ChrisWeigant.com

Obama Poll Watch -- October, 2014

[ Posted Thursday, November 6th, 2014 – 17:44 PST ]

A Surprisingly Good Month

This may come as a surprise to some, especially after Tuesday's election results, but President Obama actually had a rather good October in his job approval polling.

Now, I realize that this is really no more than a side issue this week (of all weeks), but we're already overdue for the poll-watching this month, so bear with me. I realize that the biggest "poll" was the election, but this column has always focused solely on creating a monthly average of the public opinion polling on Obama's job approval. Where, as I said, Obama had a pretty good month. Let's take a look at the chart.

Obama Approval -- October 2014

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

October, 2014

The news media spent the first half of October absolutely freaking out over Ebola, which had the obviously-intended effect of also freaking out a large slice of the population, causing them to pay more attention to the news media (see how that works?). The mainstream media then got bored with the story and dropped it (because the predicted millions of deaths never seemed to materialize), and moved on to covering the midterm elections, which dominated the last half of the month. It's rare to summarize an entire month so easily, but it really was a two-story month. Even the war with the Islamic State got short shrift.

Obama's job approval rating benefited from a "rally 'round the president" effect, perhaps due to the new war, and perhaps due to the Ebola panic. This bumped his numbers up at the beginning of the month, but only briefly. For the entire month, Obama wound up improving his monthly average job approval rating to 42.1 percent, a jump of 0.6 percent from September. His monthly average job disapproval rating fell to 53.4 percent, a more modest gain of only 0.1 percent for the president. To put it in perspective, however, this was the first month Obama made gains in both categories since May, and only the fifth time this year he's managed to do so. Obama's monthly average approval rating hasn't been above 42.0 percent since June, for more perspective.

 

Overall Trends

President Obama was not actually in the news much in October. The Ebola story centered on federal agencies and state executives much more than the White House, and then during the end of the midterm election season, few Democrats invited Obama to campaign with them.

Obama's job approval ratings went through a slow sine wave in October. They rose significantly at the beginning of the month to hit an average of 43.3 percent in the first week -- significant because Obama hasn't charted a daily average above 43.0 percent since June. This bump was short-lived, though, and his daily average fell down to 41.2 percent late in October. By the end of the month, he had risen back to almost match where he had started (Obama started October at 42.2 percent, he ended at 42.0 percent). This wave is partially explained by how RealClearPolitics does their own daily averages (they factor in roughly the past two weeks of polling), but not entirely. All month long, Obama was still averaging about a half a percent better than the previous month. His average began at 0.7 percent better, went up to 1.3 percent better, and then fell back to 0.6 percent better, showing improvement over September all month long.

Obama's disapproval ratings followed a reverse trajectory. Starting at a 53.4 percent job disapproval daily average, Obama's numbers fell to 52.3 percent then rose again to 54.7 percent before ending the month precisely where he started, at 53.4 percent. Unlike his approval rating, however, this didn't signify much of a change from last month. Obama started the month with a 0.1 percent gain, got up to a 0.7 percent improvement, but then fell back to only the 0.1 percent he started with. Still, his numbers remained positive all month long, and never fell to the negative range at all.

Since we haven't done it in a while, here's a detail chart to show approximately the past year for Obama's ratings:

Obama Detail -- October 2014

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

Looking for future trends is tough this month, because a sine wave doesn't really show much of any clear trends. One pretty safe bet is that Obama will be more prominent in the news in the next few months (at least, more prominent than he was in October). But the sparks aren't really going to fly much during the lame-duck session of Congress, they'll largely begin in January of next year when the new Congress is seated.

There is one major exception to this, however: immigration. Obama's long-promise (and oft-delayed) executive action on immigration reform looms large. Nobody outside of the White House knows when it'll happen, but if it does it will occur in the next two months (Obama's latest promise was "before the end of the year").

President Obama has already signaled he is going to act. In the press conference after the midterm election, he specifically said he's still going to act. What his action will encompass is another open question -- how big will Obama go? Whatever new policy he announces, however, it is guaranteed to be big news. As will the Republican apoplexy which will immediately and inevitably follow.

How this will play out in the court of public opinion is anyone's guess. Will Obama alienate independent voters by changing deportation policy? Will he regain support from Latinos who have been disgusted at the political delays in the new policy? These two trends will try to counteract each other, but it's likely that Obama's polling will see an effect no matter which way it turns. My guess is that the announcement will come just prior to either Thanksgiving or Christmas, to capitalize politically on the feelings of family and good cheer in the populace.

 

[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)
10/14 -- 42.1 / 53.4 / 4.5
09/14 -- 41.5 / 53.5 / 5.0
08/14 -- 41.6 / 53.0 / 5.4
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

[Sep 14], [Aug 14], [Jul 14], [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

 

14 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- October, 2014”

  1. [1] 
    dsws wrote:

    Is it just me, or is the presidential primary season off to a slow start?

    I just hope we don't nominate Martha Coakley. She's apparently unbeatable in Democratic primaries.

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    I just hope we don't nominate Martha Coakley. She's apparently unbeatable in Democratic primaries.

    hehehehehehe Now THAT was funny!!! :D

    But humor aside, I think ya'all better get used to it..

    MARTHA COAKLEY. THE FACE OF THE *NEW* DEMOCRAT PARTY

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    This may come as a surprise to some, especially after Tuesday's election results, but President Obama actually had a rather good October in his job approval polling.

    I guess it's just me in a good mood, but I honestly don't mind when Obama has "good" months like this.. :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Obama has already signaled he is going to act. In the press conference after the midterm election, he specifically said he's still going to act. What his action will encompass is another open question -- how big will Obama go? Whatever new policy he announces, however, it is guaranteed to be big news. As will the Republican apoplexy which will immediately and inevitably follow.

    The American people are overwhelmingly against Amnesty for criminals.. This was one of the clear points of the MidTerms.

    The danger for the GOP is to overreact...

    The reasons for Obama's embrace of criminals is two-fold..

    1st and foremost, he is trying to mint fresh new Democrat voters for the 2016 elections.. It's funny that this was widely dismissed here in Weigantia when this discussion got started but now no one even tries to deny it anymore.. So I guess that's progress... :D

    The 2nd reason that Obama is embracing criminals can be summed up in one word.... Impeachment-Bait... Obama is trying to goad the GOP into over-reacting.. That would explain the arrogant (even for Obama) tone in his mid-term response presser...

    I am of two thoughts over this.. On the one hand, I honestly believe that the American People will support the impeachment of Obama over this.. Especially the people who have lost loved ones to immigrant criminals, people whose friends and family have been raped, murdered and killed by immigrant criminals. Americans that Obama and the Demcorats completely ignore... Further, the American people resoundingly and overwhelmingly told Obama in the MidTerms to STOP!! We don't LIKE what you are doing and we want you to stop!!! If Obama ignores the American people (AGAIN) then I think you will find that they will, en-masse, support the impeachment of Obama...

    On the OTHER hand, there is a chance that Obama impeachment will be just like Clinton's impeachment. A small chance, but a chance nonetheless ... In this, the best plan of action for Republican would be to simply let Obama slit his own throat and the throat of the Demcorat Party and reap the rewards in 2016... When an opponent is intent on destroying themselves and their Party, the best possible action is to just to get out of their way and let them do it, while minimizing collateral damage...

    So, I am not sure the best way to proceed..

    It's a foregone conclusion that Amnesty for 10 million criminals will be a disaster for this country.. You can't drop 10 million new workers into the job pool that is ALREADY way over-saturated with workers and expect good things to happen..

    It's simply not possible..

    The ONLY silver lining to Obama's embrace of immigrant criminals is that my prediction of Obama approval dropping below 40% will finally come true...

    A Pyrrhic Victory, to be sure....

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Polling Company Exit Poll

    "President Obama should work with Congress rather than around Congress on immigration and separately."

    74%

    "Does NOT want Obama to enact an executive amnesty on his own. "

    MEN 75%

    WOMEN 74%

    WHITES 79%

    BLACKS 59%

    HISPANICS 54%

    Republicans 92%

    Independents 80%

    Democrats 51%

    http://pollingcompany.com/poll-vault/new-post-election-survey-findings-on-immigration/attachment/2014-post-election-immigration-analysis-final-11-6-2014-6/

    Amnesty for criminals is a loser across the board...

    The ONLY group that is for it are the criminals themselves...

    We just came off a PERFECT example of what happens when politicians ignore the will of the people...

    By all means.. Push Amnesty for criminals.. Guarantee a GOP government for the next 50 years....

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russia Invades Ukraine
    http://news.yahoo.com/tank-column-crosses-russia-ukraine-kiev-military-115026097.html

    What's our POTUS going to do about it??

    I see a day coming, likely very soon, when Obama will look wistfully at the 40% approval rating and wish for those days again...

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    For all the hand wringing/rejoicing going on, the party holding the White House has tended to get clobbered in the senate races. Eisenhower lost 12 seats as a lame duck!

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/mid-term_elections.php

    This, and the latest Obama approval uptick, plus the fact that only 36 senate races were held, in 34 states, suggest it's more legit to call the outcome a Red/Purple state referendum. I know, this gets in the way of a catchy meme....but those are the facts.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Eisenhower lost 12 seats as a lame duck!

    The fact that you have to go back over half a century should indicate to you the validity of that argument.. :D

    This, and the latest Obama approval uptick, plus the fact that only 36 senate races were held, in 34 states, suggest it's more legit to call the outcome a Red/Purple state referendum. I know, this gets in the way of a catchy meme....but those are the facts

    If you ONLY look at the Senate races, you would be correct..

    But there were so many many more races where Republicans won in the most bluest of blue areas... Not to mention the House races, Goober races and state legislature races and local representative races...

    In each and every aspect of this election, the Democrats were decimated..

    Like we are discussing in the previous commentary, you CAN find a shiney nugget here and a shiney nugget there.. I won't begrudge you that..

    But you can't point to those very VERY few shiney nuggets and claim those have any kind of relevance to the totality of the entire election..

    Democrats got their asses handed to them.. No two ways about it... They got shellacked. Nuclear Shellacked...

    As to why???? Obama said it best...

    "Make no mistake. I may not be on the ballot this election but my policies, each and every one of them, ARE on the ballot"

    You want to argue with The Messiah, go ahead... :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Look, I get it... Ya'all are trying to paint a rosy picture because the facts are painful...

    I get it.. I understand.. If the roles were reversed, I would likely do the same thing...

    If ya'all want to do that, I will quit calling ya'all on it..

    I won't begrudge ya'all the illusion that this Nuclear Shellacking is actually not a bad thing for Democrats..

    WH Press LOLs at Earnest’s Refusal to Admit Dems ‘Lost' - Or That Losing Is 'Bad'
    http://www.mrctv.org/blog/wh-press-lols-earnest-s-refusal-admit-dems-lost-or-losing-bad

    Just as long as we are clear up front that it IS just spin and illusionary... :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Exclusive: U.S. may significantly hike number of troops in Iraq - sources

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has drawn up plans to significantly increase the number of American forces in Iraq, which now total around 1,400, as Washington seeks to bolster Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday.
    http://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-u-may-significantly-hike-number-troops-iraq-185858398.html

    Again, I called it...

    What do you think Iraq War III will do to Obama's poll numbers???

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    JUSTICES TO HEAR CHALLENGE TO HEALTH LAW SUBSIDIES

    Supporters of the health care law were flabbergasted and accused the court of verging into politics. The news came a week ahead of the second open enrollment season for subsidized private health insurance under the law.

    "All of the general guidelines that the court traditionally uses in determining whether it should schedule an appeal are totally absent in this case," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group that supported Obama's health overhaul from its inception. Pollack called the court's action "an unusual political act."

    The legal challenge to the subsidies is "the most serious existential threat" facing the Affordable Care Act, added Pollack.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SUPREME_COURT_HEALTH_OVERHAUL_SUBSIDIES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-11-07-12-51-59

    Rut roh, Raggey...

    Looks like this may be the final nail in the coffin of TrainWreckCare...

    Since I am apparently on a roll now.. That's my prediction.. :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Looks like we might get a judgement from the St Louis Grand Jury this weekend...

    That's not going to help Obama's poll numbers either...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Regarding #11....

    The more I think about it, the more I believe that this will be the end of TrainWreckCare...

    There was absolutely no disagreement at the Federal Court level over the subsidies...

    So, logically, if the SCOTUS were to side with the Government, they wouldn't have heard the case..

    The simple fact that the SCOTUS will rule would seem to indicate that they intend to side with the Plaintiffs...

    Is there a flaw in my logic??

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Looks like we might get a judgement from the St Louis Grand Jury this weekend...

    That's not going to help Obama's poll numbers either...

    Latest reports show that there won't be any word from the St Louis County Grand Jury until next weekend at the earliest..

    Which is a good thing for me..

    I haven't received my badge'd I AM DARREN WILSON t-shirt yet....

    Michale

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