Zogby Poll Showing Obama Ratings Falling to 50-50 Causes Stir
10:29 AM, Mar 26, 2009 • By GARY ANDRES
This new poll released by Zogby showing President Obama's approval rating dropping to around 50 percent has caused quite a stir in the last day or so. The Boston Herald's Joe Dwinell caught wind of the new survey and wrote before it was released:
News of the low approval number in the Zogby poll spread quickly among bloggers. But Nate Silver over at Fivethirtyeight.com was not impressed with the new survey: "The Worst Pollster in the World Strikes Again," he wrote. Silver penned his piece before the poll was released, but raises some questions about the methodology and Zogby's track record with internet polls here.
Charles Franklin, writing at Pollster.com, puts the Zogby poll into a little more context. Franklin notes -- correctly I would add -- that the Zogby poll needs to be compared with daily tracking surveys like Gallup, Rasmussen and other non-daily national polls to get a fuller perspective. Looking at the chart Franklin constructs, Zogby is clearly an outlier compared to other polls.
Franklin's chart displays a nice visual context for the Zogby poll.
The bottom line is the Zogby poll seems out of sync with other recent surveys measuring presidential approval.
One final point. It's also important to remember that the Zogby poll asks the presidential evaluation question slightly differently. Instead of asking if respondents "approve or disapprove" of the job the president is doing, it asks if the president's job performance is "excellent, good, only fair, or poor." In Zogby's surveys "fair" and "poor" both equate to "disapprove." That's debatable in my view.
Read the Herald story here.