ChrisWeigant.com

Obama Poll Watch -- May, 2013

[ Posted Monday, June 3rd, 2013 – 17:22 PDT ]

Pre-storm calm?

Barack Obama had a pretty bad month inside the Beltway, with Republicans on the warpath over multiple scandals. Outside Washington, Obama didn't have too bad a month at all, as his job approval ratings barely budged. While this calm may seem to indicate that the public has a much higher tolerance for what constitutes a "scandal" than congressional Republicans, there were indications at the end of the month that this may just be a calm before much stormier poll numbers for the president. But first, let's look back on last month. Here's the chart:

Obama Approval -- May 2013

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

May, 2013

In May, President Obama spent a lot of time in his "consoler in chief" role, attending to disasters and celebrating the return of the Jersey Shore after rebuilding from their own disaster. Usually, this provides a small amount of lift in public attitudes, because in the modern age presidents are called upon to express the nation's sadness and grief whenever disaster strikes. It's a pretty sympathetic role to play, in other words. Obama also may have benefited from the continuing good news on the economy, as unemployment numbers continue to sink and the stock market continues to soar. Congress made news, as a comprehensive immigration bill made it out of a Senate committee, but it still has a long way to go before becoming law.

Countering these positive trends was, well, a whole bunch of stuff. Republicans kept pounding the Benghazi drum, but nobody paid a whole lot of attention. This was soon eclipsed by the IRS scandal and the AP/Fox News scandal, however. The Republicans latched onto the IRS mess, and the media latched onto the journalism/search warrant scandal, and between the two they sucked a lot of oxygen out of the political world last month.

Throughout it all, Obama's poll numbers barely budged. He lost 0.3 percent to finish at 48.3 percent average monthly approval, and his monthly disapproval average rose one-tenth of a percent to end up at 46.9 percent. For a scandal-packed month, that's pretty good. In fact, for any month that's amazingly stable -- you'd have to go back to June of last year to find a month where Obama's numbers moved less.

 

Overall Trends

The day-to-day trend for Obama, though, looks decidedly worse. Just going by the monthly numbers and Obama's resilience in the face of scandal might lead Obama fans to be fairly optimistic about next month. This would be a mistake. For the second half of May, Obama's numbers fluctuated from around 45 percent approval to a high of 53 percent in the polling. During the last few days of May, however, that 53 percent poll dropped off the rolling average, and Obama's poll numbers have already dropped significantly as a result. Obama hit both a daily low in approval for his second term and a daily high in disapproval on the last day of the month. His numbers fell "underwater" for the last three days of the month, ending with a daily average of 47.1 percent approval and 48.9 percent disapproval. That is a big difference from his monthly average, which means his numbers are going to start June on a low point. Which, in all likelihood, will mean a drop in his monthly numbers next month. So there are storm clouds on the horizon, no matter how calm things may have appeared in May.

Obama won't have a whole lot to counter this negative trend, either. Unemployment numbers come out this Friday, which may at least stop the slide for Obama, but will likely not boost his approval back up much, if at all. The big political issue for June on the calendar (other than Republicans gleefully investigating everything they can throw at the president) is the Senate's floor debate over the immigration bill. You'd think this might help Obama, but it will likely only generally put Democrats in a good light with the public, and expose some bitter feelings from Republicans. President Obama is largely staying out of the immigration debate, because he knows full well that if he is seen as interfering in Congress on this issue, it will automatically mean no Republican will vote for whatever he supports (see: the past five years). The only way Obama would even interject himself into the debate (other than saying generic things from the sidelines) is if he issued a veto threat on some Republican amendment which would kill the purpose of the bill. There will be many of these proposed on the Senate floor, so we'll see whether any of them merit Obama entering into the fray. The safe bet is that he won't, however, in the hopes of the Senate passing a bill before Independence Day.

So, barring unforeseen events, Obama may get a slight benefit from the background issues of the economy (especially if the unemployment number is good) and immigration, but it's doubtful that any of it will produce any sort of sudden surge in the polling. In fact, the safer bet is that Republicans are going to spend every waking moment on the scandals, which may have precisely the effect they wish: a drop in Obama's public approval.

 

[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 -- 5/13 -- 48.3%

Highest Monthly Disapproval -- 5/13 -- 46.9%
Lowest Monthly Disapproval -- 1/13 -- 42.6%

Daily
Highest Daily Approval -- 1/31/13 -- 52.5%
Lowest Daily Approval -- 5/31/13 -- 47.1%

Highest Daily Disapproval -- 5/31/13 -- 48.9%
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)
05/13 -- 48.3 / 46.9 / 4.8
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

[Apr 13], [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

 

29 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- May, 2013”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Maybe Obama's numbers might actually MOVE this month, eh?? :D

    Well, it IS the start of the Hurricane Season around these here parts..

    I bet Obama is praying for another Hurricane Sandy...

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    Crass.

    & I'll cover that bet too.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Crass.

    Abso-frakin-loutly...

    And dead on ballz accurate, to boot..

    If it wasn't for Hurricane Sandy, we would likely be "enjoying" life under President Romney and Vice President Ryan...

    Which is, ironically, how a fictitious VP Ryan became POTUS.. :D

    & I'll cover that bet too.

    Another bet we can never establish either way..

    Obama has proven time and time again that he is a Chicago politician thru and thru..

    Given that, the odds are in my favor.. :D

    But I WILL make a bet with you (and anyone else who wants A PIECE OF THE ACTION :D) that Obama's approval ratings will drop considerably and his disapproval rate will shoot up this month.

    Barring any outlier(s), of course...

    Any takers?? :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/06/04/crowd-erupts-thunderous-applause-when-leno-says-obama-should-close-ir#ixzz2VGEFafXC

    This is why Obama's numbers are going to take a hit..

    You can only give the finger to the American people for so long before they start realizing, "Hay! We're getting screwed here!!"

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya have to admit.

    For an allegedly smart guy, Obama is pretty dumb..

    "You are the DUMBEST smart person I have ever met!!!"
    -Will Smith, I, ROBOT

    About the ONLY group that would be MORE universally hated than the IRS would be the CIA!! :D

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    "Considerable"?

    "Barring any outlier"?

    Too amorphous for me. But then again RWMO have always been good on the fuzz-words blather & short on facts.

    Like for instance, President Obama's polling numbers did not shift significantly after Hurricane Sandy. President Romney was never more than a figment of his closed feedback loop.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Too amorphous for me.

    True, but I bet we will know it when we see it. And, optimist that I am, I bet we even AGREE on it..

    Like for instance, President Obama's polling numbers did not shift significantly after Hurricane Sandy. President Romney was never more than a figment of his closed feedback loop.

    Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night. :D

    But the fact is, it's likely that w/o Christie's awesome response to Sandy for Obama to play off of, he would have lost the election..

    That's what objective analysis has shown...

    Like for instance, President Obama's polling numbers did not shift significantly after Hurricane Sandy.

    Yea and, of course, polling numbers are always the PERFECT indicators of the facts and reality, right?? :D

    Remember....

    AT night..

    Not LAST night... :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Into the Storm
    by Hendrik Hertzberg November 12, 2012

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/11/12/121112taco_talk_hertzberg

    No effect on voting, my left arse cheek... :D

    Hurricane Sandy gave Obama his second term.

    It's that simple.

    And any objective and politically agnostic person will tell you the same thing.

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Put it another way..

    Saying that Hurricane Sandy had nothing to do with Obama's re-election is like saying that 9/11 had nothing to do with Bush's 90% approval rating..

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    Sometimes I wonder if you get your jollies by playing these word games.

    You assert (#3) that Hurricane Sandy was the proximate cause of president Obama's reelection.

    I state (#6) that the tracking polls did not move beyond normal noise levels before & after the hurricane.

    You respond (#7) that one can't trust polls.

    If one can not trust polls; then what evidence do you have that (potential) President Romney was done in by the Hurricane? I can just as easily state that Mitt was done in by the film of his 47% comments, his wife with the common touch of Marie Antoinette, or his hopelessly confused positions on several issues.

    Your response (#9) that, "Sandy had nothing to do" with the reelection is a misstatement of my position. Everything had something to do with the election. We're talking actual & proximate causes & weighting each event. You're trying to make it an all or nothing position.

    Sandy certainly did not help WMR. But since the un-unskewed polls did not move significantly before & after the event; your statement that it was the defining factor is just so much moonshine.

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sometimes I wonder if you get your jollies by playing these word games.

    I could ask you the same question..

    I state my point clearly and without obfuscation.

    If Hurricane Sandy hadn't happened, we would likely have had President Romney..

    Then you come back with polls. "The polls say different" you claim..

    Well, you know my view on polls. They don't mean shit.. And that view is backed up by so many facts, it would be impossible to list them all..

    I'll restate my most previous statement to account for your semantic games.

    Claiming that Sandy wasn't definitive in Obama's re-election is akin to saying that 9/11 wasn't definitive in Bush's 90% approval rating..

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    I know it's hard for ya'all to think that the Great And Powerful Obama might have actually LOST the election, if not for the October Surprise that was Hurricane Sandy..

    But I only have to point to Obama's beginnings to prove that, more often than not, it's the fickle hand of Atropos that makes things go the way they go, rather than ability or competence...

    We ONLY have President Obama because of a Borg drone, fer chreest's sake!!

    How much more fickle can ya get!?? :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    db wrote:

    Michale, (# 11)

    "If Hurricane Sandy hadn't happened, we would likely have had President Romney.."

    Michale, the Great & Powerful has spoken.

    How dare I, the weak & puny, contradict him by using facts. i.e. the polls at the time don't support.

    So, Oh Great One, why do you say that? What facts encourage you to spread your pearls of wisdom before us?

    The Norns have woven the threads of each of our lives. Or perhaps better phrased, it's better to be lucky than good.

    But I'm missing the Borg reference. You've out-nerded me. Congratulations.

  14. [14] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [3] -

    How's this for a bet: no matter how Obama's poll numbers drop this month, he'll still be above Bush for the month. Oh, might as well make that "for the rest of his presidency" while I'm at it.

    Heh.

    Michale [7] -

    Objective analysis my left foot. Poll numbers before Sandy: Obama takes commanding lead in Electoral College. Poll numbers after Sandy (and election results): Obama wins second term with commanding lead in EC -- first president since Eisenhower to win two terms with over 51% of the vote both times.

    Sandy didn't move Obama's poll numbers. Romney was toast before, during, and after Sandy, sorry.

    But, as you said, whatever helps you sleep at night, dude...

    Romney never topped 250 EV once. Here, this may refresh your memory:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2012/10/29/2012-electoral-math-one-week-out/

    Obama was beating Romney like a drum long before the breeze picked up on the Jersey shore. Oh, except if you were listening to Karl Rove or Fox News, I suppose I should throw that in the mix. Because we all know how accurate their predictions turned out to be....

    And wasn't Lachesis the one who measured? I'm just sayin'...

    I challenged you all throughout the election to put together any winning scenario where Romney got 270 EV, and you never took me up on it then, citing your gut feeling instead. Seems like that's all you're citing here, too.

    Which states flipped due to Sandy? How many states would Romney have won if the storm hadn't hit? Add it up -- it's just beyond the bounds of reason, even with Republican-weighted polls.

    Repeat after me: first president since Eisenhower with 51+ percent twice in a row. Even Saint Ronnie couldn't pull that off (although he did rack up a spectacular EV total, I will admit).

    If the election were held a week before Sandy, we'd still be in Obama's second term. Period.

    -CW

  15. [15] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Clarification -

    That should be "over 51% of the popular vote nationwide".

    just to be clear.

    -CW

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    How's this for a bet: no matter how Obama's poll numbers drop this month, he'll still be above Bush for the month. Oh, might as well make that "for the rest of his presidency" while I'm at it.

    Or, how about this bet..

    No matter WHAT Obama does, he will never hit 90% approval rating, like Bush did.. :D

    Two can play that game! :D

    Sandy didn't move Obama's poll numbers. Romney was toast before, during, and after Sandy, sorry.

    Polls Schmolls... I am talking reality, not polls... :D

    Repeat after me. Polls don't mean diddley squat..

    The fact that you can find a poll that "proves" exactly what you want to prove, PROVES that polls mean precisely dick.. :D

    If the election were held a week before Sandy, we'd still be in Obama's second term. Period.

    If the election had been held as normal and there wasn't any Sandy, we would likely be in President Romney's first term..

    Of course, there is no way to prove who is right on this, but I still believe it.. :D

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale, the Great & Powerful has spoken.

    Damn skippy!! :D

    The Norns have woven the threads of each of our lives. Or perhaps better phrased, it's better to be lucky than good.

    But I'm missing the Borg reference. You've out-nerded me. Congratulations.

    's OK... You stumped me w/ the NORNS reference, so we're even... :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    I challenged you all throughout the election to put together any winning scenario where Romney got 270 EV, and you never took me up on it then, citing your gut feeling instead. Seems like that's all you're citing here, too.

    Exactly. My gut..

    "Well, right now, Mac outranks your gut"
    -Jeff Daniels, SPEED

    :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Norns have woven the threads of each of our lives. Or perhaps better phrased, it's better to be lucky than good.

    Now, if you had said "the Narn" then I would have nailed it! :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    db wrote:

    Michale,

    The Norns are Norse mythology. They sit at Yggdrasil & weave the life & fate of men & gods. Much like the Greek fates; I'd assume.

    The Narn couldn't even spin their own fate, much less anyone else's. But good catch.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Narn couldn't even spin their own fate, much less anyone else's.

    Damn good point... :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [16] -

    I hope Obama's number doesn't ever hit 90%, when you think about what had to happen for Bush to get there. I mean, y'know?

    db -

    I always liked the aspect of the fates of the three archetypes (stereotypes?) of women -- virgin, mother, crone. I think Clotho was the young one, but I forget the other two. Lachesis the middle one, maybe?

    -CW

  23. [23] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    As long as you're willing to admit you're just going on your gut, I certainly can't argue. My gut tells me that if GHW Bush hadn't secured a later release of the hostages in Iran, Jimmy Carter would have won a second term (imagine the impact in October if the hostages had been released...). But it's hard to argue "might have beens" when it's all speculation.

    -CW

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    . I think Clotho was the young one, but I forget the other two. Lachesis the middle one, maybe?

    I think Atropos was definitely the young one.. :D

    http://images.wikia.com/powerlisting/images/6/68/Supernatural_Atropos.jpg

    But that's just me.. :D

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    I hope Obama's number doesn't ever hit 90%, when you think about what had to happen for Bush to get there. I mean, y'know?

    Can't argue the logic..

    Other than to say what a sad state of affairs this country is in that even such an event like THAT wouldn't heal the wounds this country has, eh??

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    As you said, two can play at this game.

    How messed up is it that the death of Osama Bin Laden didn't even raise Barack Obama's approval rating to 60%??

    :-)

    Ball's in your court, I believe...

    -CW

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    How messed up is it that the death of Osama Bin Laden didn't even raise Barack Obama's approval rating to 60%??

    Exactly my point..

    Obama and the Democrats have so poisoned the political process that even something as momentous as that barely garners a blip...

    Remember, this is the guy (Obama) who ran on a platform of changing politics as we know it. He said he would make it better, make it more transparent, make it more friendly..

    THAT is why I voted for the jack(gl)ass... :D

    And what did he do??

    And he has made the political situation 20 times worse...

    Which no body can deny...

    Obama and the Democrats have so poisoned the well, I honestly don't believe we can ever go back...

    It's 1984 in a Brave New World...

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama and the Democrats have so poisoned the political process that even something as momentous as that barely garners a blip...

    Don't think I don't acknowledge the Right's responsibility in all this.

    I do..

    However I must point out that the Right didn't run on a platform of openness, transparency and changing the way DC works.

    Obama did..

    And he lied...

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    However I must point out that the Right didn't run on a platform of openness, transparency and changing the way DC works.

    Obama did..

    And he lied...

    OK to be fair, it is possible that Obama had every intention of fulfilling his promise.

    He is a CHICAGO Politician so I doubt it...

    But if I am a fair person (and I am) I have to at least acknowledge the possibility.

    And so I have....

    Michale

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