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NPR’s low approval spin: Obama vs. Bush

By Doug Powers  •  November 8, 2013 11:32 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

Virtually identical approval ratings in similar points in their presidencies don’t make for equal reporting, as NPR demonstrates.

Here’s NPR in October of 2005 with Bush at a 38 percent approval rating. Headline: “Poll: Bush’s Ratings Drop on Nearly All Fronts”:

President Bush’s approval ratings are in a steep decline, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center. The survey found that only 38 percent of Americans think the president is doing a good job, down from 50 percent in January. For the first time in his presidency, the numbers show most people think Bush will be judged as an unsuccessful president.

Fast forward the tape to this week. Gallup has President Obama at a 39 percent approval (NPR reports the number is “around 40 percent,” a rounding-up that they almost certainly wouldn’t have seen fit to give Bush). Here’s NPR’s headline: “Why Obama Shouldn’t Worry About His Lousy Poll Numbers”:

President Obama’s poll numbers have hit just about the lowest point of his presidency.

They started sinking after the Obamacare website’s miserable debut last month. Now, only around 40 percent of Americans think Obama is doing a good job. More than half disapprove of his performance. (A year ago, the numbers were the opposite.)

It seems obvious to say that a high approval rating helps a president, while a low approval rating hurts him. But here are five reasons Obama’s numbers might not be as troublesome as they sound.

Optimism: It’s what’s for dinner at NPR (when a Democrat is in office).

(h/t Cosmocon and Newsbusters)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Posted in: Media Bias,Politics

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