Rating Obama – Who do you want to believe?

POLL RESULTS

If you were watching ABC the other night, you may have seen Charlie Gibson smugly announcing the results of an ABC poll which showed 68% of Americans approved Obama's job performance to date. He was obviously very pleased by this. That didn't agree with my personal observations, so I thought I would do some research to see what this was all about.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll he referred to was conducted by TNS of Horsham, PA, by telephone Feb. 19-22, 2009, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults including both landline and cell phone-only respondents. No information was provided on the questions asked and how they were asked. These 1001 adults are then paraded as "America" by ABC.  Par for the course with ABC.

On the other hand, Fox News did a poll that showed that 60 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing as president, down from 65 percent three weeks ago (27-28 January 2009). Similarly, the portion of people that disapproves has increased to 26 percent, up from 16 percent.

A Gallup Poll reports that for the first time since Gallup began tracking Barack Obama's presidential job approval rating on Jan. 21, fewer than 60% of Americans approve of the job he is doing as president. February 24, 2009

These are results of polls where an organization contacts a supposedly random sample of people and hopefully asks them emotionally neutral questions in an effort to get unbiased answers.

What we don't know is whether these respondents are carefully selected to provide poll results that match the pollsters expectations. Furthermore, we don't know how much skin these respondents have in the game. At the very best, all we get is opinion and that is worth only as much as you agree with it.

REAL LIFE RATINGS

At the other end of the spectrum are the people who have their own money on the line. They vote every day with their money, putting it where they have confidence that it will cause them to prosper and removing it from situations that are risky.

People often say a lot of things they really think are true, but when it comes time to put their own money on the line their true feelings show through. Look at the following graph from AP and see for yourself how the actions of Obama and his administration are affecting investor confidence. Almost every company in which you own stock is following this trend.

IBD-market-graph-issues022309

Talk is cheap, so they say. Actions involving our money are probably a better indicator of our feelings about the future. I think the pork-filled stimulus package will be viewed as a major depressant to American businesses which create real jobs. The majority of jobs that I see being created are government jobs of one sort or other.

Investors Business Daily puts forth their take on it. "It looks like the U.S., which built the mightiest, most prosperous economy the world has ever known, is about to turn its back on the free-enterprise system that made it all possible."

Among the examples they give is this:

• Newsweek, a prominent national newsweekly, blares from its cover "We Are All Socialists Now," without a hint of recognition that socialism in its various forms has been repudiated by history — as communism's collapse in the USSR, Eastern Europe and China attest.

We are going to have a chance it seems to see if our values and ideas are up to the test. We all have a part in this going forward.

If you think that Obama is leading us in the right direction, you need to give him your full support.

On the other hand, if your experience leads you to believe that he and his administration is on a collision course with disaster, you need to support those who are working for saner safer solutions.

Sitting on the sidelines will not get us out of this current debacle. Constructive actions based on accurate data will pull us through.

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