ChrisWeigant.com

Obama Poll Watch -- April, 2014

[ Posted Monday, May 5th, 2014 – 16:04 PDT ]

Bouncing Back

After suffering a negative month in the polls in March, President Obama bounced back in April, gaining back all the ground he had lost and then some (well, "and then a little bit more" would be more accurate...). He still hasn't quite made it back to where his poll numbers were before the Obamacare website rollout, but if the trendlines continue in May, he is at least within reach of this goal for the first time since last October. Let's take a look at the updated chart, shall we?

Obama Approval -- April 2014

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

April, 2014

President Obama started April on a positive note as the Obamacare numbers were revealed, and the news just kept getting better all month long on this front. Surprising just about everyone, the White House announced that they had indeed met the initial goal of over 7 million signups, and subsequent weekly releases pushed this number to 7.5 million and then finally to over 8 million. This represented a strong success, and Obama's public job approval polling numbers reflected the good news.

Foreign policy news was nowhere near as rosy as the situation in Ukraine steadily deteriorated, but the American public showed not much interest in any sort of military support, so it didn't really affect Obama's approval much (if at all). Obama took a trip abroad, but again not many Americans paid all that much attention. The public spotlight was on a few high-profile incidents of unreconstructed racism, but this didn't really affect the political scene much either.

Obama's monthly average job approval rating rose a half of a percent in April, to wind up at 43.4 percent approval -- which reversed the 0.4 percent drop he saw in the previous month. Obama's monthly average disapproval fell by 0.7 percent, to wind up at 52.1 percent for April. This followed a 0.5 percent rise in March, meaning that in both the approval and disapproval categories Obama regained all the ground he had lost in the previous month, plus an extra 0.3 percent. This puts him back on a positive trajectory since his low point at the end of last year. Since November, his approval rate has risen 2.0 percent, and since December his disapproval rate has fallen 1.9 percent. He still has to gain roughly one more percent in both categories, though, to be at the point he was before the Obamacare rollout fiasco.

 

Overall Trends

Before we get to examining the trendlines, we've got a bonus chart this week. I was playing around with the possibility of adding a few crucial turning points to the presidential approval charts, because it's easy to forget exactly what was going on politically at each point, when viewing these overviews. This is just a first effort, but here's what I've got so far for Obama:

Obama Annotated Approval -- April 2014

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

So, what do you think? Is this sort of thing useful? Could it use a few more data points? Any suggestions for events to add to provide a clearer picture of the context of these approval ratings? Let me know in the comments.

Actually, we have two bonus charts this week, although the following is one that has appeared before. It zooms in on the past year, and presents a much more detailed scale, to see the movements up and down more clearly. Since we haven't run one of these in a while, we thought it'd be worth taking a magnified look as we discuss the trends.

Obama Approval Detail -- April 2014

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

The overall trends for Obama are pretty good right now, but could always change (it is, after all, an election year). As is plainly visible in the detail chart, Obama still has a little less than a percentage point to gain in approval (and a little more than a percent in disapproval) before he'll be back to where he was before last October's major drop. And even then, he still won't be in a very comfortable place, as this is roughly the same as the lowest point he ever reached during his first term.

But he is moving in the right direction again, at least. Measured a bit differently, the gap between his approval and disapproval rating is now 8.7 percent "underwater" (where disapproval is higher than approval), but this is down from last month's 9.9 percent -- and down significantly from Obama's all-time high of a 12.5 percent gap, last November. To put this in perspective, however, the worst point he ever got in his first term was only 7.8 percent underwater (in October, 2011).

When you look within the daily averages, though, the trendline looks even more positive. Obama started the month with the same daily job approval as he charted for a monthly average in March (42.9 percent), and although he briefly dipped below this on the 12th of the month (42.6 percent), by the 21st he had hit a high of 44.7 percent. This fell back a bit at the end of the month, but overall his daily numbers are headed slowly upwards. His daily disapproval numbers were even clearer, falling from a monthly high hit on the first day of the month (52.9 percent) to a low of 50.8 percent on the 21st.

May is shaping up to be a pretty good month for Obama on the domestic front, at least. The improving unemployment numbers should have an effect on his polling, and the great signup numbers for Obamacare have significantly blunted Republican attacks with the public at large. The 2014 midterm season is going to heat up this month, as the primary results begin to come in from more and more states.

While it is entirely possible that April's numbers are just (as I suggested last month) a flattening out of Obama's polling numbers to a "new normal," the trends -- for the time being -- point to a more positive outcome. Obama will likely not make huge gains in May, but the safest bet at this point is that he will continue to slowly improve to finally reach the point his numbers were at before the Obamacare website rolled out (roughly: above 44 percent approval and below 51 percent disapproval).

Even though this is fairly optimistic news for Obama fans, it must be pointed out that the larger picture is still not all that great. His polling numbers won't really be headed for recovery until he's above 45 percent approval and below 50 percent disapproval, and he won't have truly recovered in the ratings until his approval is back above his disapproval rate ("above water" once again) -- and that could take quite awhile, even with the positive trends he is now showing. Just to put things in perspective.

 

[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 -- 11/13 -- 41.4%

Highest Monthly Disapproval -- 12/13 -- 54.0%
Lowest Monthly Disapproval -- 1/13 -- 42.6%

Daily
Highest Daily Approval -- 1/31/13 -- 52.5%
Lowest Daily Approval -- 12/2/13 -- 39.8%

Highest Daily Disapproval -- 12/2/13 -- 55.9%
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)
04/14 -- 43.4 / 52.1 / 4.5
03/14 -- 42.9 / 52.8 / 4.3
02/14 -- 43.3 / 52.3 / 4.4
01/14 -- 42.7 / 52.7 / 4.6
12/13 -- 41.9 / 54.0 / 4.1
11/13 -- 41.4 / 53.9 / 4.7
10/13 -- 44.2 / 50.8 / 5.0
09/13 -- 43.9 / 50.8 / 5.3
08/13 -- 44.4 / 50.2 / 5.4
07/13 -- 45.3 / 49.2 / 5.5
06/13 -- 46.5 / 48.5 / 5.0
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

[Mar 14], [Feb 14], [Jan 14], Dec 13], [Nov 13], [Oct 13], Sep 13], [Aug 13], [Jul 13], [Jun 13], [May 13], [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

 

36 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- April, 2014”

  1. [1] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    @CW

    I think in your final paragraph, you may have one too many "approval"s.

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama took a trip abroad, but again not many Americans paid all that much attention.

    That's because Obama didn't accomplish squat...

    Each stop on Obama's Asia/Pacific tour was supposed to elicit some sort of benefit or treaty or agreement..

    And each stop Obama was told, ever so politely, to F.O.A.D....

    It's ironic insofar as Foreign Policy was actually Obama's biggest strength...

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21601538-america-no-longer-alarming-its-foes-or-reassuring-its-friends-decline

    The damage that Obama and the Democrats have done to this country is slowly coming out...

    Mopshell,

    I think in your final paragraph, you may have one too many "approval"s.

    Yea, I saw that too.. :D

    CW's invoking the power of positive thinking... :D

    CW,

    So, what do you think? Is this sort of thing useful? Could it use a few more data points? Any suggestions for events to add to provide a clearer picture of the context of these approval ratings? Let me know in the comments.

    These types of links would be very useful...

    Any chance you can make them open a new browser window, rather than supplant the existing browser??

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    That's because Obama didn't accomplish squat...

    Not even close, Michale. In fact, your statement is completely false.

    You really need to understand what you write about to avoid making asinine statements.

    And, no ... I'm not going to tell you what Obama accomplished because I think you need to put some effort into this first.

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, no ... I'm not going to tell you what Obama accomplished because I think you need to put some effort into this first.

    Oh believe me, I followed Obama's trip minute by minute..

    The trip to Japan was to sign a trade agreement..

    http://time.com/76985/us-japan-free-trade-asia-pivot/

    Japan said "Thanx but no thanx. We'll 'talk' about it.."

    In South Korea, Obama gave them a nice framed American Flag.. He got nothing....

    Philippines??? No accomplishments whatsoever..

    The entire idea behind the trip was to assure the region that the US has their backs...

    As the link I posted clearly indicates.. It's a hollow assurance.

    The US let Assad gas his own people, after warning Assad SPECIFICALLY not to do it..

    The US's response???

    Zilch... Zip... Nada.... Nothing....

    Assad is still in power.

    Assad STILL has his complete CWMD arsenal.

    Assad is STILL killing his own people with impunity.

    The US doesn't have ANYONE's back these days...

    And the world knows it..

    It's that simple...

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    From your Economist article:
    Nowhere is the perception of growing American timidity so strong as in the Middle East. Eleven years ago America conquered Iraq in a matter of weeks. Yet when Mr Obama pulled America’s last troops out in 2011, there was little to show for all the lives lost and billions spent. The regime America has left behind in Baghdad is barely friendly.

    This is non-serious.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Philippines??? No accomplishments whatsoever..

    Seriously?

    I don't know what you were following minute-by-minute but, it certainly wasn't Obama's trip to the Asia-Pacific region.

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Do you know what Obama accomplished in Malaysia?

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nowhere is the perception of growing American timidity so strong as in the Middle East. Eleven years ago America conquered Iraq in a matter of weeks. Yet when Mr Obama pulled America’s last troops out in 2011, there was little to show for all the lives lost and billions spent. The regime America has left behind in Baghdad is barely friendly.

    This is non-serious.

    In what way???

    Obama thru away the Iraq victory and ceded it and the region to Iran...

    Now Iran is well on it's way to becoming a nuclear power..

    All thanx to the incompetence of the Obama Administration...

    The time to TIGHTEN sanctions is when they are having the most effect..

    When they are having the most effect is the absolute WORST time to loosen sanctions..

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Iraq was never a victory, Michale. You, of all people, should be able to clearly see that.

    Clearly, you are not following what is happening in Iran with respect to the nuclear negotiations, either.

    You really have to keep up with this stuff before commenting.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Who put Maliki in power?

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Iraq was never a victory, Michale. You, of all people, should be able to clearly see that.

    Iraq was a clear and uncontested victory.

    But then Bush screwed up and, to appease the Democrats, put a limp-dick in power whose allegiance to Iran was clear..

    Clearly, you are not following what is happening in Iran with respect to the nuclear negotiations, either.

    Of course I am following what's happening. It's not to difficult because NOTHING is happening..

    Just a lot of rhetoric out of Tehran and a lot of give give give of billions of dollars to Tehran..

    That's it...

    Put another way, there is as much happening with Iran as there is with Syria...

    A lot of bluster and talk but absolutely NO CONCRETE STEPS to lessen the threat that Assad and the religious fanatics in Tehran represent.

    The world is a much MUCH more dangerous place for America and Americans these days.

    Solely and completely because of the incompetence of the Obama Administration and the Democrats in power...

    GODS, I have missed this!!!! :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    What happened in Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Saddam regime and what did the US do that virtually ensured that any short-lived victory it enjoyed would be completely squandered?

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You really don't know what Iran has already done to be in compliance with the interim nuclear agreement!?

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    GODS, I have missed this!!!! :D

    Not as much as I have! :)

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    You really don't know what Iran has already done to be in compliance with the interim nuclear agreement!?

    Sure I do...

    Not a damn thing...

    All we hear from Iran is that their agreement changes nothing about their nuclear program..

    There hasn't been an iota of movement from Iran..

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You are just plain wrong in your assertions about what Iran has done and you still haven't said what Obama accomplished in the Philippines and it's right there in the article you yourself cited.

    It's hard for me to spend any time discussing this with you when you don't even have at hand the basic facts of any of these matters ...

    I hate wasting my time and, I'm afraid, we've come to the end of "discussion" on this thread.

    Better luck to us, next time ...

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    I'm beginning to understand why Obama's approval rating is so low all the time ...

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    You are just plain wrong in your assertions about what Iran has done

    Usually when someone asserts that another is just "plain wrong" about an issue, the provide facts to back up the assertion..

    I'll be happy to admit if I am wrong. But since this particular subject has more than a passing association with my areas of expertise, I'll have to see the evidence...

    As far as accomplishments in the Philippines?? You are correct. I stand corrected..

    Obama got limited access to Filipino bases for 10 years...

    So, yea.. Obama pooped out a single...

    Funny thing, though. We hired Obama to hit Home Runs...

    Not to be satisfied with bunts and singles and walks...

    I'm just sayin'....

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm beginning to understand why Obama's approval rating is so low all the time ...

    We thought we were electing a Jack Ryan..

    Well, *I* thought I was electing a Jack Ryan..

    The Left thought they were electing the Messiah..

    Too high of expectations...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Usually when someone asserts that another is just "plain wrong" about an issue, the provide facts to back up the assertion..

    I always get this nonsense from people who are themselves clearly, though inexplicably, dispossessed of the facts, even the very basic facts of an issue.

    I appreciate your correction on the Philippines but, I'm not quite ready to spend precious time providing facts when all I am presented with is utter nonsense.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I changed my mind. In view of your correction on the Philippines (which was actually quite a big achievement for both countries), here is just one example of how the interim nuclear deal with Iran is working quite well...

    The IAEA has recently confirmed that Iran is living up to its end of the bargain by cutting its stock medium enriched uranium by 75%. Additionally, Iran has diluted 50% of its stock to low enriched uranium and converted much of the rest of it to reactor fuel. And, they have done it all ahead of schedule!

    This is just one example of the concrete steps being taken by Iran that should be acknowledged and encouraged, not ignored and dismissed.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Au contraire..

    The IAEA has confirmed that Iran has STATED that it was willing to cut it's stock medium enriched uranium by 75%...

    In other words Iran has, like Syria, promised that they would take such and such an action....

    But yet, no action has been done.

    Iran claims it's because they need to build a facility to accomplish this, but the project to build that facility has been delayed.

    Now, of course, you can claim that Iran SAYING it will do such and such is progress...

    But Iran has ALWAYS been willing to SAY that they will do this and do this and do that...

    And yet, they never do...

    Do you want to bet the survival of Israel on the willingness of Iran to actually follow their words with deeds??

    I don't..

    And I don't think Israel wants to either...

    Iran can take concrete steps to rejoin the world community above and apart from their nuclear program..

    Have Iran denounce terrorism and cut off support for Hamas or Hezbollah..

    As long as Iran is the world's state sponsor of terrorism, I will continue to ignore and dismiss ANY claim Iran makes...

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that the Iranian regime puts gay people to death...

    While I am on record as stating that people shouldn't be given extra legal protections solely and completely based on who they choose to have sex with, I am also of a mind that people shouldn't be executed solely and completely based on who they choose to have sex with.

    This is the government that you want Israel and the rest of the world to put their faith in...

    I know, I know.. We have kind of gotten away from the whole Nuclear Arsenal question.. But it's all part and parcel to the whole question of whether or not Iran can be a viable and contributing member to CIVILIZED society..

    Iran's executions of gay people. Iran's support for terrorism world-wide. Iran's continued obsession to acquire a Nuclear Arsenal to destroy Israel..

    Let Iran take REAL and VERIFIABLE steps at reforming their barbaric and uncivilized government.

    THEN we can discuss the viability of Iran's "concrete steps"....

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    According to the IAEA, Iran has indeed taken action in a number of areas, as outlined in the Joint Plan of Action, the interim nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1.

    Leaving that aside for the moment, I just came across the following article that makes a few very important suggestions about how the Obama administration should proceed with respect to a comprehensive deal with Iran which is now being negotiated.

    I think it makes a lot of sense and that Iran can be convinced to accept it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/07/opinion/the-right-way-to-press-iran.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0

  25. [25] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Mopshell [1] -

    Good eye! I have "dissed" it (so to speak) so it reads correctly now. Thanks for pointing it out, and mea culpa.

    Michale [2] -

    I thought you'd be happy with Philippine bases being opened (once again) to the American military.

    Links? I don't think I could do that easily within the image (make a link to, say, the BP oil spill). Or are you talking about just showing the full-sized chart? I could make that open a new window, pretty easily.

    Michale [19] -

    I'm guessing you're happy to see Jack Bauer back on television, too. Heh.

    Michale [23] -

    So, I'm interested, what do you think of the Saudi Arabian government? Where do they stand on your scale of civilization? I'm just sayin'...

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    I thought you'd be happy with Philippine bases being opened (once again) to the American military.

    I've been there.. Trust me.. It's not all that..

    Kadena can handle anything in the PACAF TOP...

    Links? I don't think I could do that easily within the image (make a link to, say, the BP oil spill). Or are you talking about just showing the full-sized chart? I could make that open a new window, pretty easily.

    Yea, just the full size chart in a separate window...

    Dunno why, but for me, it's easier to simply close an extra window than it is to use the back button.. :D

    I'm guessing you're happy to see Jack Bauer back on television, too. Heh.

    It was a pretty kewl premiere.. It's amazing that so many years has gone by and yet, Sutherland can just slip back into the role...

    I hear they are bringing back a limited addition run of HEROES too...

    So, I'm interested, what do you think of the Saudi Arabian government? Where do they stand on your scale of civilization? I'm just sayin'...

    Just a step up (a small step up) from Iran on the civilization scale..

    But they are allies (although not so much, since the US has gotten so cozy with Iran) so they get a bit more consideration...

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    That was a very enjoyable article and I concur whole heartedly with it..

    The problem is, this entire exercise has one basic foundation.

    It must be built on the fact that we have to trust Iran..

    And it is simply impossible to do so because of all the things that I have mentioned..

    Executing gays.

    Sponsoring terrorism.

    How can you trust a government that does that??

    You can't....

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    One of these days, you'll surprise me, again. I'm sure of it.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Me too! :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    I assume you mean because I am against a regime that executes it's citizens from ridiculous "crimes" and is the world's go-to country for terrorism that I am being "predictable".

    Yea, well, guilty as charged.. :D

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That would be, ah, predictably wrong, Michale. :)

    I am able to separate out the nuclear issue from all of the other Iran stuff. We can't seriously hope to change everything about the country, you know. Somes things are up to Iranians and Iranians, alone, no?

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am able to separate out the nuclear issue from all of the other Iran stuff.

    You CAN'T separate the nuclear issue from all the other stuff..

    Because it's part and parcel to the same problem.

    Power Corrupts And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

    We can't seriously hope to change everything about the country, you know. Somes things are up to Iranians and Iranians, alone, no?

    Put it this way...

    Let's say Iran is a problem child..

    He steals, he rapes, he kills..

    AND he wants to learn how to make pipe bombs..

    Do you honestly think that if his parents solve the "pipe bomb" issue, that all the other VERY BIG problems will suddenly become addressable??

    You have to attack the underlying problem, not just address the symptoms..

    And the underlying problem is that this Iran kid is a psychopath.

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You CAN'T separate the nuclear issue from all the other stuff..

    But, I just said I can ... pay attention to what I say, Michale! :)

    I have to admit ... that analogy made my eyes glaze over. Of course, that could be because I'm dead tired right now.

    I predict that the negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue will be wildly successful, from a US, Israeli and Iranian POV, not to mention from the perspective of most of the rest of us out in the world.

    That's just the dead tired cockeyed optimist in me, I suppose ...

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's just the dead tired cockeyed optimist in me, I suppose ...

    .... and then some... :D

    I always like a "cup is half full" person.. :D

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

    Well, it's a coping mechanism, you know. :)

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.worldtribune.com/2014/05/07/report-50-injured-blast-iran-nuke-site-storage-facility/

    Looks like the Israelis aren't going to wait around to see if Iran is sincere.. :D

    Michale

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