ChrisWeigant.com

Obama Poll Watch -- July, 2014

[ Posted Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 – 15:42 PDT ]

Another bad month

President Obama had another bad month in the polls in July, although it wasn't as sharp a downturn as he experienced in June. That, and "he managed not to set any all-time or daily low points during the month" is about all that can be positively said. Without further ado, let's get to the new chart:

Obama Approval -- July 2014

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

July, 2014

July started out with some good economic news, as the job picture continues to improve and the economy showed signs of picking up steam. Unfortunately, this good domestic news was completely overshadowed by some serious developments on the international scene. The situation in Iraq did not improve in any way, but even this was eclipsed by other international crises. At the very start of July three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered, the fallout of which is still ongoing in the Gaza Strip. All month long the news from Israel and Palestine just got worse and worse (no matter which side you are on in the debate). John Kerry did what he could, but it turned out to be not very much. In addition to this, a civilian airliner was shot out of the sky in Eastern Ukraine, which dominated the news for the second half of the month. Granted, these disasters didn't have much to do with Obama, but that's what American television news viewers faced on a nightly basis, all month long -- which didn't help.

Back home, the "border crisis" was big news, as endless shots of pathetic unaccompanied children also dominated the airwaves. Congress, as usual, made a lot of noise about how immediate action was required, and then did precisely nothing all month long. John Boehner moved forward with his plans to sue the president, but that isn't going to become a big story for at least another few weeks, so it didn't have much impact (yet). The state of Washington started legal recreational marijuana sales (and the sky didn't fall), and the vaunted New York Times editorial page boldly came out for the federal legalization of marijuana. This is a political fight that most politicians refuse to even get involved with (Obama most definitely included), so it didn't have a whole lot of impact in the polls.

Overall, this translated into a drop in Obama's average monthly job approval rating, which fell 0.6 percent to hit 41.8 percent in July. While this is the lowest point it's been all year, it stands 0.4 percent above his all-time monthly low, which happened right after the Obamacare website rollout at the end of last year. Obama's average monthly job disapproval rating rose to a smaller degree, ending at 53.6 percent -- up only 0.2 percent from the previous month. But again, this also stands only 0.4 percent from Obama's all-time high in this category.

 

Overall Trends

The overall trends were a bit mixed. Obama didn't do as badly (comparatively) in July as he did in June, when his approval rate fell 1.6 percent and his disapproval rose 1.7 percent. Obama's drop in approval was not matched by the rise in disapproval, either, as 0.4 percent moved to the "undecided" column -- meaning they might be convinced to move back to approval (at least, easier than those in the disapproval column). But in total, his "underwater" measurement (disapproval minus approval) rose to an 11.8 percent gap, up from 11.0 percent the month before. Obama had managed to get this down to 7.7 percent before the last two months, so this is significant slippage.

One odd thing worth noting is the movement within the daily averages last month. Obama started July at 41.6 percent approval, which moved down (by the 10th) to 40.9 percent, but then rose to 42.7 percent by the 21st. The last third of the month was somewhat mixed, but still well above his monthly average. This could show some signs that Obama has bottomed out and his approval could begin recovery in August. Obama's approval number didn't move around much within the month, either, fluctuating only 1.8 percent (from the highest daily average to the lowest, in other words).

However, Obama's disapproval numbers showed more activity, some of which was contradictory to what was happening with his approval rate. Obama started out the month at 53.4 percent disapproval, which rose to 54.4 percent before falling down to 52.2 percent on the 20th. From that point on, though, this number rose sharply to end the month at a high of 55.3 percent. This all represents a much-bigger 3.1 percent range of movement -- a larger range of fluctuation than Obama's seen in either category since the Obamacare website fiasco. All this proves is that Obama's disapproval is a lot more volatile right now than his approval averages. This may point to a sharp uptick in disapproval in August, since overall Obama's disapproval average moved very little in July.

So again, across the board it was a rather bad month for Obama, comparatively. In absolute terms, Obama is getting very close to all-time records he set right after the Obamacare website rollout. It's really anyone's guess what will happen in August, since the data isn't all pointing in the same direction for future trends. Obama could flatten his numbers out, his numbers could take a big hit, or he might manage some small improvements. Augusts have not been kind to Obama, historically, but it is also the season where Congress is off on vacation, so Obama might be able to command center stage at some point during the month, in the media. It all remains to be seen. That's not much of a prediction, but it's the best I can do for the time being, sorry.

 

[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)
07/14 -- 41.8 / 53.6 / 4.6
06/14 -- 42.4 / 53.4 / 4.2
05/14 -- 44.0 / 51.7 / 4.3
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

[Jun 14], [May 14], [Apr 14], [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

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

27 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- July, 2014”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    I was actually dreading this OPW commentary, as Obama pretty much ended July where he started July...

    41.7 Approval Rating..

    But, I gotta admit, CW...

    Ya cheered me up... :D

    Tanks....

    And Planes!!!!

    yuk yuk yuk...

    That never gets old... :D

    Seriously, though...

    How ANYONE can say things are going good for Obama is beyond me...

    Ya'all sound like Republicans when Bush numbers started to tank..

    "It's OK..." "It's not bad"... "It'll turn around"...

    What's it going to take for ya'all to concede that Obama is NOT the messiah, is NOT god's gift to the American People and has a REAL leadership problem??

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    July was a very good month. I was quite pleased with President Obama's tyrannical and lawless ENDA-ish executive order.

  3. [3] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I doubt many sitting politicians are above water at this time. The natives (AKA We the People) are restless.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Heh.

    Still waiting for your prediction of sub-40 to come true, I might add...

    But you're right, it was mostly a plateau month for Obama, on average.

    Obama's numbers look bad... until you look at Boehner's... or McConnell's... or the Republican Party in general...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/08/05/a-majority-of-people-dont-like-their-own-congressman-for-the-first-time-ever/

    and...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/08/05/morning-plum-gop-in-doghouse-among-women-nonwhites-young/

    From that last one:

    But the relative ratings of the Republican and Democratic parties are also noteworthy, particularly among key voter groups that GOP leaders have been hoping to improve their appeal among ever since the 2012 loss produced a round of soul searching about the party’s future. The toplines are that among registered voters, 38 percent view the GOP favorably, versus 60 percent who view it unfavorably; among Dems those numbers are 51-46.

    :-)

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    General comment:

    OK, today's article was a bit short, but in my own defense, I have been working on two separate projects behind the scenes here at CW.com.

    The first is an article I hope to present tomorrow, which will spotlight the international reach of CW.com Enterprises (hopefully tomorrow, but may have to punt until next Monday, just to leave myself an "out"), which I'm sure you're all going to enjoy.

    The second is a nuts-and-bolts thing, which is completely invisible to all current (registered) users of the site. I've been getting flooded with spammy new users at the site (to the tune of HUNDREDS per day), and so I had to hack the WordPress code to filter at least some of it out automatically. This is really bitchy work, as any programmer can tell you, but I think I've got it working correctly now.

    To all of you, this change will be completely invisible. Nobody currently registered will notice the slightest change. But new registrations are now going to be filtered against a "blacklist" of banned sites.

    If this causes problems for new users, I apologize in advance, but I don't really know what to tell anyone who can't successfully register. Get a new public email address -- that's all I can really say -- one from a company that doesn't allow millions of spammers to operate!

    Anyway, this has been a long time coming (the problem has gotten worse and worse, until it got so bad that HUNDREDS of bogus users appeared DAILY), so I'm pretty happy I seem to have at least partially solved the problem. But it was indeed time consuming, which is possibly why I've been a bit inattentive for the past week or so, while writing new code.

    The good news is this period is now over... so we should return to normal here.

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Still waiting for your prediction of sub-40 to come true, I might add...

    You and me both... You and me both.. :D

    Anyway, this has been a long time coming (the problem has gotten worse and worse, until it got so bad that HUNDREDS of bogus users appeared DAILY), so I'm pretty happy I seem to have at least partially solved the problem. But it was indeed time consuming, which is possibly why I've been a bit inattentive for the past week or so, while writing new code.

    It's to your credit that none of us has noticed.. :D

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama's numbers look bad... until you look at Boehner's... or McConnell's... or the Republican Party in general...

    How sad is it for Obama that his ONLY claim is, "Yea, I might be bad, but they are worse."
    :D

    We usually expect more from our POTUS...

    What a drop in expectations since the 2008 election, eh??

    For ALL of us...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Chris, I'm sorry you have to deal with so many malevolent Republicans.

    The rEVOLution will be spammed.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    I doubt many sitting politicians are above water at this time. The natives (AKA We the People) are restless.

    And THEN some....

    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/americas-fed-obama-approval-rating-hits-all-time-low-poll-n173271

    Now matter how ya'all try to paint things, Joe & Jane SixPack are NOT happy with their government and their leaders...

    It's that simple...

    And, if ALL ya'all got is "Well, they hate Republicans worse than they hate Democrats" or "They hate Congress worse than they hate Obama".....

    Well, THAT is pretty sad...

    Wouldn't you agree??

    Like I said above, no one will admit that Obama has failed as they leader we ALL expected when we elected him back in 2008....

    Ya'all just CAN'T admit it..

    I, however, can... Easily...

    I really frak'ed up by voting for Obama...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Chris, I'm sorry you have to deal with so many malevolent Republicans.

    Actually, those types have more in common with Democrats than with Republicans..

    Republicans want to wipe those people from existence..

    Democrats want to give them a free ride..

    But don't let things like reality and facts stop you from your fantasies...

    It's uplifting (in a sad sort of way) to see a person who can ignore reality and live in their own fantasy world... :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    A chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with one or more human users. The purpose of that simulation is to fool the human user into believing that the chatbot's output has been produced by a human. Some chatbots use sophisticated natural language processing systems, but most of the chatbots deployed by the Republican noise machine are “simple-minded” and minimally scan for keywords and return a reply from a textual database.

    For example, the keyword “Obama” will result in an unhinged-from-reality Republican talking-point word salad every time. If a human user responds *, the chatbot will lead its victim down the cancervative rabbit hole with an onslaught of circular logic, dehumanizing slurs, half-truisms, bizarre claims of false equivalence or nonpartisanship, projection, links to right-wing cult publications, and misleading out-of-context quotes. The primary goals of the chatbot’s programmer are to derail thoughtful adult conversation regarding important issues and to normalize Republican thought disorders.

    * Responding is not recommended. Some chatbots are extremely needy and replying will simply stimulate the chatbot to generate additional meaningless redundant clutter. It’s also pointless to ask a chatbot if it’s a chatbot. It will always say that it is not.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    It’s also pointless to ask a chatbot if it’s a chatbot. It will always say that it is not.

    It's also useless to ask a crazy person if they are crazy.. They will always claim that they are not crazy, that it's everyone else who is crazy..

    But, once again, I commend you on your demonization...

    Goebbels would be so proud of you...

    It's much easier to simply attack people than it is to have a thoughtful and meaningful discussion...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    But I must have got you all riled up for you to go on your crazy chat-bot binge again.. :D

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Still waiting for your prediction of sub-40 to come true, I might add...

    Wait til next month when school starts and classes that are already busting at the seams will burst..

    Schools that are already struggling to make ends meet are going to be financially wiped out...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama's already dropped .3 points, just in the past week...

    I tell ya, this might be it!!! :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    "The American people don't want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress to get something done."
    -Barack Obama

    Mr President. If it's a choice between you standing around and twiddling your thumbs and doing things that actually HURT and HARM this country??

    Yes...

    The American people would prefer that you stand around doing nothing but twiddling your thumbs....

    The fact that you refuse to see this is why your approval rating is underwater and sinking..

    Sir....

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thanx ya, Oh mighty Poobah :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Sort of in response to M (9), but also relevant to some recent CW topics about upcoming Senate races and not-so-good Obama popularity.

    On Aug 4th, fivethirtyeight.com posted 60/40 odds of a Republican Senate takeover (net gain of 6 seats or more). This got some media attention!

    As I've noted before, assumptions about the importance of national vs state variance play an important role in the ultimate odds assigned to each side controlling the Senate. I've run the 538 state by state odds through a Monte Carlo simulation that examines this question.

    To get the odds of a Republican takeover up to 538's 60%, I had assign all the random variance to local factors. That results in a 59% chance of a Republican takeover, as near as perfect agreement with 538 as you can expect in this kind of simulation.

    Interesting, but in the 2012 elections, the best fit with 538 Models was obtained assuming nearly all variance was assigned to a single National Random factor. Also the best fit with various "prediction markets." What has changed since 2012? I'm frankly skeptical anything has. Is Silver just being conservative? Is it a better meme to keep 538 in the news, and people clicking on his site? Naw, that COULDN'T BE!

    Anyway, running my model with the historically based assumption of a 100% national variance component and the same 36 state by state probabilities drops the odds of a Republican takeover to 49.9%. By, the way, intermediate allocations between national and state variance give essentially straight line intermediate results.

    So what kind of Senate raceway is it going to be this year: national issues or local issues? I'm still betting, Republicans would do best to make the election as local as possible...focus on state issues! And yet, Republicans seem to be hammering on national hot button issues like Immigration, Benghazi, Health Care..... According to the model, this amounts to trading a 20% lead for a dead heat? Why would they do this? Maybe that's what's bugging the Republican establishment types!

    I know, it's a model, but models can raise some interesting questions.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    So what kind of Senate raceway is it going to be this year: national issues or local issues? I'm still betting, Republicans would do best to make the election as local as possible...focus on state issues! And yet, Republicans seem to be hammering on national hot button issues like Immigration, Benghazi, Health Care..... According to the model, this amounts to trading a 20% lead for a dead heat? Why would they do this? Maybe that's what's bugging the Republican establishment types!

    I know I can be an arrogant and sarcastic ass, but this is not one of those times.. :D

    It's possible (probable) that Republicans know something we don't with regards to the current crop of scandals.. Something along the lines of what revelations are coming down the pipe...

    Given that assumption (and yes, I know. It's ONLY an assumption) having the GOP keep those scandals on the front page makes sense...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sort of in response to M (9), but also relevant to some recent CW topics about upcoming Senate races and not-so-good Obama popularity.

    Would you agree that Obama's sinking poll numbers will have a depressing effect on the Dem turnout this mid-term??

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Hilariously, Sam Brownback blames his own unpopularity on Barack Obama!

    “I think a big part of it is Barack Obama”

    Apparently, Kansans are unable to tell the two apart.

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M (20)

    "Would you agree that Obama's sinking poll numbers will have a depressing effect on the Dem turnout this mid-term??"

    Not much impact on Democrats, and I don't think sinking Republican numbers will affect them much either. Independents are another matter. How many of them decide to turn out, and how they break, is likely to determine who wins the few genuinely competitive races.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    How many of them decide to turn out, and how they break, is likely to determine who wins the few genuinely competitive races.

    Exactly..

    I have always said it...

    Die Hard Wingers (on both the Right & the Left) are superfluous in elections.. They will vote Party line regardless of ANYTHING else...

    It's us Independents and NPAs who decide elections...

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "He’s voted for Obamacare. In the Obamacare, gun control was attached, like an earmark. Anything that takes my Second Amendment rights away is a major blow.” - Tennessee Republican primary voter referring to Lamar Alexander

    Republican lies prevail again. They're shameless.

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Republican lies prevail again. They're shameless.

    "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan"

    Democrat lies prevailed again. They're shameless.

    Isn't it funny how it works both ways?? :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    And *I* am talking about Democrat (so-called) LEADERS who lied.

    JFC is just talking about some Joe SixPack voter...

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Case Against Obama's Nuclear OptionEven if reform is needed and legal, endowing the presidency with new, unilateral powers is a dangerous precedent.
    http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/the-case-against-obama-s-nuclear-option-20140807

    Remember, my fellow Weigantians...

    One reaps what one sows....

    Don't say I didn't warn ya'all....

    Michale

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