Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
Thursday, October 08, 2009
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 29% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-six percent (36%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -7 (see trends). Thirty-one percent (31%) say the country is generally heading in the right direction.
Most voter (55%) oppose a penalty for young and healthy people who decide not to buy health insurance. Fifty-nine percent (59%) favor changing the proposed health care plans so that no new taxes or fees are paid by those who earn less than $250,000 a year.
Just 11% favor government regulation of blogs.
The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). Updates also available on Twitter and Facebook.
Overall, 48% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Fifty-one percent now (51%) disapprove. Looking at the numbers on a Month-by-Month basis, the President’s ratings stabilized in September.
In Louisiana, Republicans appear to be in good shape for the 2010 Senate race. The incumbent, David Vitter, and a potential challenger both hold double digit leads.
The New Jersey Governor’s race is now a toss-up and a third of the voters say they could still change their mind before voting. Larry Sabato takes a look at the 2010 Statehouse races. Republicans hold a four-point edge on the Generic Congressional Ballot.
Support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats is up to 46% this week. That’s a five point gain from a week ago.
Scott Rasmussen has recently had three analysis columns published in the Wall Street Journal. The most recent was on health care. Earlier columns were on the President's approval ratings and how Obama won the White House by campaigning like Ronald Reagan. If you'd like Scott Rasmussen to speak at your meeting, retreat, or conference, contact Premiere Speakers Bureau. You can also learn about Scott's favorite place on earth or his time working with hockey legend Gordie Howe.
It is important to remember that the Rasmussen Reports job approval ratings are based upon a sample of likely voters. Some other firms base their approval ratings on samples of all adults. President Obama's numbers are always several points higher in a poll of adults rather than likely voters. That's because some of the President's most enthusiastic supporters, such as young adults, are less likely to turn out to vote.
Rasmussen Reports has been a pioneer in the use of automated polling techniques. While some of our competitors diss the approach and prefer their own operator-assisted technology, Pollster.com founder Mark Blumenthal noted that “independent analyses from the National Council on Public Polls, the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the Pew Research Center, the Wall Street Journal and FiveThirtyEight.com have all shown that the horse-race numbers produced by automated telephone surveys did at least as well as those from conventional live-interviewer surveys in predicting election outcomes.”
Additionally, an analysis by Pollster.com partner Charles Franklin “found that despite identically sized three-day samples, the Rasmussen daily tracking poll is less variable than Gallup.” During Election 2008, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll was the least volatile of all those tracking the race. That stability is one reason that Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com said that the Rasmussen tracking poll “would probably be the one I'd want with me on a desert island."
A Fordham University professor rated the national pollsters on their record in Election 2008. We also have provided a summary of our results for your review. In 2008, Obama won 53%-46% and our final poll showed Obama winning 52% to 46%. While we were pleased with the final result, Rasmussen Reports was especially pleased with the stability of our results. On every single day for the last six weeks of the campaign, our daily tracking showed Obama with a stable and solid lead attracting more than 50% of the vote.
In 2004 George W. Bush received 50.7% of the vote while John Kerry earned 48.3%. Rasmussen Reports was the only firm to project both candidates’ totals within half a percentage point by projecting that Bush would win 50.2% to 48.5%. (see our 2004 results).
Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. The margin of sampling error—for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters--is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Premium Members.
Like all polling firms, Rasmussen Reports weights its data to reflect the population at large (see methodology). Among other targets, Rasmussen Reports weights data by political party affiliation using a dynamic weighting process. While partisan affiliation is generally quite stable over time, there are a fair number of people who waver between allegiance to a particular party or independent status. Over the past five years, the number of Democrats in the country has increased while the number of Republicans has decreased.
Our baseline targets are established based upon separate survey interviews with a sample of adults nationwide completed during the preceding three months (a total of 45,000 interviews) and targets are updated monthly. Currently, the baseline targets for the adult population are 37.2% Democrats, 32.7% Republicans, and 30.1% unaffiliated. Likely voter samples typically show a slightly smaller advantage for the Democrats.
A review of last week’s key polls is posted each Saturday morning. Other stats on Obama are updated daily on the Rasmussen Reports Obama By the Numbers page. We also invite you to review other recent demographic highlights from the tracking polls.
Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.
The Rasmussen Reports Election Edge™ Premium Service offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage available anywhere.
Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.