Why Obama’s at 50%

Last week it was the Washington Post/ABC poll that put Obama at 50% approval.

I know, hard to believe.

I didn’t particularly. He drew criticism for forgoing the Paris march against terrorism, he’s done unpopular executive orders and he said he wants to raise taxes. Surely Americans are not in favor of him.

But here comes another poll, this time Gallup. It says 50% as well. I’m still not sure I believe it.

First, pollsters lie and it’s hard to check their data. Look how wrong they were regarding the midterm elections. Republicans won by more points than they suggested, plus other races came out of nowhere to put the GOP in governorships in Maryland and Massachusetts.

Second, the media lies, especially where Obama is concerned. However, there is then the factor of American preoccupation with our culture. With the Super Bowl on Sunday, Deflategate and Screen Actors Guild awards and others, an American has a lot on his/her mind to offset dreary old politics.

At Hot Air, Allahpundit has another explanation:

It’s not just Gallup that’s seen a long drought. Per RCP, the last time he hit 50 percent approval in any poll was mid-May 2013, when he touched 50 in the ABC/WaPo survey.

Here’s your daily reminder that there are few political sins that can’t be absolved, at least temporarily, by an improving economy and low, low, low gas prices.

Maybe the “free community college” plan he touted during the SOTU helped too. It combines two things Americans love, education reform and “free” stuff. How many casual voters who tuned in to hear him explain his latest no-strings-attached scheme for new spending read the fine print and discovered that middle-class kids’ college funds will be squeezed to pay for the new program? In fact, according to Josh Earnest, one of the glorious implications of Obama’s plan is that it’ll redirect some high-school grads who might otherwise have been able to afford a four-year university towards starting with two years of “free” community college instead. You know, like all the kids with parents who belong to Washington’s ruling class do.

One other possibility: Maybe this is a small reaction to the GOP’s takeover of the Senate. On certain hot-button issues, a major change in control of the federal government inevitably sparks a backlash among voters who fear it’ll be a change for the worse. For instance, check out the second graph here from Gallup’s abortion polling and note the spike in pro-life sentiment in 2009. America inaugurated a new, very pro-choice president that year; some voters who are fencesitters on the issue probably feared that Obama would try to move the country too far to the left on abortion, so they compensated by moving right. You could be seeing something similar with the midterms. Now that there’s been a big media splash this month about Republicans dominating Congress, some centrists may be fearing overreach and responding with a little bump of new support for Obama as a check on McConnell and Boehner. That’s … insane given that O routinely steamrolls Congress nowadays on big-ticket issues, but never underestimate the ignorance of low-information voters, my friends.

In lieu of an exit question, here’s my own theory in picture form of why Americans are suddenly more optimistic about the country and its leadership. How bad can things be if we’re still capable of great works like this?

He goes on to show a photo of KFC’s Double down dog, a hot dog wrapped in some fried bun.

He may have a point. Just don’t tell Michelle.

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