Sunday, April 19, 2009

Of Limbaugh and Hannity and Obama

The Beck-Hannity-Limbaugh-Etc. group have been pounding Obama for a few weeks now. If they're not crying (Beck) they're calling Obama socialist (Hannity) or they're simply suggesting it may be the end of the world (Beck again, cleverly made fun of by Colbert here and then here, watch them in order. Hilarious).

That's fine and good. Let 'em talk, it's all part of the joy of American democracy that anyone with an asshole and an opinion can use both, though hopefully in public only the latter. But you'd think these guys would be having some kind of effect. Nope. Not yet. At least not in mainstream America.

The traditional president favorability ratings show a slight uptick in Obama's numbers. Latest, 69 percent Favorable, up from 68 (but within the margin of error, for the methodologically minded among you). Obama's high is 77 percent, back at inauguration. That's a ceiling effect and the prez rarely climbs back to that point except in dire, extraordinary times like a 9/11.

Given the economy, given two wars, given the nutjob in North Korea and the vehemence of the political right, you'd think these numbers would edge down more. I would've predicted low 60s, maybe even 50s.

Even Obama's "unfavorable" numbers have inched down, opposite of what you might expect given the ideological and partisan pounding he's taking. Post tea party numbers should drive Obama's favorability down, if there's any traction in a largely symbolic and somewhat under performing pr event. Maybe the traction will take a week or two to be seen, so we'll check again. But what people know right now seems to be a generally favorable impression of Obama, even in these ugly economic times. Remarkable.

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