Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Fluidity Of Obama's Approval Ratings

Much has been made recently of the president's approval ratings, which have recently fallen. I thought this recent article by the Gallup Poll was interesting. The charts above were made from information from Gallup (using the information from all of their quarterly presidential polls during his presidency).

The top chart shows the average approval rating for President Obama with different demographic groups. It comes as no surprise that Blacks, Hispanics, and Democrats have the highest average support for President Obama, while Republicans, Independents, and Whites have the lowest average support. Not so obvious is that average support for the president increases with the amount of education a person has.

But even more interesting is the second chart. This chart show the amount of difference between the highest and lowest approval ratings for each group. In different terms, it shows how consistent the support has been for the different groups. For instance, the approval ratings have had the least movement among liberal & moderate Democrats and those with a postgraduate degree (and conservative Republicans, whose approval is always low). I think the biggest surprise for me here was the consistency of support from liberals (who have more critical of the president's performance than other Democrats).

Meanwhile Hispanics, Whites, conservative Democrats, Independents, moderate Republicans, and less educated people show a greater difference in their approval from time to time. These groups seem to be more influenced by what is happening politically -- approving more when the president does something they like, and less when he has done something they don't like.

Gallup has also taken a look at monthly average approval ratings for the president (see chart below). This shows that throughout his terms, the president's approval rating has dropped in the summer months and been the highest in the winter months. This could mean some of the president's recent drop is due to a seasonal fluctuation. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next few months.

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