NYT/CBS poll shows Obama losing ground on health care, Afghanistan

posted at 9:35 am on September 25, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The latest New York Times/CBS poll has some bad news for Barack Obama, although the two media outlets did their best to avoid it in their sampling.  He has lost ground on Afghanistan, almost certainly from his liberal base, and his media blitz has done nothing to change minds on health care.  His approval ratings remain relatively high, but that has more to do with the sample, which has become an absolute embarrassment in political polling (via Tom Maguire):

At 56 percent, Mr. Obama’s job approval rating is similar to what President Ronald Reagan’s was at this point in his first term (53 percent); President Bill Clinton’s was at 43 percent. Still, Mr. Obama’s approval is down from 68 percent in the spring.

The percentage of people who approve of the way he has dealt with Afghanistan has dropped to 44 percent from 56 percent in April. The percentage of Americans who approve of his handling of the economy, at 50 percent, has dropped from 61 percent since April. In April, Mr. Obama had a 43-point advantage over Republicans in terms of who would make the right decisions on the economy; that has dropped to a 26-point advantage. …

The poll found that an intense campaign by Mr. Obama to rally support behind his health care plan — including an address to Congress, a run of television interviews and rallies across the country — appears to have done little to allay concerns.

Majorities of respondents said that they were confused about the health care argument and that Mr. Obama had not done a good job in explaining what he was trying to accomplish.

Let’s get to the sampling first.  The party split in the sample has Republicans at 22%, Democrats at 37%, and independents at 33%.  That would make sense — if Barack Obama had won the presidential election by 20 points last November.  Since Obama won by seven points, with strong support from independents and some crossover Republicans, the notion of a 15-point gap in party affiliation was ludicrous then, and is even more ludicrous now.  Their July sample had a 14-point gap, which means the pollsters must feel that Democrats have gained ground over the last two months.

In fact, one might suspect that the gap has narrowed since the election, especially considering the public reaction to Obama’s plans.  However, the NYT/CBS polling a week before the election — when they were trying to pick the results as closely as possible to bolster their credibility — showed a seven point gap between Democrats and Republicans, 30/37/27, respectively.  It seems that the NYT/CBS pollsters know how to find a reliable, predictive sample when it suits their purposes, and how to avoid one as well.

Even with the artificially inflated partisan imbalance and the use of adults rather than registered or likely voters (which are more predictive), the poll has bad news for Obama.  The 15-point advantage only gives him a 10-point advantage on the economy (50%-40% approving), down from a 32-point gap in April.  He has a two-point gap on health care and fails to get a majority in support (47%-45%).

And here’s an indicator that the Hope and Change has begun to wear off: a majority (56%) believe Obama will break his campaign promise not to raise taxes on the middle class. That may be the reason why support for a complete overhaul of the American health-care system has dropped from 38% to 27% in five months.  Or, it could have something to do with 78% of respondents being satisfied with the quality of health care they receive.

Obama should take no satisfaction in these poll results, if his advisers are looking honestly at how the NYT and CBS conducted the survey.  And these “news” agencies should be explaining why their sample varies so widely between the final election polling and pretty much every other time they survey.  It’s dishonest to the extreme.

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The simple goal of bogusly sampled polls is done with the belief that the media can direct the herd.

I often wonder if the only stooges not reading the details are deliberatly careless congressmen that are so desperate to pretend their clearly unpopular policies are what the people want, that they will latch onto any made up story that supports their unsupportable positions.

Freddy on September 25, 2009 at 1:24 PM

“That would be a 57-state swamping. Obama has a few more electoral votes in his pockets from the additional states.”

Isn’t that how he won the election, the little acorns were active in the other 7 states. wink wink! Honestly, does anyone believe that obama won fairly?

margretto on September 25, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Hehehe funny story… the local paper was being offered “free” in a grocery store a few weeks back. I told the lady offering me one that her fishwrap could not die quickly enough for my tastes, and that I would enjoy seeing her in the unemployment line with the rest of the human garbage journalists that have helped destroy this nation – and then I added that I felt she was the representative of jack-boot wearing statists draped in a red flag.

She just sat there stunned – looked like sombody punched her in the face. I on ther other hand, could not have been happier.

Made my day really.

The Ronin Edge on September 25, 2009 at 11:03 AM

I always smile when I do that. Partly because of the genuine pleasure of making the world a little bit better place. And partly because doing that makes the moonbats even crazier.

logis on September 25, 2009 at 2:07 PM

According to Mr. Shipley, the public option (identified even by Democrats as the most liberal piece of the healthcare bill) is popular with voters.

Given that, plus the fact that Democrats have heavy majorities in both houses and the support of the President….

Why haven’t they passed it already? Can’t be that they are taking their time to get it right, in July they were screaming “we must do this before the August recess.” Now it’s almost October.

Meremortal on September 25, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Obama is a miserable failure. Pass it on.

Jim Treacher on September 25, 2009 at 2:51 PM

I saw this poll last night and I just knew the sampling had to be goofy. I think they are trying to boost his image. The liars.

22%. I guess if his numbers keep falling the day will come when the only people they poll will be Democrats.

Terrye on September 25, 2009 at 5:03 PM