Fox's “Straight News” Spins Polling To Suggest Obama Is Unpopular

On today's edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom (supposedly one of Fox News' straight news programs), co-anchor Martha MacCallum hosted Fox News contributor Karl Rove to discuss President Obama's standing in the polls. They discussed a Rasmussen Reports poll question asking “how would you rate the president as a leader,” and Gallup questions about Obama's standing on economic and deficit questions. But During the nearly-four minute segment, MacCallum and Rove did not once mention the most comprehensive measure of Obama's standing -- his job approval numbers.

According to Rove, Obama “moved up after he signed the tax cut deals with Republicans and after the speech in Tucson” but that the numbers were now pointing in the opposite direction. Rove argued that the Rasmussen and Gallup numbers spelled bad news for the president, and may hurt his re-election chances.

This seemed suspicious. Did Fox have a reason for ignoring Obama's overall job approval ratings? It would seem so. Gallup's daily tracking poll currently shows that 49 percent approve of Obama's performance while 44 percent disapprove. That number has remained relatively steady since the beginning of the year with Obama's approval number generally in the high 40s and his disapproval in the low 40s. And the numbers don't jump around that much over the entire previous year.

Gallup Obama approval chart

Rasmussen's daily tracking numbers jump around a bit more. Since the beginning of the year, Obama's approval numbers has ranged from a low of 44 percent to a high of 52 percent. His disapproval numbers have ranged from a low of 47 percent to a high of 55 percent. Right now, however, according to Rasmussen, Obama's approval rating is at 49 percent, close to its high point, while his disapproval numbers are at 50 percent.

Furthermore, the Gallup numbers track closely with the average of the most recent polls, which show Obama at 49.7 percent approval and 44.3 percent disapproval. And aside from Rasmussen no poll included in the average has found more people disapproving of Obama's job performance than approving of it since mid-January.

But rather than discuss Obama's job approval numbers, Rove focused on a February 1-2 Gallup poll on Obama's handling of the economy and the budget deficit and a Rasmussen question that asked about the president's leadership skills to suggest the public strongly disapproves of Obama's performance. In reality, Obama's approval numbers haven't changed in a year.