    here is my favorite piece of writing about ronald reagan: lest we forget...

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x1702986

    Although I REALLY try not to judge a book by it's cover (or, in this case, just content by the website) in THIS case I should have gone with my gut.

    That's just cruel..

    It's typical Democrat/Leftist crap. Taking everything bad about a great man and ignoring all the good. Funny how the Left only seems to want to do that to the Right.. I bet it wouldn't be so funny if someone from the Right did a soliloquy on Clinton, concentrating on all the blow jobs and the dalliances and the bimbos and the adultery and ignored the fact that Clinton actually did some good..

    No offense, Joshua.. You are nowhere near the typical Leftist/Democrat...

    But that piece, sad to say, IS typical Leftist/Democrat BS crap.. It's what I have come to expect from Democrats and Liberals, present company excepted of course.. :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I bet it wouldn't be so funny if someone from the Right did a soliloquy on Clinton, concentrating on all the blow jobs and the dalliances and the bimbos and the adultery

    on this i beg to differ; i think if done well it would be absolutely hilarious. i guess my issue with coverage on reagan is the reverse of your issue with coverage on bush. were reagan regularly presented by the media as something other than a bronzed saint, poems such as blehert's wouldn't be so amusing. just as nobody ever hears about any of the good done by george w. bush (richard nixon even moreso), nobody ever hears about how much harm reagan's administration really did. that's why his ranking of seventeenth is properly earned, and that's why people need to be reminded of the side of things we've forgotten.

    if you think about it, the reason i'm such a fan of that poem is the same reason i'm such a fan of you, michale.

    ~joshua

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    and this for CW:

    "Ronald Reagan is alive but forgetting things.
    And us? With each new miracle drug, we forget
    all the earlier miracle drugs that are now
    called evil drugs. We all know that things
    have always been the way things are and so
    must always be so."

    - dean blehert

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    on this i beg to differ; i think if done well it would be absolutely hilarious.

    Yea, but as I indicated above, you are not the quintessential Democrat/Liberal..

    Around these here parts, you are the closest thing to a me.. :D

    if you think about it, the reason i'm such a fan of that poem is the same reason i'm such a fan of you, michale.

    Why, thanx....

    I think.. :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/05/exclusive-benghazi-talking-points-underwent-12-revisions-scrubbed-of-terror-references/

    Benghazi??

    Yea, nothing to see here.. Just move along. You can trust us. We're the government..

    Can ya'all imagine the hysterical outcry from the Left if this had been tried during the Bush years??

    It's mind-boggling that no one here sees the hypocrisy..

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Emails obtained by ABC News show that State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland requested that the CIA scrub references to an Al Qaeda-linked group, which, Nuland told White House officials, “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings."

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/05/white-house-holds-offrecord-benghazi-briefing-163704.html#.UY01j3baPl4.twitter

    And the White House is beginning to sweat....

    Michale

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