On Friday, Gallup reported an Obama approval rating that should have the White House elated. After an embattled eight years, during much of which the economy was in a state of disrepair, the President managed to eke above the 50 percent mark.
51 percent, to be exact.
The Obama approval rating is similar to what President Ronald Reagan’s was during his last year in office. Gallup, the organization behind the polling, postulated that voters were happier with the President because they were terrified with the new crop of contenders.
On the Democratic side, there is a woman with serious trustworthiness issues and few hard stances on anything, as well as a 74-year-old admitted socialist.
On the Republican side, there is a loud-mouthed and possibly bigoted frontrunner along with a young opportunist with an almost-nonexistent voting record and a staunch religious conservative intent on packing the U.S. Supreme Court with like-minded justices.
No matter which side you’re on, so the story goes, there is a dearth of quality options to fill the current President’s shoes.
However, there is one major flaw in the theory that the Obama approval rating is as high as it currently is.
Namely, Donald Trump.
The rise of Trump is a direct result of bitterness and anger at the President’s bought-and-paid-for policies over the last seven years.
The irrefutable facts: Obama’s policies have attacked privacy, used the IRS as a political weapon, overreached through executive action on a variety of issues, pushed a gun control agenda that most of America doesn’t want, incited racial tensions, and promoted the beginnings of socialism through an intrusive healthcare plan that, again, the majority of Americans didn’t want and are still against.
The presidency of Barack Obama, in other words, is the reason that tens of thousands of supporters are showing up to Trump rallies and turning what was once thought of as a reality star’s joke campaign into the probable winning ticket to the White House.
Trump has done and said things that would have sunk any other candidate, and instead of going down in the polls, he continues to improve. He is even beating Hillary Clinton in several recent polls, and if Trump continues to motivate turnout on the Republican side the way that he has, Clinton will have no way of beating him.
Just look at Michigan. Over 1.3 million Republican voters showed up in a typically Democratic stronghold to cast votes for a primary candidate. Less than 1.1 million showed up on the Democratic side.
And Michigan is just a microcosm of what has gone on in the other states that have already held primaries.
Trump has a real shot at winning, and that is a total indictment of the current administration.
So, how can the Obama approval rating be 51 percent when quite clearly more than half of voters in Democratic states are rejecting his political ideology in the current election?
The short answer is that Gallup polled only partisans — self-identified Democrats and Republicans, who were naturally divided bitterly on the Obama approval rating. Democrats were thrilled with his presidency, while Republicans hated it, pretty much in equal numbers.
The primaries are a better indication of the Obama approval rating because they are factoring in all voters — those who identify as Democrat, Republican, and Independent.
And numbers don’t lie.
So far, they are not on Democrats’ side, and that would put satisfaction with Obama’s policies well below 50 percent.
But what do you think, readers?
Is the Obama approval rating inaccurate or artificially inflated, or do you think it’s an accurate portrayal? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons/Been Buddy Longway]