Lowest common denominator

Quite a few commentators are noting that the latest Gallup poll showing that by a wafer slim margin, the majority disapprove of the burgeoning federal deficit.

Perhaps of greater significance, Gallup also notes

Obama's job approval rating for his handling of the economy has dropped from 59% in February to 55% today, while his disapproval rating has risen by 12 points, from 30% to 42%. The fact that Obama's approval on the economy has become more negative over this time period is of interest, given that Gallup's measure of consumer mood has become more positive between March and the current time.

When analyzing these results, few have referenced Gallup's use of the lowest common denominator of political polling.  Gallup did not question likely voters, the group that best predicts future political outcomes, or even registered voters, those interested enough in the process to qualify themselves for participation. 

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,015 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted May 29-31, 2009.

Polls of adults are known to favor Democrats more than polls of likely voters, the method Rasmussen uses for its Daily Presidential Tracking poll. (Gallup did not release the weighting between Democrats, Republicans and Independents used in this poll.)  A nationwide poll of adults is likely to capture the opinions of a significant number of people who have little interest in the political process and current events: People whose sole source of information is catching headlines in newspapers in passing, glancing at cover stories while in the checkout line and the listening to the first five seconds of the nightly news as they reach for their remote controls. 

For Obama's approval on economic issues to be dropping among adults even as Gallup's measure of the consumer's mood has picked up seem to suggest that Americans increasingly see this as Obama's economy and that the continued efforts of the administration and the media to blame everything on George W. Bush is losing traction.
Quite a few commentators are noting that the latest Gallup poll showing that by a wafer slim margin, the majority disapprove of the burgeoning federal deficit.

Perhaps of greater significance, Gallup also notes

Obama's job approval rating for his handling of the economy has dropped from 59% in February to 55% today, while his disapproval rating has risen by 12 points, from 30% to 42%. The fact that Obama's approval on the economy has become more negative over this time period is of interest, given that Gallup's measure of consumer mood has become more positive between March and the current time.

When analyzing these results, few have referenced Gallup's use of the lowest common denominator of political polling.  Gallup did not question likely voters, the group that best predicts future political outcomes, or even registered voters, those interested enough in the process to qualify themselves for participation. 

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,015 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted May 29-31, 2009.

Polls of adults are known to favor Democrats more than polls of likely voters, the method Rasmussen uses for its Daily Presidential Tracking poll. (Gallup did not release the weighting between Democrats, Republicans and Independents used in this poll.)  A nationwide poll of adults is likely to capture the opinions of a significant number of people who have little interest in the political process and current events: People whose sole source of information is catching headlines in newspapers in passing, glancing at cover stories while in the checkout line and the listening to the first five seconds of the nightly news as they reach for their remote controls. 

For Obama's approval on economic issues to be dropping among adults even as Gallup's measure of the consumer's mood has picked up seem to suggest that Americans increasingly see this as Obama's economy and that the continued efforts of the administration and the media to blame everything on George W. Bush is losing traction.