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Cavuto And Guest Talk Down Obama's Approval Ratings

Reported by Ellen - March 17, 2009 -

When is a nearly 70% approval rate a bad thing? When you're a Democratic president being discussed on FOX News. News Hounds' Brian caught Your World with Neil Cavuto discussing Obama's “falling” approval ratings with Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperty yesterday (3/16/09). The only problem is that Obama's approval ratings are not really falling. As Nate Silver, of fivethirtyeight.com, points out, Obama's approval ratings have not fallen, but his disapproval ratings are up. Furthermore, Silver notes, Obama's approval ratings are pretty average for presidents at this point in their presidency while Obama's term so far has been anything but average. But Your World, in a pattern I've seen repeated elsewhere on FOX News, was so eager to tout the bad news for Obama, they “forgot” to balance it by putting it in a larger context, other than to snicker that Jimmy Carter's ratings were higher. With video.

At about the 1:05 mark (two-thirds of the way through) in the video below, Cavuto noted that Obama “remains very popular, his programs – as you've been reminding - less so.” Cavuto then asked if there would be “a point at which they cross.”

“Hold on, Neil,” Phillips said. He said that in Gallup and Rasmussen polls, Obama's polls are below Bush's polls for this point in their presidencies.

Yeah, and so what? As Nate Silver reported, Obama's ratings are higher than Ronald Reagan's at this point. And everyone who watches FOX knows that Reagan is the gold standard for presidencies. Except that FOX never seems to make that comparison. Bush and Carter? Endlessly.

Phillips continued, “Yes, the president's numbers are good, as most presidents' are at this stage, but historically speaking, they're not that good.” Phillips blamed Obama's “huge, big government policies” for bringing his numbers down “below the standard historical numbers.”

Cavuto added, “You know who had a 70% approval rating at this exact point in his presidency? Jimmy Carter.”