Barack Obama's Approval Rating Blinded Democrats (And Most Everyone Else) to Reality

He's a popular president, but most people said the country was on the wrong track and that's the key to understanding how Clinton lost.

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MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA/Newscom

Barring some major collapse over the next two months, President Barack Obama is likely to leave office with a higher approval rating than president-elect Donald Trump will enjoy on Inauguration Day.

On Election Day, Obama's approval rating sat at 56 percent, according to Gallup. He's been well above 50 percent for most of the past year.

As indicators for the outcome of elections go, that's supposed to be a pretty good one. Even as other signs pointed to an electorate that was unhappy—angry, even—at the status quo, at the political establishment, and at Washington, D.C., Obama's approval rating seemed to defy gravity and suggested that voters would support giving him a metaphorical "third term" in the form of Hillary Clinton.

We now know, of course, that it didn't work out that way.

Obama's sunny approval ratings are disconnected from how Americans feel about their government. According to the Real Clear Politics average, only 31 percent of Americans went into voting booths on Tuesday believing the country was on the right track—and that's actually a sunnier outlook than the electorate had earlier this year—a number that historically jives with voters tossing the president's party out of power.

Both major parties are to blame for Americans' pessimism, as both have done their fair share when it comes to driving up the debt, engaging in pointless foreign wars, and tying the economy in red tape.

One way to understand the outcome of the 2016 election, then, is as a distinction between the personality of Barack Obama and the policies of the federal government.

Polling guru Nate Silver identified that gap back in July. "We think the country is going to hell BUT we sorta like that Obama guy," is how he put it in a FiveThirtyEight chat on July 27. He warned at the time that presidential approval ratings are only "somewhat predictive" when the president isn't running for re-election (none of that stopped FiveThirtyEight, like pretty much everyone else, from predicting a Clinton win).

Clinton's team apparently didn't understand that distinction, and that warped perception of the race likely played a role in some of the questionable decisions they made in the final weeks before the election. Why was she spending time in Arizona during the final 10 days of the campaign instead of making a trip to Wisconsin (she didn't make a single post-convention campaign stop in Wisconsin), a state that was far more likely to influence the final outcome?

The only answer is that her campaign team believed they had an impenetrable "blue wall" and shifted their focus away from merely winning the election to trying to "expand the map." An easy Clinton win that turned Arizona blue—or came close to doing so—would play perfectly into a media narrative about Republicans losing their grip on traditionally red states with large Hispanic populations and the Clinton team wanted that narrative to be part of their perceived national mandate.

But she had no national mandate. She was an unpopular candidate promising to maintain the status quo of unpopular policies. No wonder people didn't flock to the polls to elect her.

The numbers are striking. Obama got more than 69 million votes nationally in 2008 (the most ever by a presidential candidate) and 65 million when he won re-election in 2012. Clinton managed just over 60 million votes on Election Day 2016, a 14 percent decline from what Obama got in 2008, despite an electorate that supposedly has grown more Democrat-friendly over the past eight years.

Trump will end up just north of 60 million votes, almost an identical total to what Romney got in 2012 and McCain got in 2008. If Trump grew the Republican Party at all, he did so at the expense of driving other GOP voters away (for good reason).

As Elizabeth Nolan Brown observed earlier this week, Trump won the election mostly because Clinton lost it.

The election ultimately was decided by six states—Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—that flipped from blue in 2012 to red in 2016.

In five of those six states, Clinton fell short of Obama's 2012 vote total. Only in Florida did she outperform him. (A small percentage of votes are still being counted, but over 99 percent of precincts have reported in these six states)

Eric Boehm (Vote totals from Politico)

Meanwhile, Trump outperformed Romney in all six swing states, but not by much.

Here's the real kicker for Democrats: compare Trump's column in the chart above with Obama's column. Clinton didn't have to grow the party at all. If she had merely maintained the same level of support enjoyed by Obama in each of those six states, she would have won five of them (Trump would have taken Florida) and would be president-elect.

Indeed, one of the few places where Clinton soundly outperformed Obama's 2012 vote totals was in Manhattan—cue Bernie Sanders' fans shouting "I told you so."

How to explain the disconnect between Obama's approval and the electorate's ongoing pessimism about the direction of the country? Perhaps Obama is a uniquely likeable politician in an age when we don't like many politicians. Maybe he benefitted from appearing to be above the partisan mudslinging of the nastiest campaign in recent American history. Maybe the role of the president as our celebrity-in-chief (something that predates Obama but a role that he embraced, and one Trump surely will too) creates a cognitive dissonance between voters' feelings about the singular person and the broader direction of the government.

Regardless, voters don't seem inclined to believe the idea of a metaphorical "third term" when they don't like the candidate being offered. Since the end of World War II, only Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton, in 1960 and 2000, respectively, held higher approval ratings at their end of their terms than Obama does currently. Despite those high ratings, both Eisenhower and Clinton watched the opposite party capture the White House in close races.

Obama's high approval rating might have created a blind spot for the media, pollsters, and—most significantly of all—Hillary Clinton's campaign team. The country still likes Obama. That's not the same as liking the status quo.

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109 responses to “Barack Obama's Approval Rating Blinded Democrats (And Most Everyone Else) to Reality

  1. Of course I like our black president, why wouldn’t I?

    1. You got it in one.

      I’m still told by my proggies that the reason I oppose the big O is racism. When I list out the actual reasons, they get this confused look and go somewhere else.

      1. it’s because they are not capable of reasoned arguments. They probably think they are really smart, because that’s what the Daily Show told them. All they have is to fall back on name calling

        1. My best friend’s sister makes $95 an hour on the internet.. She has been out of a job for six months but last month her check was $14750 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go this website and click tech tab to start your work… http://tinyurl.com/z9cxh6t

        2. My best friend’s sister makes $95 an hour on the internet.. She has been out of a job for six months but last month her check was $14750 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go this website and click tech tab to start your work… http://tinyurl.com/z9cxh6t

      2. A bigot is defined as “a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions”.

        Most progressives are bigots. In the progressive model of sociology, everybody is a bigot, except of course for progressives.

        1. They are not “progressive”, they are regressive. “Progressive” is a positive word the Leftists hide behind to mask what they really are. Don’t help them hide, unmask them by calling them what they really are.

          1. “Progressive” is a positive word the Leftists hide behind

            Come on, didn’t you pay attention in public relations 101? Or 1984? That’s not a leftist thing, it’s a propaganda and advertising thing. “Light” meals aren’t actually light. “Christian conservatives” are neither Christian nor conservative. Minitruth isn’t about truth. Etc. Get it?

    2. R U not a racist for defining him by his pigment? He is not “our black president,” but “our president.” (& see Daniel 4:17 on him, as well as on Trump). I don’t believe these approval polls because I don’t believe that pollsters prevent illegal aliens from participation — how can they limit the approval to citizens? I don’t think they even claim that the approval rating is a rating made by citizens.

      How are people going to be voting for Trump when they approve of Obama? But I wud not be surprised to learn that millions of those who voted for Hillary were illegal aliens. The Republicans simply have to stop illegals from voting or the Republicans will be out of office.

  2. Obama also receives a good amount of cover from the media. For example, the mess in Syria/Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya will receive a different level of coverage when ‘ol Trump takes office.

    “HOW DARE YOU GOLF WHILE OUR MEN AND WOMEN ARE FIGHTING!?!?!?!?!?!?”

    1. Yes, I can’t wait until the media does a complete 180 on Obama’s Trump’s foreign policy.

    2. I fully expect a return to the breathless coverage of how many soldiers died in the last hour over in Iraq that magically disappeared from the News the second Dear Leader was elected. I imagine many commenters around these parts could be too young to recall this, but it was the most obvious 180 in media sentiment I think I’ve ever seen. It was then I realized the way that the next 8 years would play out, and I’m sorry to say I was correct.

      1. Remember when Stewart and Colbert were doing their SuperPac shtick right up until Obama embraced them?

        1. Yeah, there’s an entire generation out there who use guys like Stewart and Colbert as their honest-to-god primary news source. That’s ludicrous no matter which way you cut it. It’s right up there with people attributing things that Tina Fey said while mocking Palin to Palin herself. One can not under estimate the stupidity of these types.

          1. The stupidy would be acceptable. Its utterly toxic when mixed with their unbearable smugness.

            1. Agreed. There was actually a fascinating article over at Vox a while back where a liberal was actually calling out the left on how toxic their smugness has become. You know when even Vox Liberals see it, that it’s visible from space.

        2. Rather than complain about it, we need more funny libertarians and conservatives.

          1. Relative to the small number of Libertarians, I’d say we have plenty of funny Libertarians. Penn Jillette, Drew Carey, PJ O’Rourke, just to name a few. Funny conservatives… cue the crickets.

    3. “HOW DARE YOU GOOF & HAVE OUR MEN DIE FOR NOTHING?”

      “AND WOMEN”? Do u think that our nation can win wars fought by women & sodomists? Do u think our nation can have a powerful army when its money is spent giving benefits to sodomist “married” partners? & BTW, the nation was already unable to provide Social Security & Medicare benefits to the entitled before it launched out on a new entitlement program of health care? From where will Trump get the money to improve the military? After we try to stop the Chinese from dumping goods in the USA & driving our factories out of production, will they lend the USA money? & how much can you borrow before default or rampant inflation?

  3. Of course people approve of him. The same pollsters who told me trump would lose told me so.

    1. This. They have to be right on this poll!

    2. I believe people approve of him the same way as when that asshole in your office finally gets fired. Everyone tells them, “I hate to see you go”, “this place won’t be the same without you”, etc, while deep down inside everyone thinks, “Damn, I’m glad that dick is finally gone. Maybe now we can get something done”.

  4. Biden got it right “””””I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.””””

  5. Of course he is popular. As Joe Biden said, he is a clean African-American. Clean leads to popularity.

    1. Clean leads to popularity.

      Not in my experience. I mean, i shower once, twice a week, and my approval rating among American voters is in the low single digits. It’s not fair.

      1. Try the Dolezal method – perm that hair and hit the tanning salon – hard, and you can pull 90 percent of the African American vote. Hell, your name even suggests Malcom X, you’ll be a sure thing in the urban areas.

        1. I don’t trust city vote counts. Methinks that there is a lot of intimidation in cities to vote democrat, particularly in black neighborhoods & polling places: Acorn & Black Panther agents as well as peer pressure

  6. How to explain the disconnect between Obama’s approval and the electorate’s ongoing pessimism about the direction of the country? Perhaps Obama is a uniquely likeable politician in an age when we don’t like many politicians.

    Maybe people lie because they’re terrified of saying the wrong thing.

    1. “Maybe people lie because they’re terrified of saying the wrong thing.”

      Turns out yesterday’s ‘student protest’ in SF was largely organized by the teachers. If you’re a kid in one of those classes; what did you learn yesterday?
      ‘If you don’t hold the majority opinion, shut up’

    2. One explanation is that the approval rating is by illegals.

  7. Wow, so there are actually some dopes out there who still believe polls from the JournoList?

    Listen you fool, those polls showing Obama is so popular are just as completely and totally full of crap as all the ones that showed Hillary was going to win the election!

  8. He’s a popular president ….. To hate maybe.

    Seriously, how thick is the stupid bubble you guys live in? Popular with who? The retarded? Sociopaths? Sjws?

    1. Actually, I recall (and I suppose I could go digging for it if requested) a lot of polls that show, percentage wise, that even when a large majority of Americans think Obama’s policies are bad or that he’s not doing a good job, there’s still a majority of Americans who like the President personally regardless.

      1. “I love it when self-righteous douchebags condescend to me!”

  9. Obama’s presidential rating only went up during this election process. It was below 50% before.

    People saw the candidates America got and realized that Obama at least seemed like a nice, charming fellow.

    That’s it. He literally did nothing during that time except campaign for Hillary.

  10. Hillary also looked terrible in comparison of the man she was trying to replace. And it didn’t help that the two camps did not get along and it showed even as he shilled for her.

    Maybe Obama will take all that early goodwill and reschedule weed on his way out the door.

    1. It would be good for his legacy, especially long term. And the tea leaves on the subject aren’t that hard to read. He’ll probably miss it though.

      1. The guy’s just going to go back to Hawaii and hook back up with the Choom Gang, so it would probably behoove him to reschedule before leaving. Not that a former President would ever need to worry about being prosecuted for such a lowly crime.

    2. To what point. Trump can, and probably would, undo it “on day one”.

    3. Maybe Obama will take all that early goodwill and reschedule weed on his way out the door.

      If he pardoned snowden, i’d actually forgive about half his awful shit

      but it will never happen.

      1. Even if he were to pardon Snowden, Obama has expanded the power of the presidency to allow Trump to assassinate Snowden.

  11. Trump offered to punish those evil companies that were taking your jobs abroad. The Dems were so used to fighting without having to worry about a left cross coming from their opponents that they dropped their hand. Trump floored her with it.

  12. No one wants to respond in a poll that they think the first Black President is a monumental failure in every respect. The fact that there’s no discernible difference between him and George W. Bush is all you should need to point at to realize that there’s massive distortion in Barak’s approval ratings.

    Duh, McFly!

  13. It’s almost as if those poll results were as manufactured as the ones showing Clinton DESTROYING Trump.

    1. NBC has finally moved Ohio to toss up.

  14. On the “why is Obama popular when everyone thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction” pile you can add Obama’s strategy of keeping his fingerprints off of his actions, and the active support of the media in this effort.

    He never really used his personal political capitol to get the American people behind him on any of his initiatives. He never fought for a budget. He never really bothered to make a case for war in Libya or Syria. He didn’t even take that much of a leading role in passing healthcare reform, beyond issuing some platitudes about how great it was going to be.

    He ran as a Rorschach test candidate, and to a large degree he kept it up in office. The one notable exception was healthcare reform, where despite not taking a leading role in shaping the bill, he did jump in front of the parade at the end and proudly trumpeted his accomplishment after it was passed. And he got socked with the negatives that followed. I think he learned his lesson. Just keep blaming the opposition and do what you can without having to take it to the people.

    When that happened, he got back to being president platitude and all was well again. People like the Beer Summit President. Not the incompetent, run the economy into the ground while abdicating your responsibility to submit and pass a budget and doubling the national debt president.

    1. Exactly. Obama has done a masterful job of convincing the media and a large segment of the population that he’s just a bystander in his own administration.

      He meant well and wanted us to do better, but gosh darn it, forces beyond his control like the Republican Party and foreign events conspired against him. What can ya do?

  15. I’ll put it in sportsball terms: I personally admire and respect a great player like Buster Posey. But I’m also a Dodger fan and hate the Giants so I’m not going to root for them as a team.

    Same dynamic for a lot of independent voters and soft Democrats: they like Obama as an individual who’s good at the media portion of his job, didn’t like the rest of Team Blue.

  16. “As indicators for the outcome of elections go, that’s supposed to be a pretty good one.”

    No, not really.

    I’m getting more partial to this indicator, which has been more than 86% accurate in predicting which party will win in Presidential elections:

    “Historically, the market performance in the three months leading up to a Presidential Election has displayed an uncanny ability to forecast who will win the White House? the incumbent party or the challenger. Since 1928, there have been 22 Presidential Elections. In 14 of them, the S&P 500 climbed during the three months preceding election day. The incumbent President or party won in 12 of those 14 instances. However, in 7 of the 8 elections where the S&P 500 fell over that three month period, the incumbent party lost.

    There are only three exceptions to this correlation: 1956, 1968, and 1980. Statistically, the market has an 86.4% success rate in forecasting the election!

    —-Zero Hedge

    http://tinyurl.com/htgv38j

    1. For those of you who aren’t aware, the S&P 500 fell more than 4% in the three months leading up to the Trump election.

    2. Correlation is not causation, with a side of Texas sharpshooter fallacy.

      The S&P being way up almost always means an economic boom is in progress, and being way down almost always means a recession is in progress. That’s what caused a lot of those elections to go in favor of or against the incumbent.

      When the changes were smaller, it’s likely a matter of Texas sharpshooter, the fact that any set of data will appear to have some pattern just by coincidence, and the pattern suggested is convoluted enough that it may be such a coincidental pattern.

      Note that in two of those elections that were predicted correctly, the winner of the election lost the popular vote. So the S&P is actually able to finely predict the electoral vote even when the popular vote is opposite?

      1. Correlation does mean causation when causation for the correlation can be established, and consumer confidence, a healthcare system hurting because of ObamaCare, financial regulation, labor force non-participation, etc., are all reflected in the performance of the S&P 500.

        Are you arguing that things like consumer confidence aren’t correlated with the performance of the S&P 500?

        I was making fun of this as a leading indicator myself before the election, but given that it correctly predicted yet another election–even when pollsters like Silver were giving Hillary a 75% chance of winning?

        I can be persuaded by empirical evidence.

        P.S. 1968 and 1980 were years either going into a recession or recession years, which means voter concerns about the greater economy may have overwhelmed a dead cat bounce three months before the election.

        I see only one significant outlier.

        1. ken, stock market “patterns” which rely on data going back to the 1920s are all pretty much bullshit.

          The stock market from 1999 to now? is not the same thing as the stock market 1960-1980, which was not the same thing as the stock market of the 1930s.

          The differences in components of the indexes, the participants in the markets, the volume and speed of trading, etc…. just turns any claims of ‘historical validity’ into so much numerology.

          There are obviously some stock market patterns which are consistent over time (e.g. like seasonality), but generally when people need to reach back into the first half of the 20th century for their argument to sound valid? its just some bullshit. i’ve read dozens of these arguments about market-behavior and political cycles, and very few of them really hold up to any scrutiny.

          1. Consumer confidence–as just one example–remains the same.

          2. Try to imagine making the argument from the other side.

            Imagine arguing that consumer confidence dropping in the three months before an election is in no way a leading indicator of how voters may view the incumbent party.

            That argument isn’t supported by the data or simple logic.

            “The confidence of Americans in the U.S. economy fell in October to a three-month low just ahead of the presidential election, with more consumers saying that jobs are a bit harder to find.”

            http://www.marketwatch.com/sto…..2016-10-25

            The S&P 500 weights other factors, too. I’m just giving one example.

            And this analysis doesn’t preclude any of the other explanations we’ve been talking about. Some of them may be directly related–like ObamaCare hurting health sector stocks, like people thinking, “hmmm, Hillary means more of the same?”

            But people also rationalize their feelings in various ways. When they’re worried about the economy or their jobs, they may be even more sensitive to being denounced as a deplorable racist for being white and supporting Trump.

            Maybe people are willing to put up with more bullshit when they think things are going well. When they get worried, that tolerance for shitty behavior goes out the window.

            1. If this is the case, the point isn’t really that the S&P is correlated, it’s that consumer confidence is causative. You are pushing out to a second-tier correlation when you don’t have to do so.

              1. I’m saying that consumer confidence is one example of something that would have an impact on earnings in the S&P 500–just to show how that might be a leading indicator.

                There are other things like consumer confidence that impact the S&P 500, too.

                Foreclosures might be more of an issue in some election cycles.

                Maybe inflation is a big problem in other election cycles.

                We’re talking about forces that drive consumer behavior in terms of how it impacts corporate earnings and the kinds of multiples the markets give those earnings based on various factors.

                Consumer confidence is just one example of something that drives consumer behavior, expectations, etc. The idea that anything that impacts consumer behavior so much that it impacts a three month trend in the S&P 500 is also likely to have an impact on voters doesn’t seem far fetched to me.

                Voters are also consumers.

      2. Correlation is not causation.

        He didn’t claim “causation”, he claimed that it is an indicator.

        That’s what caused a lot of those elections to go in favor of or against the incumbent.

        And that’s a reasonably hypothesis.

        with a side of Texas sharpshooter fallacy

        You suffer from the “fallacy fallacy”, with a side of ignorance.

  17. The thinking is that a rising stock market in the months leading up to an election is indicative of confidence in the economy and a falling stock market is a result of deteriorating confidence. A falling stock market isn’t just about investor confidence either–it also takes into account things like falling revenue projections by retailers because of deteriorating consumer confidence. It picks up myriad other factors, too. For instance, if the healthcare portion of the S is down because those stocks are bleeding money because of the ObamaCare exchanges, that might not be unrelated to perceptions about the incumbent’s party and the voter’s desire to perpetuate that party’s control of the White House.

  18. I think there’s not much value post-mortem bean-counting in this particular election. Meaning = sifting through all the wreckage of the plane-crash won’t tell you anything that you couldn’t find out much easier just by “asking someone who saw it happen”.

    The NYT ran one of these stories yesterday, acting like “If Only Hillary Had Done X, Y, and Z, History Would Be Different”… when i don’t think there’s any actual proof that the microdetails of campaign-activity would have changed anything.

    Would a few days in Wisconsin helped rally support? Or would it just have reminded people what a shitty person she really is? You have to pile up all these assumptions about how ‘campaigning’ produces predictable results despite the fact that the campaign she ran was ill conceived from the start.

    Everything the Dems did was either preaching to the choir, or calling everyone else unworthy heathens. You don’t win votes like that.

    They crafted a message for the millenial-twitter-mob, and assumed it was supposed to work on Midwestern Union members. And no one ever stood up and said, “Wait, this is stupid”

  19. The fact remains that the election was decided in part by people who voted Obama but rejected Hillary.

    Of course, we’ll still be told that Hillary lost because white voters are racists.

    1. I guess the white supremacists were tired of concealing their racism for eight years and wanted to take it out on Hillary?

      /sarc

      1. That’s the real kicker, isn’t it? Sure they’ll be some derp-filled rant why that isn’t the case.

      2. In a close election, there are many different things that could have made a difference.

        Talking about specific aspects relative to their causes makes sense.

        Why was voter turnout so low? A higher voter turn out would have won it for Hillary. I’d blame that on her corruption problems and the fact that blacks didn’t turn out for Hillary like they turned out to vote for the first black President ever.

        That being said, the biggest factor (unfortunately, in my view) wasn’t Hillary’s corruption. I think the Democrats and progressive are trying to blame it on Hillary’s ethical problems, sexism against Hillary, etc. because they don’t want to face up to the fact of why so many middle class whites are abandoning the Democratic Party.

      3. It isn’t only that middle class whites are sick of being demonized by the progressive elitists who run the Democratic Party (with Hillary and her “deplorables” comment being a great example). It’s also that in focusing on the interests of Black Lives Matter, feminists, Muslims, illegal aliens, radical environmentalists, et. al., they have nothing much to offer the white, blue collar, middle class.

        What was the slogan Bill Clinton put on his desk, “It’s the Economy, Stupid!”?

        If the Democrats have nothing to offer them in terms of the economy, then why should blue collar whites in the Midwest vote for an elitist country club for Black Lives Matter, feminists, Muslims, illegal aliens, and radical environmentalists–a country club that actively projects hate towards them?

        The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind.

        The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

        1. No one seems to see the massive logical disconnect in blaming Christians for this or that while championing another fundamentalist faith with many similarities. Whatever, these fools have no issue in attacking pacifist religions because it’s relatively safe to do so (And yes, I’m fully aware that Christians aren’t always pacifist at all. Read: IRA, early Catholic history, etc.) I don’t think any of them are willing to criticize Muslim’s for some of their more fundamentalist beliefs because it might cause real violence instead of the make believe kind.

          It’s not proof of anything in particular, but it does illustrate that the left doesn’t really care about any particular issue of substance. They’re just looking for more minorities to add to their reservation by and large. If they were consistent in their attacks on belief it would be one thing, but their pick-and-choose approach to religion is worse than a consistent approach of secularism.

          1. The Democrats have mastered demographic hypocrisy.

            Black people voting for black president = historic
            White people voting for white president = racist

            Conservative Christians = dangerous fanatics
            Conservative Muslims = victims of Islamophobia

            Poor people who vote for them = noble and enlightened
            Poor people who vote against them = backwards and deplorable

          2. I think it’s that their leadership genuinely hates Christians for being homophobes, whites for being racists, blue collar workers for being stupid on climate change, etc.

            And I think their leadership can’t stop doing that because that’s integral to whom they are as progressives and social justice warriors.

            I’ve said before that there are plenty of environmentalists who would rather destroy the environment if saving it meant embracing free market capitalist solutions, and I think it’s the same way with progressives and social justice warriors . . .

            If winning elections means they have to stop hating the white, blue collar, middle class, then they’d rather lose elections.

            If the Democrats want to be competitive in the future, they’ll need to run an end around their own progressive, social justice warrior leadership–or replace it. But as the Democrats become more and more scarce outside of their strongholds on the coasts, they’re going to find that harder and harder to do.

            1. Actually, I don’t think the leadership really believes that shit. Don’t get me wrong, they are condescending elitists of the highest order, but the words coming out of their mouths to their base are insincere. We know this was true of Clinton, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true of other prominent DNC and left-wing leaders. The “leadership” is full of political opportunists and other aspirational charlatans.

              The problem is that, if they appeal to a hateful 20% of the population, and get another 20% automatically just because “party of science” and the like, but alienate the middle 20% who comprise the “swing vote”, then they are not going to win national elections unless the Republicans and/or right-wing organizations fuck up (which they will, but often enough for the Democrats to depend on).

              1. NOT often enough

    2. The same racists voted for McCain.

      Hil-dog just didn’t work for millions of Obama voters.

      1. Tears. Delicious.

        1. Salty but also sweet

    3. Of course, we’ll still be told that Hillary lost because white voters are racists.

      As clearly demonstrated that they voted for the black dude, but against the ultra-wealthy privileged white bitch! /sarc

  20. Maybe he benefitted from appearing to be above the partisan mudslinging of the nastiest campaign in recent American history.

    lolwhut?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwaxlc11idE

  21. Stock market up over 100%, 14 million private sector jobs, 99% out of the Iraq clusterfuck, etc

    There is a lot to approve of.

    I know TEAM RED! sycophants don’t see it that way.

    1. Team Red sycophants – you mean voters?

    2. Don’t forget that the National Debt is literally over double what it was at the time he took office. You know, back when he said that spending trajectory was madness? Keep in mind that it’s double over what was spent since the founding of the United States, not just over what George W. spent.

      And as for jobs, you might want to look at the overall group of people who are no longer looking for work before you crow the successes of the Obama administration in ‘creating jobs’, which is ultimately just a fancy way of saying ‘expanded the regulatory state’ since that’s the only direct way the government can ‘create’ jobs. They can’t do a damn thing to create private sector jobs, unless those are jobs in some form of compliance with Federal guidelines. Unsurprisingly, Federal Guidelines have also massively expanded under Obama. Coincidence?

      I have a strong feeling there’s going to be a lot of ‘don’t you miss Obama’ in the next four years, but I’ll preemptively say that it would be pretty hard for Trump to be worse.

      1. Oh, and we really out of the Iraq clusterfuck or instead are we involved in even more clusterfucks? You decide, I guess, but it would appear that you only want to spout half-truth’s.

        1. We are a lot less committed in terms of troops and equipment than we were before. But a number of diplomatic and strategic missteps have put the Middle East and North Africa in worse shape. It is quite possible that Trump will just say “Fuck it, not our problem” (or not) but most other potential Presidents, including Hillary Clinton, would be strongly inclined to throw American blood and treasure into fixing it.

          And of course if you’re not solely and narrowly concerned with a myopic view of American interests, then you might also feel a little empathy for the people who’ve been fucked by our foreign policy.

          1. Feeling bad for them is great and all, and I do, but I bear no responsibility for it whatsoever. I merely point out that Obama’s been drone striking innocent people for 8 damn years, so whatever you want to imply Trump will do you’ll have a pretty damn high bar to clear to be worse. Maybe that’s why all the ‘tard’s are saying he’s going to nuke North Africa. That would be one of the few things that would actually be worse, but I think most sane humans realize that ain’t gonna happen.

        2. Oh, and we really out of the Iraq clusterfuck or instead are we involved in even more clusterfucks?

          Buttplug has an extremely shallow view of military intervention where as long as you’re not spending a trillion dollars and actually using thousands of ground troops it’s fine. So the Obama Administration can create a failed state and intervene in three different civil wars and it’s fine because NO BOOTS ON THE GROUND.

          Of course, an actually intelligent person recognizes how this creates long term instability and dependency on American involvement that ensures that in the long run the U.S. will have to constantly intervene and stick their dick into the hornet’s nest.

    3. At what cost?

      – Labor force participation rate is at a 40-year low
      – Interest rates are practically zero
      – The ratio of part-time to full-time jobs has increased
      – Most people have more unsecured debt than savings
      – A much higher percentage of most paychecks is being spent on health insurance and health care
      – Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan are materially worse off than they were in 2008
      – The national debt has doubled since 2008
      – The idea of running large structural deficits without a major war has become well established
      – The geographic distribution of those newly created jobs is very lopsided

      1. All debunked garbage.

        LFP is up due to retiring well off Boomers.

        The debt has double due to legacy (non-Obama) programs. The ACA has cut the deficit.

        Fuck the Middle East.

        all garbage I don’t want to debunk again

        1. All debunked garbage.

          And this is why you lost. You can’t piss on someone and tell them it’s raining. The Obama years were good for you, but not for a lot of people.

        2. Also, this is what a debunking looks like:

          The LFPR for people over 55 has remained constant since 2009 at about 40%. All of the loss in labor participation has come from people under 55, i.e. not retirees of any kind.

          Money is fungible. The debt has doubled due to spending a lot more than taking in. Tax revenues have trended upward since 2009, both in real dollars and as a percentage of GDP, yet the nominal deficit has remained almost constant at around $500 billion since 2011. All of those “legacy” programs that have contributed to the deficit have structural problems, yes, but it is things like the EITC, the Medicaid expansion, and the loosening of SSDI qualifications, which are all Obama/Democrat policies, that have driven the costs upward faster than revenues have increased.

          As for the middle east, it is good and fucked, so mission accomplished there.

          1. Note moreover that the over-55 LFPR is at a 40-year high. It is just laughable to say that the overall LFPR being at a 40-year low is due to retirees.

            1. What’s really going on is that Millennials simply aren’t getting hired, and with good reason.

              If you talk to a small businessman or H.R. department off the record, most of them will you that most of this generation of youth is basically unemployable. They tend to be spoiled, entitled little snowflakes who have done almost no real work in their lives, have zero work ethic, and almost no discipline or respect for authority.

              Like some wag joked about Marco Rubio, they barely even show up for work and think they deserve a promotion. Of course there are exceptions, but they’re just that: exceptions.

              1. What’s really going on is that Millennials simply aren’t getting hired, and with good reason.

                I’m sure that is part of it, but people in the 35-55 age group don’t qualify as millenials and have been of working age for 20+ years. Yet their LFPR is down, too.

              2. I’m sure that lumping all humans below an arbitrary date of birth into a lump category of undesirable fuck stains won’t come back to haunt the Boomers. Nope, no chance of that.

                As for Millenials being a bunch of ‘special snowflakes’ I think you’re full of shit. Literally every generation talks shit about the generation that comes after them, and no offense but Boomers fucked the world good and proper during their time at the helm and virtually our entire budgetary woes today can be traced back to them and the generation before them. Budgets don’t time travel.

                I’m in my early 30’s and know plenty of younger people who bust their asses at three jobs to make ends meet, but can’t find work in a stable profession because Boomers aren’t retiring since they saved precisely dick. I’m one of the lucky one’s, but it’s insulting to our intelligence to think that everyone below a certain cut off point is by definition retarded. No thanks. People are just people, and even if that generation is functionally retarded who’s fault is that?

                1. I am a “millenial” so take that for what it’s worth.

                  My age group is a mixed bag. Some have a solid work ethic. Some have a passable to decent work ethic but still expect a lot. A lot have a highy variable work ethic, working hard at first then slacking off as they stay in the job (and other variations). And some have little to no interest doing “hard” work (whether physically or intellectually taxing).

                  If such data could reliably be collected, it would be useful to look at the breakdown of attitudes about work and making money across the age cohorts.

                  That having been said, “boomers not retiring” is not the cause of under-55 unemployment. Yes, over-55s are making up a larger share of the workforce than 10-20 years ago. But they are also, generally, more expensive. Employers want to lower labor costs, not keep them high. That means there is pressure towards hiring younger works, not older ones. There have to be some countervailing factors at play if that is not the case as much as before.

                  1. It’s both true and untrue, averages and statistics can and will lie. Boomers retirement savings and investments took a massive hit a decade ago and many haven’t recovered. Many were laid off, and had a lot of problems getting back into the workforce and thus took lower salaries that would have been positions your generation would move into as they were promoted and many have stayed there.

                    It’s a lot of different factors playing together to make the entry working world a far less hospitable place than it was before the crash. You can’t point at one factor and say ‘that’s the one’, but rather most factors are at work against the Millennial generation at getting a meaningful foothold in the working world.

                    This is obviously not true across the board, but it’s true enough in general. Exploding education costs are also clearly a factor, as well as misinformation foisted upon them by their parents that it wouldn’t matter what their degree was in, it would secure a brighter future. This has never been more untrue than it is today and it indicates that the generation before you had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.

                    As things stand today, you would make more as a professional welder than you will with a Business undergrad degree without nepotism or some other mitigating factor and this was never explained to your generation. Probably because it was unexpected to the very people who set the stage for it.

                    1. kbolino & BYODB both make valid points. All I can say is I’ve known & worked with many millennials, some are Democrats and some don’t suck dick. What I would prefer is that we avoid any kind of government sponsored social engineering.

          2. You’re arguing with a leftist troll who doesn’t care about facts because they get in the way of his feelings.

    4. The campaign’s over, Dave Weigel. You and your fellow scumbags in the JournoList utterly failed in your mission. That means you lost, fuckface.

      Please do us all a favor and either kill or deport yourself. And if you don’t, at least I’ll be able to laugh at your dumb ass when your shitty book sells almost no copies.

    5. Stock market up over 100%, 14 million private sector jobs

      Unfortunately, that’s pretty poor performance by historical standards.

      99% out of the Iraq clusterfuck, etc

      Massive expansion of drone killings and surveillance, the opposite of campaign promises.

  22. It occurs to me that Obama is sort of an Orson Welles. Bloomed so fat that everyone declared him a genius, and success so young meant he had nowhere to rise after inauguration. He saw passing Obamacare as proof of his brilliance, just as Orson Welles let Citizen Kane got to his head, and everything after was a letdown. Citizen Kane shows up on a zillion lists as Best Movie Evar!!! but when most people just ignore it. Obamacare was a sea change alright, but only passed because of all the parliamentary tricks necessary, which he didn’t really have much to do with, and he also was aloof from the actual bill itself which shows in its stew of inconsistency.

    He won’t even be a good elder statesman, which I’m sure he thinks he will be, automatically. He’ll just coast and do wine commercials and play golf.

  23. “Barack Obama’s Approval Rating Blinded Democrats (And Most Everyone Else) to Reality
    He’s a popular president…”

    So we already know the election pollsters have been lying all along about their data and overweighting to skew the results to what they wanted the data to be rather than what it really was, and you, Boehm, actually beleive the polls are true about Odumbasses approval rating? You really are a sucker aren’t you? Apparently, you know it to and so you wrote your title to try and draw others in so you don’t look so alone and stupid. It isn’t working.

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  26. Isn’t this sort of analysis so much funner than “Republicans better get down with immigrants” articles that we would have gotten had Trump lost?

  27. The polls were wrong about who the people would vote for. In large part, probably, because a lot of them did not want to be shamed for their leanings. How many of them would also say that they liked Obama, when they really did not, because they did not want to be shamed?

    Polls have a lot more uncertainty than they let on. Especially on matters of politics or issues where what you say can have serious consequences. People don’t always tell the truth, especially when they know what the “right answer” should be.

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  32. The approval ratings of Obama could be polluted by illegal alien participation. Who knows how many persons who snuck into the USA without permission, both participate in approval polls, and vote illegally. The courts have thwarted state efforts to confine voting to citizens.

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