Judging from all the gloom and doom mainstream media headlines, you would think that Obama was doomed to defeat in 2012, but a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found that Obama leads Mitt Romney by 6, and Rick Perry by 8.
The poll found that President Obama’s approval rating has increased by 2 points over the past month from 45% to 47%. Obama’s big gain has been with Democrats. It appears that the President’s recent jobs plan has brought some wavering supporters back into the fold. Since last month Obama has gone from 71% support among Democrats to 77%.
Despite the bad economy, President Obama is still leading both of his main Republican challengers. Obama currently leads Mitt Romney 49%-43%, and he leads Rick Perry 50%-42%. Obama also leads Ron Paul by 7 and Michele Bachmann by 18. The economy is the entire reason why has dealt with sagging approval numbers, but all too often the media has emphasized the president’s approval numbers at the expense of telling the rest of the story.
The media has been neglected why Obama has been able to keep a lead over all of his Republican challengers. For example, CNN’s big hook for the results of their latest poll was Obama’s disapproval rating at a new high. While this is important the main political story on the poll left out what was included in a smaller secondary story placed under the Obama disapproval headline that more people trust Obama than the GOP to handle the economy.
Since the economy is the main issue driving the President’s approval ratings, the finding that despite his high disapproval rating more Americans trust him with the economy than his opponents was kind of important, but the trust on the economy statistic would have weakened the big gloom and doom headline, so CNN chose to bury a very relevant piece of data in a secondary story.
The media wants a close 2012 election. Close elections get more people interested which translates into high ratings, and higher ratings mean more money. This desire to encourage a close race can lead to polling data being reported in a very subjective way.
Polling data can seem confusing and contradictory because of the way it is reported. The reason why Obama is able to continue to lead all the Republican candidates is because voters like them even less than they like this president.
Unless the Republican Party can buck the sour national mood of the American electorate, Obama stands a good chance of winning reelection.
The President doesn’t have to have a huge approval rating on his policies to win reelection. He only needs to have more support than the person that he is running against. As long as voters remain less than enthused about Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, Obama stands a good chance at being reelected.
The media would prefer that you didn’t understand this, but the Republican Party is even less popular than Barack Obama. If Obama gains or maintains his popularity edge, the media’s dream storyline could crumble beneath a ho-hum reelection campaign.
Ho-hum isn’t good for the bottom line, so you can expect the cable news networks to emphasize the negative and ignore the positive as it relates to Barack Obama.