Polls

Our exchange on Friday about polling data reminded me of one of my favorite websites, Real Clear Politics. It is an unusual source of information in this polarized day and age, because it publishes articles and commentary from all parts of the political spectrum, links to blogs written from different perspectives, and provides background that helps to give useful context to metrics like poll results. RCP publishes an average of polls and also offers information on whether the polls are of all voters, or likely voters, or some other sample, which is useful in trying to figure out whether the poll results actually mean anything.

This link — http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html#chart — is to an RCP chart which shows, in visual form, the trend lines in President Obama’s poll ratings, and then provides some of the detailed information in column form underneath. It suggests that his approval ratings have dropped somewhat, while his disapproval ratings have increased more significantly. This result is not surprising, it seems to me. Once you stop campaigning and start governing, you are bound to make decisions that will upset some people. That is likely what has happened here.

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