Remember the news 10 days ago about Obama’s approval rating going up to 50%?
Don’t believe it.
For that matter, don’t believe any polls from the Associated Press because the polling firm it uses, GfK, has a huge conflict-of-interest, being the recipient of federal government contracts.
Last year, National Investigative Media (NIM) uncovered an unusual financial relationship between the AP and the federal government – and evidence that that relationship may have influenced the AP’s reporting on the Obama administration.
In March 2011, GfK announced that it had received clearance for federal government contracts to do marketing and research for US government agencies. On May 11, 2011, based on a poll conducted by GfK, the AP reported that — Surprise!!! — Obama’s re-election was a foregone conclusion.
But NIM found that the GfK employed a severely flawed polling model that gave a significant advantage to Obama in calculating his favorability ratings on a number of issues from national security to the economy. The flawed polling data influenced not just the AP, but other media including ABC News, Time, The Washington Post and Yahoo News which ran the AP’s reportage without scrutiny.
In contrast, polling by Rasmussen Reports is more reliable, not least because Rasmussen surveys likely U.S. voters instead of merely U.S. adults.
Rasmussen Reports‘ daily Presidential tracking poll for today shows that as many as 42% of U.S. voters Strongly Disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is performing as role as president, with only 26% of voters Strongly Approving.
This is how Obama fares in potential match-ups against the four GOP candidates:
- Mitt Romney 45% vs. Obama 43% (Romney has a 9-point advantage among independent or unaffiliated voters).
- Ron Paul 43% vs. Obama 41% (this is the first time that a poll shows Paul being favored over Obama).
- Obama 45% vs. Rick Santorum 43%
- Obama 49% vs. Newt Gingrich 39%
To conclude, when it comes to polling data, caveat emptor. Obama's re-election is not a shoo-in. Things are not as bleak as they seem.