CNN has the first major media poll on the reaction of the general public to the budget deal announced late Friday night, and it looks popular indeed. In a poll taken on Saturday and Sunday, the compromise gets approval from 58% of adults, with only 38% disapproving. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to have helped Barack Obama at all:
Who won last week’s showdown over the federal budget and the government shutdown-that-wasn’t?
It looks like the public gives the Democrats more credit for the deal than the Republicans, but it’s nothing like the slam-dunk that Bill Clinton scored during the 1995 government shutdown, and it certainly has not been reflected in President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that the budget agreement that prevented a government shutdown is popular, with Americans supporting it by a 58 to 38 percent margin. But there’s a partisan divide, with two-thirds of Democrats and a majority of independent voters backing the deal, and Republicans divided.
The poll was conducted among general-population adults rather than registered voters and with a slightly smaller sample than in other polls. CNN doesn’t include party affiliation distribution in its results, which is a little suspicious; they report results in crosstabs for “Tea Party supporters” but never indicate their relative position within the sample, either. It seems that the focus on skewed polls has made media surveys less transparent rather than pressing the media to improve their sampling techniques.
Interestingly, although respondents gave Democrats more credit for the agreement than Republicans (48/35) and strongly approve of the deal, that didn’t equate to a boost in Obama’s standing. His overall approval rating fell to 48/50 from 51/47 three weeks ago, the first time Obama has sunk below 50% in the CNN poll since mid-December and the first time he’s been underwater since the midterm election. Despite getting a 54/45 on handling the budget talks, Obama is still sinking even in the most sympathetic sampling possible.
It’s not the only odd combination of results in the poll, either. Almost two thirds of respondents wanted Planned Parenthood funding to continue (65/34), but 61% want a bar on federal funding for abortions. Despite national polls showing continuing opposition to ObamaCare, 58% of respondents in this poll want funding for it to continue, and 71% wanted funding to continue for the EPA’s climate-change regulation as well. If Obama can’t get above 48% in this sample, then he’s got a serious problem.