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November 25, 2009
Some polling indices of which you may be unfamiliar
There are many interesting conclusions one can reach from recent Rasmussen Daily Tracking Polls -- including the massive spreads now defined by the two latest indices—the “Empty Tent Index” and “Post Racial Index.”
The Empty Tent index is constructed to demonstrate the massive vote loss the McCain Campaign and other “big tent” Republicans suffered thanks to the strategy to “reach across the aisle” and not go after McCain’s “honorable opponent” and so on. We could call this the “Colin Powell Impact Index” or the “David Brooks Crease in the Pants” index, but we will stick with “Empty Tent” index for short.
This index is constructed by contrasting how the McCain Campaign performed with independents in the 2008 election – they lost them by 21 points – with how independents now view Obama since they have an understanding of who he is. According to Rasmussen today, 51% of independents strongly disapprove of Obama while only 16% strongly approve, giving Obama an index of -35% among this group of voters.
Since McCain refused to clearly define “who Obama was” during the campaign in an attempt to attract moderates, the spread of 56 percentage points is a pretty good snapshot of how many votes the “maverick” left on the table.
The “Post Racial” Index debuts at a whopping 58% spread. According to Rasmussen, 97% of African-Americans approve of the job Obama is doing while only 39% of white-Americans approve. This would indicate that a little more work is yet to be done on that “transcendent candidate” thing. In fact, we are researching to see if there has ever been a President who is so racially polarizing. We will record this as a minus 58 since a truly post-racial President would perhaps have more approval from whites than from African-Americans.
In the “Give A Damn” Index, Obama’s number is now -20 as 56 percent of his overall approval is strong while 76% of his disapproval is firm. This indicates which way the dial is likely to move in the short term, which is downward.
The “Get A Clue” Index today is also at a new high – or from Obama’s point of view a new low – at -20. This index is designed to give a snapshot of the disconnect between polls using the most engaged voters and those using the lowest common denominator of poll subjects. This not only indicates a commentary on who Obama’s supporters are, it is a tweak of pollsters who use questionable populations in off election years.
Rasmussen, using only “likely voters,” is showing an overall approval index for Obama today at -8 with 54% at least somewhat disapproving versus 46% who at least somewhat approve. Four major polls sponsored by liberal outlets have a combined average of + 12. These polls will all use likely or registered voters as we near an election so their accuracies will improve, but they cynically use only the ACORN friendly filter of “adults” in off year polls.
The Got A Chance Index is now at -34% -- as 67% of the country is already firm in their opinion of Obama and only 33% have soft feelings of approval or disapproval.
As introduced a couple weeks ago, the “Get Away” index was a measure of how toxic Obama was to 2009 candidates. This is the comparison between how Obama did in these areas in 2008 versus how the Democrat candidates performed in 2009. These figures are now final for Virginia and New Jersey.
Roster of C. Edmund Wright Poll Indices of Obama Performance Metrics
Give A Damn Index -20
Empty Tent Index -56
Get A Clue Index -20
Post Racial Index -58
Got A Chance Index -34
Get Away Index Va. -25
Get Away Index NJ -24