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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Response to Rush Limbaugh's Claim

Rush Limbaugh stated on his radio program Thursday that several polls have shown President Obama’s job approval rating to be below 50%, while Gallup’s has not. Limbaugh then stated: “Gallup has it [Obama’s job approval rating] just teetering there on the little teeter-totter at 50%, and they're doing everything they can, they’re upping the sample of black Americans, to keep him up at 50% in the Gallup Poll.”

This statement is a complete and inexplicable fabrication. Gallup has a 70-year history of providing unbiased, scientific measures of public attitudes. Gallup is not now, nor has it ever, modified its data in order to achieve any desired result.


Anonymous said...
November 19, 2009 at 7:43 PM  

Why don't you post the % trend of blacks in your polling over the past several weeks....

Anonymous said...
November 19, 2009 at 7:52 PM  

Then what's the percentage of Democrats and African Americans in your sample? Considering African Americans account for 12% of the population, if your sample is more around 15 or 20 percent than the Limbaugh claim is indeed accurate.

Davenport said...
November 19, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

Gallup. As much as I hate to say it, the fact that you responded this way just goes to show if not a little guilt over Limbaugh's accusation. If you were truly unbiased, you would have gone for the offense not the immediate defense.

Anonymous said...
November 19, 2009 at 8:30 PM  

Congratulations, Dr. Newport! You've just had your truthfulness, reliability, and validity confirmed by being attacked by Rush Limbaugh. He and his ilk only attack those who speak the unvarnished truth.

If he had supported you, I must say that I WOULD have questioned your truthfulness, reliability, and validity...although for a different reason than his. :)

SeePax said...
November 19, 2009 at 8:49 PM  

That's fine for the newspapers, but Limbaugh's got it right on y'all. Why hasn't the approval poll ever shown the same trends as other polls?

Anonymous said...
November 19, 2009 at 9:46 PM  

Don't sweat it Frank. Gallup has the best reputation and in my opinion the most accurate polls. People like Limbaugh cry foul when the numbers don't match their ideology. It's a transparent tactic. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...
November 19, 2009 at 11:11 PM  

I'm not saying that Rush Limbaugh is correct however, I do follow Gallup daily and it does seem that when Obama's approval rating is in danger of falling below 50% the numbers stay steady until something bumps him up a few points. You can't ignore that most national polls have him below 50% except this one.

Anonymous said...
November 19, 2009 at 11:41 PM  


Are you saying it's just a coincidence that Obama has been at 50 on 9 or 10 different days and ot once has ever dipped below 50. Just coincidence? Somehow he always manages to improve his numbers once they hit 50? That's near impossible to believe given how a tracking poll works and the 3 day rolling avg. He'd be bound to fall below 50 eventually given that many times.

Can you point to any other tracking poll in Gallup's 70 year history where someone has hit 50 9 or 10 different times and every single time they never fall below 50 in a following poll? I doubt you can.

It's just a tad fishy that he keeps hitting 50 and then magically bounces back up to 52, 53.

Matt L said...
November 19, 2009 at 11:51 PM  

Allow them wallow in their own fantasies.

Anonymous said...
November 20, 2009 at 4:15 AM  

Though I choose to believe the statement made by Mr. Newport, I would like to point out that from the viewpoint of a casual observer, Mr. Obama has recieved a large number of "eleventh hour" reprieves. He has been at 50% a number of times, but always seems to pull out without falling below it.

I have always followed the Gallup Polls with the belief that they were and still are unbiased, but reality sometimes does not mean as much as the possible appearance of impropriety

People will believe what they want, and I myself must admit that I have had my doubts because of just this issue, but as I said at the start I believe what Mr. Newport has said.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...
November 20, 2009 at 8:17 AM  

Are you expecting Limbaugh to suddenly deal with reality?

That's just not going to happen.

Anonymous said...
November 20, 2009 at 8:33 AM  

Kudos to you sir for standing up to this bully. To tarnish the reputation of Gallup in a continued effort to incite racial hatred is truly bottom-of-the-barrel. But, then we're talking about Limbaugh, so it's an appropriate location.

Chelsea H.
Lindenwold, NJ

Anonymous said...
November 20, 2009 at 9:35 AM  

He didn't accuse Gallup of "Modifying Data". He questioned the sample of people you polled which you still did not address. If you poll enough black americans suspect you could achieve 80% approval. That is the charge and you didn't address it. Please clarify.
I would also be very interested in the results of a poll showing the likely voting tendancies of minority groups voting for candidates of their own demographic. ie how likely blacks are to vote for blacks, hispanics for hispanics, women, etc.

paranoidatwork said...
November 20, 2009 at 11:40 AM  

I thought you needed 60% to make a majority anyway.

Anonymous said...
November 20, 2009 at 1:32 PM  

Where can I review the internals and demograghic breakdown of your recent sampling data to make my own decision?

Anonymous said...
November 20, 2009 at 6:06 PM  

On the other hand, Rush Limbaugh has made a career of modifying data to achieve the result he desires.

Anonymous said...
November 22, 2009 at 9:51 PM  

u see after rush spoke a few days later obama drops below 50. looks like gallup was caught with its pants .way to go rush to catch these guys with there lies.

Anonymous said...
November 23, 2009 at 4:41 PM  

I too noticed how Obama would never dip below the magical 50% when other polls have him clearly well below and have been that way for a time. I believe you need to have a more detailed account of the breakdown of the polling to prove no inaccuracies on your part as Gallup does seem to be one of the last to drop under 50% when clearly there is a current backlash against the President's policies and less support for them by independents. Defend yourselves with detailed data about the polling numbers (percentages of people polled and ethnicity in line with national percentages of population), I'm sure you have them and if you don't then people should question your methods and conclusions.

brian said...
November 24, 2009 at 1:57 AM  

its laughable that these tea drinking "patriots" mock the gallup poll as being rigged. Even in the past week, as the gallup shows Obama dipping below 50% there are still... special people saying that gallup has never gone below 50%. Why, some comments even suggest they follow the poll daily! well... its safe to say that gallup is more truthful than some of these comments. check the poll before you go throwing mud about statistics you likely will never understand.

Anonymous said...
November 25, 2009 at 12:21 PM  

It's not hard to believe that people would question Gallup's validity. When most of the news we receive from TV and papers is slanted towards one political candidate or another... distrust spreads to all areas. Gallup should have transparency in its polling (show a breakdown of those polled) so that those reading can feel there is some information out there that they can trust.

Paul Marsolek said...
November 28, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

Reasonableness is the key to this arguement. Is it reasonable for Gallup - with the longest history of integrity in the polling field to cook the books for a candidate that has at best a seven year life cycle? Gallup has an unspotted reputation for accuracy, clarity and unbiased reporting. To throw that away with a tweak here and there to fit the expectations of anyone is not at all reasonable.

I can't speak for Rush, but he should be careful about what he says - and perhaps seek out answers to what appear to be anomalies before speaking without a retreat. Polling is a science - and understanding the science takes time and effort.

Gallup polling is rock solid - the gold standard.

lee D. said...
November 30, 2009 at 10:02 AM  

While I certainly understand your desire to protect yourself and your organizations’ well deserved good NAME, I need to remind you that response to these animals only incites and encourages them!!
These radio and television “experts” on the right and left are mere showman and actors. Admittedly very very good actors, but they are neither experts, politicians nor patriots. They are patriotic and supportive of anything that increases their ratings and subsequently their incomes.
They are not committed to an ideology! Rather they take the stance that will make the best ratings. As hard as it may seem, the only answer to these showmen is to remain absolutely silent. In Silence to their absurd ranting and raving we will reduce their ratings and eventually be rid of the rodent infestation that has been the last 3 decades!
We must return to policy based on facts and facts alone!

Anonymous said...
November 30, 2009 at 3:33 PM  

I do not question Gallups reputation - nor their integrity. However, as a Senior Analyst with over 18 years of experience in the field I can tell you I have personal experience in the "Science of Polling". I understand how updating the datasets, discrete variables, focus group or filter questions could help maintain a rating - yet keep the poll viable. Rush's claim is focused on helping his entertainment ratings - Gallup should focus on polling. If Gallup is to respond to the allegation raised by Rush it should do so by providing the raw data.

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