Is Gallup trying to land a Drudge link?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

That's the only reason I can think of that would explain why Gallup seemed to go out of its way to completely leave out any historical context regarding Obama's latest polling numbers; numbers Gallup seems to try to spin as trouble for the Democratic president when in fact the numbers, once again, simply highlight Obama's extraordinary popularity.

But you sure wouldn't get that from reading Gallup headlines like this:

Obama's Job Approval Dips to New Monthly Low

This was the lede:

President Obama's job approval rating for the month of June is 61%, which is one percentage point below his previous monthly low of 62% in March.

That doesn't sound good, and certainly plays into the Beltway's preferred media narrative about Obama's supposedly sagging poll number. But here's where a little context would help. Meaning, even if 61 percent represents Obama's new low, how does that "low" compare to previous presidents? Is it good? Is it great? It is awful? Gallup readers have no idea because Gallup refuses to say.

Here's the missing context: Obama's new "low" is still much, much higher than where his predecessor stood in June 2001. Back then, Bush's approval rating hovered around 50 percent, or nearly 20 percent lower than Obama's. But Gallup leaves that fact out when writing up news about Obama's new polling "low."

In fact, take a look at this graphic from an earlier Gallup report which did provide some polling context. Turns out Bush approval rating dipped below the lower 55 percent threshold after just three months in office. But in reporting on Obama's new "low," Gallup leaves all that information out.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.