Election 2012

An Obvious Outlier

My gut reaction to the CBS/NYTimes poll showing a 9 point drop for President Obama in one month was that it was clearly a flawed poll or otherwise an anomaly.

This reaction was based on a couple things.

First was the fact that the president's approval has surged among independents, women, and Hispanics in recent months, and it seems highly unlikely his overall approval rating would suffer the biggest drop in the CBS/NYTimes poll's history in the midst of this.

Second, polls also clearly demonstrate that Americans do not blame the president for the price of gas which is the prevailing narrative these polling organizations used to explain this unprecedented drop in approval.

Further analysis would reveal that the CBS/NYTimes poll weighted conservative voters far more heavily than in previous samples, essentially skewing the results far to the right. Whether this was intentional or not is anyone's guess.

New samples from other polling organizations also seem to not only contradict the CBS poll, but also show the president's numbers improving even further.

A new Pew poll shows President Obama up by twelve on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney nationally as the former governor stuggles on favorability with registered voters.

Obama leads 54 - 42 in the direct matchup, and one of the chief reasons seems to be Romney's personal rating -- only 29 percent of registered voters see him favorably, while 51 percent see him in a negative light. President Obama's results are the opposite, 56 percent see him favorably versus 41 percent, and Obama has reached 50 percent on job approval for the first time in Pew's polling since May 2011.

via Reuters

(Reuters) - For the first time since early July, more Americans approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing than disapprove, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll that shows his approval rating now at 50 percent.

No one poll can be taken as definitive, but it's easy to spot an obvious outlier that isn't reflected among any other polling organization and among multiple demographic groups. That is unless the white, male conservative population spontaneously grew by 9 million overnight.

The sudden jump to conclusions in the media based on one single flawed poll shows just how fragile, or manufactured, depending on your perspective, perceptions can be. All the more reason for everyone to get involved and create a buffer against flawed media narratives that can and do sway voters.