POLLSTER UPDATE: Obama's Approval Down From Last Quarter

Gallup rolls up data on Obama's slowly declining approval rating. Polls confirm wide racial disparities in reactions to the Zimmerman verdict. And insert your own royal baby/Nate Silver-to-ESPN joke here. This is the HuffPost Pollster update for Monday, July 22, 2013.

GALLUP: OBAMA APPROVAL DECLINES IN LAST QUARTER - Gallup reviews the quarterly averages daily tracking survey, based on over 45,000 adults polled every quarter: "President Obama's job approval rating averaged 47.9% during his 18th quarter in office. His quarterly average has declined in each of the last two quarters after showing improvement in each of the five previous quarters, culminating with his re-election...From late April through early May, Obama's approval ratings were mostly at or above 50%. His approval rating held below 50% for most of the rest of May and nearly all of June. His Gallup Daily tracking three-day approval average has not been as high as 50% since June 25--27." [Gallup]


Similar trend on Pollster Chart - The Gallup trend line is, unsurprisingly, very similar to the pattern shown in our chart the summarizes all polls tracking Obama's approval, partly because the Gallup tracking poll contributes roughly one quarter of its data. Like Gallup, Pollster's aggregate shows Obama's approval trending upward for most of 2012 following a low ebb (of 42.9 percent) in late 2011, but since peaking in late December (at 51.3 percent) it has declined to 44.8 percent as of this writing. [Pollster Chart]

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'House effects' deepen 2011 low ebb -
Keep in mind, however, Gallup made changes to its sampling and weighting methodologies starting in October 2012. For much of 2011 and 2012, Gallup’s tracker demonstrated a noticeable "house effect", reporting approval ratings that were typically 2 to 3 percentage points lower than other polls using similar methodologies. The recent changes brought their Obama approval result higher, and closer in line with other pollsters. As a result, their trend line may exaggerate the gap between Obama's low ebb in late 2011 and his current standing. That gap is roughly six percentage points in Gallup's quarterly averages (47.9 vs. 41.0 percent). With Gallup removed from the Pollster trend line, the gap is just a single percentage point (43.4 vs 44.4 percent). [HuffPost's reports on house effect, Gallup's report; Pollster chart without Gallup]

OBAMA’S APPROVAL DOWN IN IOWA - Quinnipiac: “Iowa voters disapprove 55 - 41 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing...These Iowa results compare to a 50 - 45 percent disapproval in a May 24 poll by the independent Quinnipiac University. Today, men disapprove 60 - 35 percent, compared to a 54 - 41 percent disapproval in May. Among women, 46 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove, compared to May when 48 percent approved and 45 percent disapproved.” [Quinnipiac]

RACIAL, POLITICAL DIVIDES ON THE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL VERDICT - Jon Cohen: “African Americans have a mostly shared and sharply negative reaction to the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the not-guilty verdict in the resulting trial, while whites are far more divided, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. At least eight in 10 African Americans say the shooting of the Florida teenager was unjustified, recoil at the verdict in the trial and want the shooter, George Zimmerman, tried in federal court for violating Martin’s civil rights....There is also a partisan tinge to the public views. Among whites, 70 percent of Republicans but only 30 percent of Democrats say they approve of the verdict.”

Views also split on the role of race in the trial - Pew Research, which conducted a separate poll on the trial: “More broadly, 52% say race is getting more attention in this case than it deserves, while 36% say the case raises important issues about race that need to be discussed....About half (52%) of Americans say the issue of race is getting too much attention in this case, while 36% say the case raises important issues about race that need to be discussed. Roughly three-quarters (78%) of blacks say a discussion of race is important, compared with 47%of Hispanics and just 28% of whites. [Pew Research]

Cohn notes similarities Zimmerman reaction and 2012 vote - Nate Cohn: "When it comes to the national result, race, gender, and age, the differences between the presidential race and the Zimmerman trial are negligible and largely within the margin of error....That's not to say there aren't differences. Perhaps predictably, the Zimmerman verdict is less partisan and less ideological than a partisan and ideological presidential campaign. Nonetheless, liberals and Democrats break clearly for Obama and dissatisfaction with the Zimmerman verdict, while conservatives and Republicans clearly break the other way." [New Republic]

ROYAL BABY NEWS? - Pew Research's Katie Reilly digs into the data archives to check American interest on news coverage of Britain's royal family: "In December 2012, a quarter of Americans said they were 'very closely' or 'fairly closely' following the news that the young royals were expecting a child, who will be third in line for the British throne. Interest was greatest among Americans in the 55--64 age range, 36% of whom said they were following the news. But by and large, most Americans say they do not follow news of the British royal family, according to polls Pew Research has conducted dating back to 1986. When we have surveyed the public about news stories they are following, at least 60% have said that they are “not too closely” or “not at all following” royal news on seven different occasions. [Pew Research]

Twitter reactions:

-GOP Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson: "Unskewed: My statistical model indicates baby's name will be Alexandra/Alexander." [@KSoltisAnderson]

-(Fake) Unskewed Polls: "KATE MIDDLETON IS NOT HAVING A BABY." [@unskewedpolls]

-NYT’s Micah Cohen: “The official @fivethirtyeight royal baby name prediction: Tagg” [@micahcohen]

MONDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Nate Silver leaves the Times for ESPN and ABC News. [ESPN].

-Mike Allen reports on the ESPN-Times-Silver negotiations. [Politico]

-Marc Tracy speculates on what it means for the Times and ESPN. [New Republic]

-Margaret Sullivan reflects on how Silver "went against the grain for some at the Times." [NYTimes]

-And the deal gets the Onion treatment [The Onion]

-Andrew Gelman and colleagues find a new explanation for the "red/blue paradox." [The Monkey Cage]

-Few competitive House seats are up for grabs, James Hohmann and Alex Isenstadt say. [Politico]

-Google uses the NRSC’s attack on Alison Lundergan Grimes’ announcement as a case study for the benefits of AdWords. [WaPost]

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