Which Is It? Two Polls, Two Very Different Approval Ratings For Obama

March 12, 2014 8:47 a.m.

A poll released late Tuesday found President Obama on the rebound, his approval rating undergoing the biggest positive change of his presidency. Hours later, out came another poll that told a very different story: Obama’s approval rating had hit a new low.

The two polls were conducted at virtually the same time, used virtually the same sample size and have identical margins-of-error.

First, the positive poll for Obama, which came courtesy Bloomberg. It found 48 percent of American adults giving the president positive marks for his job performance, a marked increase from the 42 percent who approved of Obama in Bloomberg’s December poll.

“The six-point increase in Obama’s approval rating puts him back in the territory he typically occupies,” said Ann Selzer, the Iowa-based pollster who conducted Bloomberg’s survey.

Bloomberg’s poll also showed Obama with a 49 percent favorability rating, the highest mark since last June. Forty-nine percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of Obama.

But the poll also found majorities disapproving the president’s performance on a range of different issues, findings that more closely resemble the results of the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, which showed Obama’s approval rating dipping to 41 percent.

That represents a low mark for Obama in NBC/WSJ’s poll. Fifty-four percent said they disapprove. And NBC/WSJ found Obama’s personal popularity underwater: 44 percent said they have a negative view of the president, while 41 percent said they have a positive view.

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