A predictable update to yesterday’s Change. Every time I post a poll that’s bad news for conservatives, some denialist will show up in the comments to insist that (a) all polls are bunk and/or (b) this particular pollster is particularly bunk-ish. You and I call that person a troll. Obama calls him his press secretary.
No video, but I like to imagine that he punctuated this with the fingers-in-the-ears “la la la la” routine while reporters shouted follow-ups. The punchline? Gallup’s numbers, at 47/46, were actually better than the numbers The One’s been pulling at Rasmussen and CNN lately.
The president’s job approval rating is below 50% in several other polls, but White House spokesman Robert Gibbs today, when asked about the Gallup results, called them meaningless.
“If I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG I’d visit my doctor,” Gibbs said. “If you look back I think five days ago we were, there was an 11 point spread, now there’s a one point spread.”
Gibbs continued, “you know, I mean I’m sure a six year old with a crayon could do something not unlike that. I don’t put a lot of stake in, never have, in the EKG that is the daily Gallup trend. I don’t pay a lot of attention to meaninglessness.”
If you were a heart patient and your EKG was this flat, you’d already be in the hospital, champ. A simple “polls change all the time, we don’t place much stock in them” would have worked wonders here, but why go that route when you could insult a respected professional by comparing them to a child — for the second time this week? Can the famously disciplined Hopenchange message machine seriously do no better than this guy? Or is he simply emulating the whining and bad faith that’s lately been coming straight from the top?
Update: Frank Newport, Gallup’s EIC, responds with much greater politeness than Gibbs deserves.