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The latest polls on President Obama's approval rating

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The most recent approval rating polls for President Obama, including two released over the last 48 hours, shows a downward trend for President Obama. A Real Clear Politics average of polls has President Obama 5.3 points in the negative, with 53.2 percent disapproving, and 42.5 percent approving. Last week, President Obama was approximately seven points in the negative according to the RCP average. President Obama's job approval has generally been trending down since early June. The breakdown below includes not only the numbers from each pollster, but also a short analysis of the sample used by the pollster, as well as ratings for each pollster from the 2012 election cycle.

Rasmussen Tracking

Poll of 1500 likely voters taken from 03/04/2014 to 03/06/2014

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 52%

Analysis: Rasmussen has the most restrictive sample of all the pollsters listed here, including who they determine are “likely voters” rather than all adults or registered voters. Despite this fact, Rasmussen has the best number for the President of any polls recently released. Last week, Rasmussen had President Obama's approval rating at a negative three (48 percent to 51 percent), so their numbers indicate a downward trend similar to that of the other pollsters.

Rasmussen has a documented history of favoring Republican candidates with their results and disfavoring Democrats. Specifically, Rasmussen has been criticized for allegedly using a likely voter model that favors Republicans.

In 2012, Nate Silver rated Rasmussen toward the bottom of his list of pollsters. On average, Rasmussen had an average error of 4.2 points which tended to favor the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, over President Obama.

Gallup Tracking

Poll of 1500 adults taken from 03/03/2014 to 03/05/2013

  • Approve 41%
  • Disapprove 55%

Analysis: Gallup’s poll includes all adults as opposed to registered voters or likely voters. The pollster gives President Obama the second worst numbers of the group listed her. Two weeks ago Gallup had President Obama with an approval rating of negative 12, so they also show a slightly negative trend.

Gallup’s pollster reputation took a big hit during 2012, when they consistently gave Obama much lower support numbers than he actually had when all the votes were tallied. Nate Silver rated Gallup the worst pollster of all the pollsters he analyzed, with an average error of 7.2 points which tended to favor the Republican, Mitt Romney, over President Obama. Since that time, Gallup has said they will implement changes to provide more accurate results, but they will not have a chance to really prove themselves again until 2014 and 2016.

Fox News

Poll of 1002 registered voters take from 03/02/2014 to 03/04/2014

Approve 38%
Disapprove 54%

Analysis: The Fox News channel has often been accused of being biased against President Obama, but their polling outfit was not far off in the 2012 election. Who knows whether this is due to a separation between the opinionated, editorialized part of Fox News and the polling firm they use.

Fox News most recent poll has President Obama sixteen points in the negative, which gave President Obama the worst rating of all the pollsters listed here. In early February Fox News had President Obama with a negative approval rating of eleven points.

The Economist/YouGov

Poll of 747 registered voters taken from 03/01/2014 to 03/03/2014

Approve 42%
Disapprove 55%

Analysis: In late February this pollster had President Obama with an approval rating of negative twelve, so accordign to their date the President's numbers have changed little.

The Economist/YouGov's small sample size gives them the largest margin-of-error among all the pollsters listed here. Examining their 2012 polls, Nate Silver rated this pollster in the middle of all pollsters. On average, YouGov showed a 1.1 point bias toward the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.

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