Trump Brags About Having Higher Approval Ratings than Obama – In His Warped Imagination

Donald Trump is reportedly holed up at Camp David this weekend. It’s the first time that he’s visited the official presidential retreat since taking office. He prefers to stay at his own luxury golf resorts where taxpayers have to shell out for his lodging. Taxpayers also foot the bill for the dozens of staff and security personnel who accompany him.

Obama Trump

But while at Camp David, Trump still found time for exalting himself on Twitter. He boasted about how well his agenda is doing, despite a record of profound failure. All of his most prominent campaign promises have gone unfulfilled. He has been unable to repeal ObamaCare. There is no hint of a wall along the southern border. Tax reform hasn’t even begun. Terrorism is just as big a problem as ever. His attempts to implement a ban on immigration were repeatedly struck down by federal courts.

The most peculiar tweet of this Sunday morning TwitFit is one that sought to pump up his ego. Yeah, I know that applies to most of his tweets. But this one was more flagrant than most:

First of all, no one regards Rasmussen as an especially reliable survey outfit. They are brazenly biased toward Republicans and conservatives. And their accuracy lies closer to the bottom of the pack. What success they have is only because they often rejigger their findings at the end of a campaign to be more in line with other polls. That improves their averages, but is wholly dishonest. FiveThirtyEight gives them only a C+ rating. Their survey method employs automated phone calls to landlines. Most polling services regard operator-assisted calls as more reliable. And capturing the opinions of cell phone users is a requirement for accurate results.

That said, Trump’s assertion that his fifty percent approval rating is higher than President Obama’s is just plain false. According to Rasmussen’s website, Obama had an approval rating of fifty-five percent at this point in his presidency. During his first five months, Obama got as high as sixty-three percent, and never dropped below fifty-three. Trump, on the other hand, has marked record lows for a president in his first five months. This new personal high of fifty percent comes after an unlikely and unexplained seven point leap in two days.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that Trump outright lied about beating Obama’s numbers. And also the fact that Rasmussen is overtly biased. The spectacle of Trump getting excited about an approval rating that leaves half the country dissatisfied is kind of pathetic. What’s more, Rasmussen breaks down his numbers to reveal that only thirty-one percent “strongly approve” of Trump while forty-two percent “strongly disapprove” (a net negative index of -11%). Yet this is something that Trump thinks is cause for celebration. That’s the sign of a desperate and delusional man.

Worst.President.Ever: Trump Hypes Biased Poll That Still Shows Him At 50 Percent Unfavorable

From the day Donald Trump was inaugurated he has suffered through the lowest approval ratings of any president on record. And his repeated failures in office haven’t helped to dig him out of that hole. Consequently, he resorts to diversionary tactics to take attention away from his floundering administration. More often than not that includes lashing out at the media, bragging about his November victory, or accusing President Obama, or other Democrats, of imaginary felonies.

Donald Trump

On Monday morning Trump employed another of his favorite diversions: promoting partisan polls that he thinks make him look good. He re-tweeted the Drudge Report which posted a link to Rasmussen Reports, a brazenly right-wing polling firm. Rassmussen published the results of their latest poll saying:

“The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty percent (50%) disapprove.

“This is the first time the president’s overall approval rating has been back in the 50s in nearly a month.”

The fact that Trump gets excited about a poll where as many people dislike him as like him shows how desperate he is for any good news. But since this is a Rasmussen poll, that achievement isn’t even credible. The RealClearPolitics average of all Trump polls puts him at negative nine percent. Rasmussen’s tie is the best showing of the last seven polls which range from negative six to negative twelve percent. The highest approval he reaches in any of them is 43 percent.

Further examination shows that even Rasmussen was not especially kind to Trump in the recent past. Two weeks ago Rasmussen had Trump down by eight points. The week before that he was down by twelve. So it’s rather startling that Trump surged to a tie in such a short time. Well, it would be for any pollster other than Rasmussen.

For some background, CNN’s Chris Cillizza published an article enumerating the reasons to be skeptical of Rasmussen. Among them are the pollster’s questionable methods of selecting a representative sample of voters. Or their automated telephone polling that excludes the younger demographic of cell phone users. But in general, Cillizza faults Rasmussen for failing to disclose their methodology:

“In an industry in which transparency is the name of the game, Rasmussen just doesn’t show very much of how they do what they do. That’s not to say what they do is wrong; it’s only to say we have no way of knowing how closely they adhere to accepted polling standards.”

He’s being generous. Rasmussen’s results vary widely from every other poll. And they are notorious for posting results that favor Republicans. Many media organization won’t cite them because their methods don’t satisfy the recognized standards for statistical analysis.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

On a tangential point, it’s a little unseemly for a president to be flattering himself with poll results. I can’t think of another time when that was done outside of a campaign. It’s really just a form of low-grade propaganda when it comes direct from the White House. And for his trouble, Trump is relying on a pollster with little credibility for numbers that aren’t particularly positive. But when you’ve set records for low performance, and most of the country opposes you and your policies, I guess you take whatever crumbs fall onto your plate. And in Trump’s case, you pretend they are Creme Brulee and brag about having the best recipe ever.

Are Voters Willing To Pay To Combat Global Warming? Don’t Ask Fox News

For anyone looking for additional evidence that Fox News makes people stupid, another splendid example popped up on the Fox Nation website today.

Fox Nation

The article’s headline posed the question “Are Voters Willing To Pay To Combat Global Warming?” Both the question and the original source for the article came directly from the ultra-conservative pollsters at Rasmussen Reports. The folks at Rasmussen answered the question by stating flatly that “Most voters still aren’t ready to pay much, if anything, to fight global warming.” Fox News repeated the same thing without any critical assessment of its accuracy.

It would not be surprising, then, for Fox’s audience to come away believing that the poll showed that Americans are unwilling to pay up in order to prevent the scientifically verified dangers of Climate Change. And if they won’t pay to mitigate the harm, then they must not think it’s very important.

The problem with that conclusion, however, is that it flies in the face of both reality and the actual results of the Rasmussen poll. Reading further on the Rasmussen article (which Fox did not report) reveals a very different representation of the public opinion:

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters say they are willing to pay nothing more in higher taxes and utility costs annually to to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming. But that’s down from 48% last August and the lowest level measured in regular tracking since January 2013. Another 24% are willing to spend only $100 more per year, unchanged from earlier surveys. Twenty-six percent (26%) are ready to spend $300 or more a year to combat global warming, with six percent (6%) who are ready to spend at least $1,000 more annually.”

To sum up, with 24% willing to pay at least $100.00 per year, plus 26% willing to pay over $300.00 per year, plus another 6% willing to pay more than $1000.00 per year, you get 56% (a clear majority) of Americans who believe that Climate Change is a problem that is serious enough to shell out significant funds to address. Yet somehow Rasmussen, and subsequently Fox News, spun the poll results as saying that “most voters still aren’t ready to pay much, if anything.”

So how did they arrive at that obviously contrary conclusion? One guess is that they simply decided that either $100.00 or $300.00 is not “much” money. But that’s a subjective analysis and many Americans would dispute it. Even Fox News would dispute it under different circumstances. For instance, if they thought that someone’s health insurance premium was going to increase $100.00 per year they would regard it as an outrage and renew their calls to repeal ObamaCare.

Another possible explanation for how the poll results were so absurdly twisted is Rasmussen’s methodology wherein they split the responses into four groups (pay nothing, $100.00, $300.00, or $1000.00). The effect is to divide all the responses where there is willingness to pay into three answers, while leaving a single answer for those unwilling to pay anything. Consequently, you get a plurality of 41% who won’t pay, compared to smaller numbers who will pay different amounts. So long as no one adds up those other amounts and realizes that they total 56%, a deceptive pollster could claim that those who won’t pay are the largest single group.

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Rest assured that the Fox News audience won’t do the math. In fact, they probably won’t even click through to read the article. And for the foreseeable future they will believe, falsely, that the majority of the American people are against any attempt to address Climate Change if it is going to cost them anything. Nice work Fox. Your dishonesty will keep your audience mired in ignorance, just the way you like them.

Fox News Continues To Ignore Polls Favorable To Obama

A new poll by the Fox News house pollsters, Rasmussen, shows that President Obama has gained on Mitt Romney since the announcement of Paul Ryan as Romney’s vice-presidential running mate. That’s a striking achievement for Obama considering the notorious right-wing bias of Rasmussen. But first, a little background…

Last week I reported that Fox News was feverishly hyping pro-Romney polls while ignoring those that show President Obama in the lead. I noted that Fox Nation had posted an article showing the results of a Rasmussen poll with a headline that beamed “Romney Opens Up Lead Over Obama.” However they neglected to report any news of all the other polls that showed Obama ahead, including a poll conducted by Fox News itself:

Fox Nation

This week Rasmussen’s presidential daily tracking poll shows a significant five point swing in Obama’s favor. Last Friday, Romney led Obama 47% to 43%. Today he’s trailing Obama, 46% to 45%. That shift took place since the announcement last Saturday of Paul Ryan to join Mitt Romney’s campaign. So apparently Ryan’s addition to Romney’s team has not yielded any benefit in the polling by the GOP’s favorite pollster.

But What’s most notable about this news is that Fox News, who were quick to post the Rasmussen poll results last week, have blackballed Rasmussen this week. As of this writing there has been no coverage whatsoever of Rasmussen’s most recent poll results. Obviously Fox is afraid of presenting any information to their dimwitted audience that might cause them to fret about a socialist Kenyan being reelected. And they certainly don’t want their glassy-eyed viewers to get wind of the fact that Ryan is being received as a dud. As I noted last week, this is…

“…the sort of biased cherry-picking that is the hallmark of Fox’s “news” charade. […It’s] a crystal clear message to pollsters from Fox: If you want to be covered, you better say what we like.”

Last week Rasmussen’s results pleased Fox and they were rewarded with front page coverage. This week Rasmussen’s results upset Fox and they were given the silent treatment. This is further evidence of why Fox viewers are repeatedly shown to be more ill-informed than all other news consumers.

Fox Nation Ignores Polls By CNN, Reuters, And — Fox News

It must be hard being the PR agency for the Romney campaign (aka Fox News) when the real world is constantly interfering with your efforts to distort reality. Nevertheless, Fox News soldiers on to try to spin the gloomy prospects of Mitt Romney’s Circus of Desperation into something passably positive.

Today Fox Nation featured a story on the campaign horse race that blasted the headline: RASSMUSSEN: Romney Opens Up Lead Over Obama. Rasmussen, a notoriously partisan right-wing pollster, showed Romney ahead 47% to 43%. It’s no surprise that Rasmussen gave the edge to Romney because that’s what they’re paid to do. What you did not see if you were reading Fox Nation is that three other polls were also released, and all three of them put Obama significantly ahead of Romney.

Fox Nation Polls

CNN’s poll had the race at 52% for Obama (notably above the 50% mark) and 45% for Romney. The poll also has Obama ahead 53% to 42% with Independents. And significant majorities believe that Romney favors the rich (64%) and that he should release more tax returns (63%).

The Reuters poll placed Obama up 49% to 42%. In addition, Reuters reports that 46% of registered voters say Obama is stronger on jobs and the economy, compared with 44% for Romney. And on tax matters, 49% saw Obama as stronger, compared with 38% for Romney.

Most striking, however, is the poll from Fox News itself. Fox is giving Obama a 49% to 40% lead. That’s a nine point advantage that is larger than any of the other polls just published. The lead is even greater among Independents who favor Obama by 11%.

The surprising part of this is that Fox Nation reported only on the Rasmussen poll that showed Romney ahead. They couldn’t even bring themselves to report on their own poll conducted by their own pollsters. That’s the sort of biased cherry-picking that is the hallmark of Fox’s “news” charade. And even with their pet pollster Rasmussen, last week, when they had Romney down a couple of points, Fox Nation left it out of their coverage. That’s a crystal clear message to pollsters from Fox: If you want to be covered, you better say what we like. And that goes for Fox’s pollsters as well.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Who’s To Blame For Bad Economy?

There have been numerous polls asking respondents to say who they hold responsible for the state of the American economy. In every one of them George W. Bush ranks at or near the top, with Congress and Wall Street following close behind. Usually President Obama is not the target of most of the blame.

Leave it to Fox News to come up with a poll that contradicts the others. And it should come as no surprise that the poll they’ve latched onto is the work of Rasmussen’s Pulse Opinion Research. However, even with a fixed pollster, and a rabidly partisan news outlet, Fox still finds it necessary to outright lie about the poll’s results:

Fox Nation Blames Obama

The headline of this article is blatantly false. In Rasmussen’s poll 34% said that Obama is the most to blame for the slow economic recovery. Most elementary school graduates know that that is not a majority. What’s more, if you add the responses of those who said that it was either Congress, Wall Street, or George W. Bush, it comes to a clear majority of 61% saying that Obama is not to blame. Some other significant results from the poll that Fox Nation declined to report are…

  • The poll found almost 6-in-10 are unhappy with the actions of Republicans in Congress who have challenged the president on an array of policy initiatives.
  • Fifty-seven percent of voters said congressional Republicans have impeded the recovery with their policies, and only 30 percent overall believe the GOP has done the right things to boost the economy.
  • Centrist voters, who may well decide the 2012 outcome, tend to blame Republicans in Congress more than the president for hindering a more robust recovery.
  • 53 percent of centrists said Obama has taken the right actions as president to boost the economy, compared with 38 percent who said he had taken the wrong steps.
  • Seventy-nine percent of centrist voters said Republicans had slowed the economy by taking wrong actions. Only 13 percent of centrists credited GOP lawmakers with policies that have helped the economy.

And that’s the poll that Fox Nation managed to feature on their website with a headline blaring that a “Majority Blame Obama For Bad Economy.” The Fox Nationalists must take great comfort in the knowledge that their audience is too stupid to actually look into anything themselves – or understand it if they did.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Cherry Picking Poll Data

The top-of-page headline at Fox Nation today is a report that falsely declares that “Obama Poll Numbers Drop After Court Upholds His Law.”

Fox Nation Polls

The poll to which the Fox Nationalists refer is from the notoriously GOP-slanted Rasmussen Reports. Rassmussen is best known as a Republican shill. He attends GOP conferences and is a fixture on Fox News. His findings invariably favor right-wing politicians and policies.

As a demonstration of just how far afield he is, take a look at the most recent polls posted on RealClearPolitics:

RealClearPolitics Polls

Notice that Rasmussen is the only one that shows Romney in the lead. What’s more, in every poll taken since the the Supreme Court’s ruling on the health care bill, Obama’s numbers have gone up – not down. And that includes the poll from Fox News.

So Fox News promotes the results of a poll by Rasmussen even over their own poll. That’s how committed they are to deceiving the blockheads who watch their network of lies.

Rasmussen Poll Asks If The Tea Party Are Terrorists

Tea Party Terrorists

Rassmussen Reports, the official Fox News source for conservatively biased polling, conducted an interesting survey over the weekend that asked:

“Some people have accused the Tea Party of acting like economic terrorists during the budget debates. Are members of the Tea Party economic terrorists?”

I suppose it depends on how you define “economic terrorists.” Would a party that advocates letting the nation default on their debt be considered terrorists? What about a party that asserts that an S&P downgrade would be a good thing (we’ve seen how that worked out)? What about a party that holds a nation hostage in order to force a political agenda down the throats of a populace that opposes the agenda?

Setting aside whether or not we should apply rhetoric like “terrorist” to political adversaries, the result of the poll was that nearly a third (29%) of respondents said that they do regard the Tea Party as terrorists. That’s an astonishing result. Fifty-five percent disagreed and 16% are undecided. That means that nearly half the country believe that the Tea Party are, or might be, terrorists. And remember, this is Rasmussen, the wing-nuttiest of all pollsters.

These results drive home the point I made when I wrote Why Is Anyone Listening To The #@$%*#& Tea Party? It is a discredited constituency that couldn’t fill the back room at an Applebys. Yet for some reason too many in the media and in Washington, including Democrats, take them seriously. That breakdown of mental acuity helped to sap trillions of dollars of wealth from asset markets in the past couple of weeks.

Additionally, the Rassmussen poll shows that…

“…a plurality (43%) of all voters think the Tea Party has made things worse of [sic] the country in the budget debates in Congress. Thirty-two percent (32%) say the Tea Party has made things better for America, and 14% say it’s had no impact. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.”

Again, this is Rasmussen! If a plurality of voters in a Rasmussen poll think that the Tea Party has made things worse, the real number must be a substantial majority. Consequently, any politician who throws in with the Tea Party is representing a phantom movement and contributing to the harm that these phony radicals are causing.

More likely, they are serving their AstroTurf masters at Americans for Prosperity and other Koch-funded frauds. A good percentage of the millions of dollars that it takes to produce the mirage that is the Tea Party is surely flowing into the campaign accounts of Republicans across the nation. But given the results of this poll, and virtually every other one on the subject, these greedy pols will soon regret their decision.

Fox News Faux Pas: Math Is Hard

Fox News Faux PasHere’s another Fox News violation of their Zero Tolerance policy for on-air mistakes. This morning Fox broadcast President Obama’s speech wherein he announced that the TARP program cost $200 billion less than originally anticipated. But on the Fox screen the number was reduced by $198 billion:

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, in a segment that appeared on Fox & Friends this morning, they displayed this chart of a poll that managed to interview 120% of the American people. I guess if you have to distort data, it helps if you don’t know how to add. It probably also helps if your viewers are similarly challenged.

Never mind that Fox continues to rely on the disreputable Rasmussen organization for polling, even that suspect data is further distorted by the Fox News graphics department. As for the poll itself, Rasmussen asked:

“In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?”

I would have answered that question “Very likely.” Of course “some scientists” have falsified data. However, I would have been referring to scientists at Exxon or the American Enterprise Institute, not those with universities or non-partisan environmental research facilities who overwhelming report honest figures that document Global Warming. By not drawing that distinction, Rasmussen has rendered his poll meaningless.

Just as a reminder, Fox said that errors such as these would result in those responsible being punished, and even terminated:

“Mistakes by any member of the show team that end up on air may result in immediate disciplinary action against those who played significant roles in the “mistake chain,” and those who supervise them. That may include warning letters to personnel files, suspensions, and other possible actions up to and including termination.”

At this rate, Fox isn’t going to have any employees at all by the end of the month.

Update: A Fox News spokesperson responded to the erroneous chart on Global Warming by claiming that it wasn’t erroneous:

“We were just talking about three interesting pieces of information from Rasmussen,” Petterson said. “We didn’t put on the screen that it added up to 100 percent.”

So at Fox News, if you don’t put up on the screen that it adds up to 100 percent, you can put in whatever numbers you want. Even their own host, Steve Doocy, added up the numbers to point out that 90+ percent think scientists falsify data.

This explains why the new Fox policy of Zero Tolerance will never work. They can’t count up to hundred. Hell, they can’t even count up to zero.

And on a side note, this blatant misrepresentation of the poll results occurred on poll about people misrepresenting data. So Fox wants to make you believe that the scientists are not trustworthy when they themselves are falsifying data. Cute, isn’t it?

Fox Pimps Fake Rasmussen Poll Index

Be sure to see Rasmussen’s previous fake index wherein he invents new classes of “Mainstream Americans” and “Political Elitists.”

Last week I wrote about the latest index invented by the notoriously deceptive Rasmussen polling firm. Rasmussen’s Presidential Approval Index actually distorts the President’s approval by leaving out huge chunks of the poll’s respondents. He does this by counting only those who express a “strong” opinion. As I said last week…

The problem with this method is that it ignores all of those who approve or disapprove, albeit not strongly. In his own survey, the Presidential Approval Index is a negative 1 (-1), which he then releases to the media as demonstrating that the Obama honeymoon is over. However, his results including all respondents show that Obama is regarded favorably by a healthy majority of 54%, compared to 45% who disapprove (+7).

At the end of that article I concluded that “Rasmussen has emerged as the number one most likely pollster to be interviewed on Fox News.” That has been true for some time, but now Fox is tightening their embrace of the partisan pollster by misrepresenting the already skewed results. Here is their story from The Fox Nation announcing that “Obama Job Approval Index Dips Negative for First Time” :

In addition to the statistical flaws in the poll itself, Fox has incorrectly reported that the index dipped into negative territory for the first time. In fact, the first time was a week ago when I originally reported the phony index. This is the third time that the index has been negative. Even so, the index wavers in a narrow range that barely brushes its own margin of error.

You really have to wonder how Fox manages to screw up stories even when they originate from their own partners in propaganda. The lesson is to never underestimate Fox’s ability to slant a story in favor of their rightist prejudice.