Obama polling better than Nixon

Commentary on the debt limit issue is littered with citations of poll results that show, for example, respondents saying they would blame “congressional Republicans” more than “President Obama” for default or failure to reach agreement. Those citations are mostly accurate, but they miss the point. One of the rules of thumb in polling is that individuals are almost always more favorably regarded than groups. So we should expect comparisons between a well-known individual like President Obama and a group the individual members of whom are mostly not well-known would favor the individual. Such results are unremarkable—and prove very little.

 

Yes, you can probably think of exceptions to the rule of thumb. Richard Nixon may have been more unpopular than “congressional Democrats” in the weeks before the 37th president was forced to resign. But that’s a classic case of the exception proving the rule.

Barack ObamaBeltway ConfidentialRichard NixonUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Protesters rally at the site of a proposed affordable housing project at 2550 Irving St. in the Sunset District on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Sunset District affordable housing discussion flooded with ‘scare tactics and hysteria’

Project would provide 100 units, some of which would be designated for formerly homeless families

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Most Read