Metropolitik: What’s bringing Obama down?

Is Obama’s popularity on the decline, or is there some other reason for the polling drop? Let us know what you think at letters@metro.us.

For complaints, suggestions and digital attaboys, e-mail us at brayden.simms@metro.us.

As Republicans fought to win over Southern hearts and minds Tuesday, a pair of polls pointed toward a dramatic slide in support for President Obama, setting the Interwebs on fire with theories, complaints and cheers.

A New York Times and CBS News poll, the more drastic of the two, showed that the president’s approval rating had dropped to a 2012 low of 41 percent, down a precipitous 9 percent from the same organizations’ February poll. The apparent drop puts a crimp in the emerging narrative, as of the new year, that a handful of positive economic reports  had put Obama on track to improve his numbers and take the election in November.

Of course, the report set off the race to find out why exactly this poll decline had occurred. From the left, Jonathan Chait at New York Mag claimed a change in Obama’s rhetoric (specifically, use of the phrase “America is back”) might be to blame. On the right, The Daily Caller found a possible culprit in the ongoing national debate on reproductive freedom, which reporter Mickey Kaus perceived Democrats as clearly losing. There were many others: Political scientist Jonathan Bernstein attributed it to statistical noise, while the Post fingered a rise in gas prices.

But for our tastes, it doesn’t get much clearer than the revelation, brought to our attention by the good people at The People’s View, that the population samples between the two NYT/CBS polls diverged in one telling way:?The latter one included far more Republican primary voters, a group of people much likelier to oppose President Obama than the average voter.

Perhaps the takeaway is simply that polling — that great headline-generating beast — is actually widely misused and poorly understood. (Have any of our readers ever been polled? We haven’t.)?Expect more on this in the future.

Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."