A new Fox News poll reports that President Obama is in pretty decent electoral shape despite the concerted efforts of Fox News to sabotage the administration.
The poll puts Obama’s job rating in favorable territory with 47% approving and 45% not approving. On Obama’s personal favorability, Fox finds him doing even better at 50-47. That exceeds the favorability of the GOP contenders who are all underwater: Romney (39-49), Santorum (35-47), and Gingrich (23-67).
Given those numbers, it is not surprising that the head-to-head match ups between Obama and the Republicans also favor the President: vs. Romney (46-42), Santorum (51-39), and Gingrich (53-35). The survey included an additional question that inquired whether respondents were voting “for” Obama or “against” Romney. On that measure Obama creamed Romney with 73% indicating that they were affirmatively voting for Obama, but only 40% said the same of Romney.
On a number of general attitude questions, Obama also fared well. When asked whether they thought that there were signs the economy was turning around, 58% said yes. When asked if the Obama administration had made the economy better or worse, 44% said better, 42% said worse. Even when asked about whether Obama was responsible for the increase in gas prices, 52% said that he was not, and only 40% said that he was. Again, this despite the incessant propagandizing by virtually everybody on Fox News.
The poll also included a rather peculiarly phrased question that inquired as to whether Obama was “happy” about increasing gas prices “because it will encourage the United States to find alternative energy sources.” In the article Fox published about the poll they included only the number of respondents who answered affirmatively (31%), but omitted the number who disagreed, which happened to be a majority (50%). There was no question as to whether Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum were happy about rising gas prices because it would benefit their electoral prospects. And, let’s face it, the notion that an incumbent president would welcome higher gas prices in an election year is just plain madness.
A couple of other curious notes: Fox had a breakout of responses by liberals, but not by conservatives. Also, they asked whether Obama had taken responsibility for the economy or was blaming others (38-47). But they didn’t ask to whom they thought responsibility belonged (Obama, Bush, congress, Wall Street, etc.), as most other polls do.
Some of the most interesting results in this survey concerned the Tea Party (remember them?). The Fox News article about the poll left them out entirely – not a single mention, as if they ceased to exist. However, the full listing of results may explain why. It confirms that the Tea Party is wildly out of touch with the public at large, and even with their fellow Republicans. On questions about Obama, health care, the economy, foreign policy, and gas prices, the Tea Party exhibits an extreme hostility. Their opposition to the president and his policies was often 20 percentage points worse than the GOP. For example, when asked if Obama is qualified to be commander-in-chief, 63% of Republicans said no, compared to 82% of Tea Partiers. The total of all respondents was 64% qualified, 34% not qualified.
This disparity may also explain why the Tea Party, according to this Fox News poll, was viewed favorably by 30% of respondents and unfavorably by a 51% majority. However, it does not explain why anybody in Washington or the media continue to pay attention to them. They are a widely despised extremist minority who contribute nothing but obstruction and division to the political discourse. It’s no wonder that even Fox is avoiding them.
Fox is also avoiding promoting the results of their own poll. Too much good news for the President? There has been little coverage of it on Fox News. The Fox Nation web site has ignored it completely, while publishing a competing poll from CBS News that showed the President’s numbers lower. One segment on Fox was on the O’Reilly Factor and had Bill O’Reilly interviewing that well known expert economist, comedian Dennis Miller, about the Fox poll results. Miller summed up his opinion with the usual substance and intellect of a Fox News contributor:
“I’m shocked he [Obama] has any approval rating. You know why? Because this is crap what’s going on. It’s crap right now. Everybody knows it’s crap. […] Everybody is telling them it’s great and this is exactly what they hoped for. But everybody knows it’s crap. […] They’re going to tell you it’s going great, but most people know it’s crap right now. And that’s why his numbers are going down. Because it’s coming to the end of his first term, and it looks like crap to people.”
How can you argue with crap-filled logic like that?