The Associated Press (AP) just reported on a recently conducted poll that seemed to focus on the impasse over the government shutdown. Here is what the AP titled their poll report – POLL: NO HEROES IN SHUTDOWN, GOP GETS MOST BLAME. “GOP gets most blame.”
I don’t blame the AP for reporting on this, because the poll does seem to lay most of the blame at the feet of the GOP. This has been an obvious focus for the media of late, mostly because they remember the Gingrich-Clinton shutdowns of the mid-1990s and how that seemed to affect Republican popularity. The media thinks that whoever gets the blame for the shutdown will be hurting their chances in the 2014 midterm elections, so they’ve been stuck on figuring out who to blame for the shutdown narrative.
What is aggravating about the AP report is that there is a much more obvious headline that should have come out in this report.
About halfway through the article, the AP finally gets to what I think has to be the most important number in the entire article. (Yes, even more important than who’s to blame for the shutdown.)
“Most Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, the poll suggests, with 53 percent unhappy with his performance and 37 percent approving of it.”
Some of you might think that maybe this poll is just an outlier, but just a few days ago Gallup reported that his approval had slid to 41%… so these numbers are right in line. If you remember just a few short years ago how focused on President George W. Bush’s approval rating the media was it might surprise you that they haven’t been more interested in President Obama’s. But this is the media we live with now…
The media is focused on the wrong number.
If the President’s approval rating remains this low going in to the 2014 midterms, it won’t matter if the public blames Republicans or Democrats for the shutdown. Republicans will have another big night, because the Democrats won’t be able to count on President Obama’s coattails to get them across the finish line. 37% approval for the President means Republicans are in a good position to win big, less than a year out from the midterms.
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