Recently, CBS had appeared to take its sampling methodology a little more seriously. Partisan splits had started to appear more rational, and not coincidentally, Barack Obama’s polling had declined sharply in their surveys. So when CBS reported, oddly considering the economic news of late, that Obama had gotten a slight bounce in his numbers, I became a little suspicious … and for good reason:
Fewer than half of Americans approve of the job President Obama is doing, although his approval rating is slightly up since last month, according to a new CBS News poll. Nearly as many people disapprove of the job he is doing.
Mr. Obama’s overall job approval rating has remained below 50 percent since April, and this month is no different. Now, 48 percent approve, while 44 percent disapprove, according to the poll, conducted Aug. 20 – 24. His approval rating has inched up from 44 percent last month, and is similar to what it was in June.
The president continues to receive net negative ratings on this handling of the economy – the nation’s top concern. Forty-eight percent disapprove of his handling of it, while 44 percent approve.
That 44/48 rating on the economy is a dead giveaway. As bad as that number is for any sitting President, it’s far higher than other pollsters have found. I took a look at the sample and discovered why:
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Let’s break this down, shall we? Before CBS weighted the results, the actual sample was at least close to reality, with Democrats favored by 3.8 points, although independents look a little oversampled. Instead of just sticking with that — or correcting for the oversample of independents — CBS made it worse by lowering the Republicans in weighting by almost three full points, adding two points to independents and another point to Democrats. That gives Democrats in this poll the same gap from Republicans by which Obama won the popular vote in 2008, and flies in the face of repeated Gallup and Rasmussen polls that show the partisan split to be somewhere between 1-3 points.
Even with the ridiculous weighting scheme from CBS, they can’t hide the fact that people are rapidly losing confidence in this administration, especially on the economy. In July, 25% thought it was getting better, 26% said worse, and 48% said it was staying the same. Now those numbers are 20/34/44, respectively.