A tale of two headlines

Headlines from CBS and the New York Times on stories about the new CBS/New York Times poll:


Obama's approval rating drops to all-time low; Public split on jobs plan

New York Times:

Obama's Support Is Slipping, Poll Finds, But His Jobs Plan Is Well Received

The Times has changed the headline in the last few hours but the original is quoted here.

Support for Obama Slips; Unease on 2012 Candidates

Editors change headlines on the web all the time. But you'll forgive me if I can't quite suspend belief and stretch reality to cover the idea that the Times was trying to cover up its blatant headline bias. "Public split on jobs plan" and "Jobs plan well received" are completely incompatible concepts. One might even argue that a headline that included the notion that the president's approval ratings had dropped to "All Time Low" was almost as disconnected as simply stating that the president's support "slips."

As for the poll itself:

As concerns about the struggling U.S. economy grow, a new CBS News/New York poll finds that President Obama's overall approval rating has dropped to 43 percent, the lowest so far of his presidency in CBS News polling. In addition, his disapproval rating has reached an all-time high of 50 percent.

Views of the president's job performance are marked by a striking degree of polarization along party lines -- the vast majority of Democrats approve (78 percent), while even more Republicans disapprove (89 percent) of how he's handling his job. But only 37 percent of independents approve, with 54 percent disapproving.

Except for a notable spike in approval after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May, President Obama's approval rating has been below 50 percent since the spring of 2010.

Not surprisingly, the down economy has had a clear impact on Mr. Obama's approval rating.

The poll also found that 39 percent of Americans say the economy is fairly bad, and another 47 percent say the economy is very bad - the highest percentage since April 2009. Meanwhile, 13 percent say the economy is fairly good and just one percent say it is very good.


As for Mr. Obama's latest proposal to lower unemployment, the American Jobs Act he presented to Congress last week, the public is split. While 64 percent say they have heard about the bill, Americans are divided as to whether the plan will actually create jobs. Nearly half of Americans are at least somewhat confident that Mr. Obama's proposals will create jobs and stimulate the economy --12 percent are very confident and 36 percent are somewhat confident. But about the same amount -- 47% -- are not confident his plan will do that.

In what universe is it accurate to say that Obama's jobs plan is "well received" when just as many Americans hate it as like it?

In the biased and partisan universe inhabited by the denizens of the New York Times.