So What the Polls are Saying is…

18 Jan

Looking at the Real Clear Politics (RCP) pages for “President Obama Job Approval” [1] and “Direction of Country” [2] the results presented are interestingly confusing. The RCP polls take all the polls for a particular topic, gather their results and compile them into a singular result. It’s one way to get an idea of how those polled across various different means are responding.

The compiled RCP poll results for “President Obama Job Approval” shows President Obama sitting at an approval rating of 52% as of this article. While it went back and forth through out 2012, it started trending upward days before the election and has continued to do through today. If this is one statistic is viewed by itself one might draw the conclusion the majority of people are please with the direction President Obama is leading the country. People wouldn’t approve of a someone leading them in the wrong direction, would they?

Real Clear Politics fortunately has compiled the poll results for “Direction of Country” and it’s not good news for the President at all. According to the RCP poll results around 57% of those polled feel the country is headed in the wrong direction. However, this trend isn’t new. In fact, this has been the case for almost three years. Only in 2009, between April 20th thru June 13th, did the poll trend downward. After June 13th people began to show their dissatisfaction in the direction of the country.

Are these two polls telling us we approve of President Obama leading the country down the wrong direction? Maybe, maybe not. If not then exactly what are the polls telling us then? Quite honestly, not a whole lot. Which is why polls are dismissed by so many people today. The numbers can be spun in an infinite number of ways by both sides to sell their ideology to the masses. To paraphrase the saying by Ben Franklin, there’s lies, damn lies and statistics. We shouldn’t trust any of the three.

In fairness, Congress has maintained a worse rating than the President over the same time-frame. In fact, the RCP “Congressional Job Approval” [3] compiled poll average for the United States House of Representatives and Senate is embarrassing at just over 80%. In other words, while almost 5 out of 10 people disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, 8 out of 10 disapprove of the job the 435 members of Congress is doing.

In the end, we only have ourselves to blame because it is “we the people” who keep sending people we so drastically disapprove of back to do the same job but expect different results. It makes “we the people” fit the definition of insane quite well. Now there’s something to think about.

References:

  1. President Obama Job Approval – Real Clear Politics
  2. Direction of Country – Real Clear Politics
  3. Congressional Job Approval – Real Clear Politics
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