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
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…