The Impact of Zogby’s Poll

by Sal on March 24, 2009

in Media,Politics

Zogby is poised to release a poll today which will show O’s approval rating at 50-50.  Now, I will be the first to say that I don’t trust the results of Zogby’s polls any more than I trust the results of a SeeBS poll or Washington Post/ABC poll, even if like this one, it does swing in a direction that I am happy about.  What interests me about this poll is not the accuracy of the data (I don’t think Obama’s approval is yet down to 50%), but its potential play in the news cycle.  Zogby has a penchant for grabbing headlines, and what I think will be worthwhile is the potential to dispel the myth out there that The One has “historically high” approval ratings and is “extremely popular.”

Zogby’s poll does highlight a trend that is out there in Obama’s poll numbers.  Obama’s approval has been in a steady decline since January, and is now hovering at around 55-56% in the latest Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll.  It is worth mentioning that Rasmussen was the most accurate pollster in both the 2004 and 2008 election, even when many (myself included) had questioned his methods leading up to this year’s elections (for that, I offer a mia culpa). Yet for some reason, Rasmussen doesn’t get nearly the play in the Drive-By media that Zogby’s polls usually get.

Because of this potential media attention, the Zogby poll may serve a useful purpose of potentially changing the perception of Obama’s popularity, especially among Republican leaders.  Seeing a major poll that shows Obama back to earth and on the verge of becoming an unpopular president may embolden them to stand up more to him and his policies.  If that occurs, this poll will have had a positive effect.  For those of you looking at the Zogby poll as a true indicator of where the country is at the moment would be best served by not putting too much stock in it and waiting to see where Rasmussen goes in the coming days.

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