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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Obama Approval Keeps Us All in Suspense

Here at Gallup, each morning we anxiously await the results of our nightly tracking for various reasons, but no reason is greater than to see where President Obama's approval rating stands. We know this number brings tens of thousands of visitors to our site each day.

In late August, after Obama's approval rating slipped to 52% for the first time, we set the stage for the possibility that his approval rating would slip below 50% in our story Presidential Approval Usually Falls Below 50%; Timing Varies.

In the days following, Obama slipped to 50% for a four-day stretch. Since then, despite Obama's visible presence in the tense healthcare debate, a nationally televised address to Congress, and a deliberate push in the national media, his approval rating remained fairly steady, in the low 50s and above 50%.

In today's daily average, President Obama again finds himself at 51%, as so many wait for movement in one direction or another. On, we update Obama's approval rating every day at 1pET. We join our visitors in waiting to see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Way Out in Front on Health Insurance Data and More

Making headlines this week are the results of the U.S. Census Bureau's annual American community survey, which reveals, among other things, that Massachusetts has the lowest percentage of residents without health insurance while Texas has the highest.

Now, compare this to Gallup's Aug. 19, 2009 story: Uninsured: Highest Percentage in Texas, Lowest in Mass. Not only is Gallup way out in front on these findings, but our data are based on 2009 surveys, while the Census data are based on 2008 surveys.

Health insurance rates are just one of dozens of items Gallup tracks daily as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The items are categorized into six sub-indexes that together measure overall well-being. The health insurance data, for example, are part of the
Basic Access Sub-Index, which tracks a total of 13 questions gauging access to basic needs optimal for a healthy life. Here are the best and worst performers on each of those measures, from Gallup's August report on basic access.

The above data are from 178,545 surveys conducted between January and June 2009. By the end of the year, we'll have double that many surveys and will be able to update the results not only by state, but also by congressional district. Again, our data will be far out in front of anything else that is out there.

In the meantime, stay on top of our most recent well-being discoveries, in addition to the complete "State of the States, Midyear 2009" series.

You can also read more recent insights about our data from the The New York Times Economix blog and at The Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama Approval Watch Post-Speech

In today's Washington Post, Dan Balz says, "Obama almost certainly will get a boost in the polls from Wednesday's speech."

Our Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval graph is one place to watch for this; starting with tomorrow's report and particularly Sunday's numbers, which will include three days of surveying after the speech.

But to see if Obama gains among particular groups -- independents or seniors, for example -- bookmark our politics page where we update Obama's approval rating by demographic group each Tuesday, based on surveying from the week prior.

You can also download the complete weekly trend on each demographic group going back to Obama's first week in office.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ahead-Of-The-Curve Economic Indicators

While Gallup may be best-known for its election polls, what we are most excited to share with the world these days is our daily economic tracking. Since we started our daily tracking in January 2008, we have been able to monitor to an unprecedented degree the ups and downs in Americans' views of the economy. Check out any of our three key measures -- economic confidence, job creation, and consumer spending -- and you will see precisely when and how the economic collapse hit home for every day Americans. While we have seen glimpses of positive momentum, it is clear we have a long way to go to get back to where we were.

To help you understand these numbers, our Chief Economist Dennis Jacobe provides a weekly summary each Tuesday morning, reflecting on what we saw the previous week and what it signals for the coming week. In this week's report, he reveals a sharp slide in job creation over the past week and the extent to which consumer confidence continues remains decoupled from consumer spending.

Since we conduct surveys daily, our data are far ahead of the other economic statistics available. We can often tell you what these reports are likely to say long before it's headline news. In some cases, we can see that a trend being reported is already being reversed. Based on our data from last week, Jacobe predicts that jobless claims this week will exceed the consensus forecast. He also cautions against reading too much into the preliminary consumer sentiment report due out on Friday, since our data show spending down in September as compared to August.

Of course, since we know many of you can't get enough of President Obama's approval numbers -- and he is, in fact, in charge of the U.S. economy -- we overlay his approval rating with our economic measures on our homepage every day. Just like Gallup is a must-visit site for anyone tracking the Obama presidency, it is a must-visit site for anyone seeking an accurate gauge of where the economy really stands.

Getting Nowhere Fast

We kicked off the week here at Gallup with our update on Americans' views about healthcare reform. It appears all of the speeches, town hall meetings, debating, and punditry have swayed almost no one. President Obama clearly has his work cut out for him Wednesday night.

What's more, 64% of Americans say how their representative votes on healthcare will be a major factor in their vote for Congress next year. See what The Fix, Politico, The Gaggle, and The Daily Dish have to say about these findings.

Breaking News Before It Breaks

After months in development, Gallup blogs are here. In his blog Polling Matters, my esteemed colleague Frank Newport will provide the best public opinion insights and analyses available anywhere. This blog has a different purpose. In The Queue, I will provide behind-the-scenes insights on what is happening in the Gallup newsroom and what is coming up on It's breaking news before it breaks.

Avid readers of already know that Gallup polls 1,000 Americans every single night. We ask them how Barack Obama is doing as president. We ask them about their views on the economy. We ask them about their jobs and their employers. We ask them about their health and well-being. We update the results every single day.

On top of that, we provide empirical evidence on the day-to-day issues facing the nation and the world. Whether measuring views on healthcare reform, the economic stimulus package, or worry about swine flu, our surveys provide a scientific measure of the reality on the ground. It's behavioral economic data -- the kind that tell you how the world really is, rather than how you might wish or expect it to be.

As the managing editor of, I know what's coming well before you see it. I know what questions we're asking, what discoveries we are making, and when you'll likely see results. The goal of this blog is to tell you what's coming before it's on our site, so you'll be ready to put that intelligence to work.

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