Obama Approval Rating Charts Updated

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

A few months ago I posted a dashboard of 21 interactive charts comparing President Obama’s approval rating among different groups (men vs. women, Democrats vs. Republicans, rich vs. poor, etc.). I’ve updated the charts with the most recent Gallup data:

See the charts, and download the data.

The Health Care Ruling as a ‘Word Tree’

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

As everyone knows by now, the U.S. Supreme Court today essentially upheld the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. I created a word tree to find specific words in the document and see how they fit in context with those around them. Here are phrases that begin with “federal power”:

Here are phrases that end with “federal power”:

Phrases that begin with “cost”:

And, finally, “tax”:

The tool allows you to select words and change the view by drilling down:

Check out the interactive version, and try out your own phrases.

Comparing President Obama’s Job Approval Rates Among Different American Groups

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Demographics, Policy & Politics

President Obama’s approval rating has crept just above 50 percent, his best position in a year, the latest Gallup survey figures show. The Washington Examiner adds some historical context:

Obama’s numbers peaked at 53 percent in the last week of May [2011], but then dipped below 50 percent in June [2011]. His approval ratings sank to a low of 38 percent in October 2011, before returning to 50 percent in mid-April 2011.

Click on the image to interact with the charts.

Using Gallup’s weekly trends data — which can be sliced into groups based on religion, gender and party identification, among other categories — I created numerous interactive charts to show the trends since his presidency began in January 2009.

The charts reveal some interesting, though perhaps not unexpected, trends. First, of course, there’s a clear partisan divide: 83 percent of Democrats approve of the president’s performance while just 13 percent of Republicans approve, according to the most recent weekly trends data provided by Gallup (through April 29).

But other differences are evident.  Only 40 percent of people who told Gallup that they attend church weekly approve. Compare that with 54 percent approval among people who rarely go to church. Older and wealthier people also approve at lower rates.

I’ve broken the numbers out into 21 different area charts. Explore them here.

A warning: The page is a bit sluggish in Internet Explorer. I haven’t had time to fix that. So, click here to get a proper browser.

UPDATE: I added fresh data on May 27, so the graphics are current. Check them out.

Candidate Fundraising vs. Super PAC Spending in January

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

From Huffington Post

Reports about January’s fundraising numbers, released on February 20, have focused on two narratives: Mitt Romney’s limited fundraising and high burn rate and the role that super PACs are playing in an increasingly contested Republican primary. HuffPost decided to combine those narratives together to make a graphic of candidate and super PAC fundraising and spending in January.

Did Obama Neglect Health Care in State of the Union Speech?

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

More analysis from the speech from The Advisory Board Company: 

Obama’s speech included just 44 words on health reform, far fewer than in his previous addresses. He said that the makeup of the overhaul—which he noted relies on a “reformed private market, not a government program”—is a sign that he is willing to work with Republicans.

Obama’s State of the Union

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

The Washington Post does a nice job comparing this year’s State of the Union to President Obama’s previous annual speeches: 

President Obama devoted nearly half of his fourth annual address to Congress to the economy. A breakdown of the State of the Union and a look back at his previous three speeches.

How ‘State of the Union’ Speeches Changed Over Time

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

Tonight President Obama gives his third “State of the Union” speech, an address that dates back to George Washington. Over time, the length and format of the speech has changed, according to the The American Presidency Project

Bubbles in this view are sized the represent the number of speeches given by each president, with colors representing format (purple = oral; green = written).

This shows the total number of words used during each president’s tenure in both formats. Teddy Roosevelt needed 174,000 to deliver his thoughts, leading all presidents. 

A better view is to look at the average number of words used, given that presidents have had varying term lengths over time. Jimmy Carter led all presidents, with an average of 33,000 words, though that’s skewed by one long written address as he left office.

Bill Clinton had the longest average oral speeches since 1966, at 1 hour and 14 minutes. Richard Nixon gave the shortest speeches, averaging about 35 minutes. 

View interactive version | Download data

President Obama’s Approval Ratings At Five-Month High

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

Better news for the president? Perhaps, according to USA Today

Obama’s approval ratings are higher than his disapproval ratings for the first time since July, according to the latest Gallup Poll. About 47% of Americans approve of the way he is doing his job, while 45% disapprove of his performance. The three-day tracking poll was conducted Dec. 21-23.

Interactive version | Download data

Charting Obama’s Path

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

While in Europe I missed this excellent interactive graphic by Alicia Parlapiano and Amanda Cox of The New York Times. It plots 2008 presidential election results by state with adult residents’ higher education rates: 

Some Democrats believe Ohio may no longer be crucial to a 2012 election victory. Instead, states like Colorado and Virginia, with more highly educated voters, may be the Democrats’ must-win states.

I found the graphic, btw, while reading a post by Matthew Ericson — who works with Parlapiano and Cox — in which he argues that maps aren’t always the most effective method for displaying geographic information.