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Monday, November 23, 2009

Readers Write In

Here are responses to questions asked by a number of readers who have taken the time to write in with a comment.

Several people have asked for the breakout of presidential approval by demographic groups. This, in fact, is on our Web site, going back to the beginning of Obama’s term. We update it every week. The percentage approval of President Obama among blacks has generally been in the 80-90% range consistently all year.

Others have asked about variations in the percentage of blacks in the Gallup Daily tracking three-day averages. This is carefully monitored, as is the sample composition based on age, gender, region, and education. All of these demographic characteristics are weighted as necessary to conform to census calculations. The percentage of blacks in the Gallup Daily tracking samples is generally right at about 11%.

In response to one final point made by several readers: The fact that presidential job approval was hovering around 50% off and on for a period of time without dropping below that mark is purely a coincidence. Presidential job approval has also, if one looks at it the other way, been at 55% several times since mid-October, but has not gone higher than 55% in that time period. This, too, is a coincidence. And, of course, Obama’s job approval has been below 50% for the last four days.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...
November 25, 2009 at 4:31 PM  

"The percentage of blacks in the Gallup Daily tracking samples is generally right at about 11%." Generally right at about...really? You know this isn't adequate. Just provide the data and be done with this...please.

Anonymous said...
November 26, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

HELLO can I please get an answer to the inconsistencies on the 49% presidential approval that should be according to your published breakdown 46%? I am not a statistical expert please enlighten me.

Michael said...
December 1, 2009 at 8:15 AM  

I'm no expert here, but to answer the anonymous note above, "Generally about" means exactly that. The sample changes from day to day and because the calling is based on a random digit dial, selecting demographics is not a science, but an art. In a day, the sample of blacks, hispanics, whites, and other demographics vary according to who may have been reached. Over time, they normalize and the sample accurately reflects the population. This is not a one time deal - day in time poll. It is an on-going poll based on scientific methods that are meant to represent the poplulation. It's really not that hard to understand. Folks you have to bring some of yourself to the table here.

Anonymous said...
December 6, 2009 at 9:54 PM  

Michael,
The issue is all about the number of blacks actually sampled each day and what weighting manipulations were used to produce the rolling average. We simply want to see the data. Whether the methods used actually represented the population or not is the whole issue. It's really not hard to understand, bring the data to the table because the "folks" are already here and still waiting.

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