What You Talk About…It Matters

August 19th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

These two figures seem worth thinking about in tandem.

The first is from Google Trends—it’s the volume index for searches on the words “debt ceiling.”  (I wanted to use the media mentions data but couldn’t download it—but it looks just like this.)

Source: Goggle Trends

The second is the recent Gallup result that only 26% approve of how the President is handling the economy. 

Source: Gallup

I believe these two trends are related.  Note that the big hump in Figure 1 comes right before the tanking of the last bar in Figure 2.  The July debt-ceiling debacle did serious damage to the public’s opinion of just about every policy maker in this town.

I also don’t think that this extremely low approval rating will stick.  In fact, I raise it here because I believe that if the President continues his hard pivot toward jobs and away from debt ceilings, budget baselines, and debt-to-GDP ratios, you will see that rating rise significantly. 

So I’m offering a testable hypothesis.  Let’s see what happens.

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5 comments in reply to "What You Talk About…It Matters"

  1. Carol says:

    Is it fair to say, then, that the converse is true? If he continues on his debt path, and especially his cut the social programs path, his ratings will remain low or fall even farther?

  2. foosion says:

    Preserving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are excellent policy and poll very well, north of 66% across the political spectrum. Raising taxes on high income earners is also good policy and polls almost as well. If he includes these, I agree.

    If he wants to “reform entitlements” I don’t believe he’ll do as well.

    Jobs is vital, but he has to go big. Trade agreements and patent reform won’t do it.

    We shall see.

  3. Ken Houghton says:

    “if the President continues his hard pivot toward jobs and away from debt ceilings, budget baselines, and debt-to-GDP ratios, you will see that rating rise significantly.”

    I thought you said it was a testable hypothesis. A man whose idea of a jobs program is subsidizing North Korea and whose bold idea is that he’s going to have bankrupt financial institutions “partner” with the U.S. “we can get long-term money for less than nothing” Government on “infrastructure investment”–read: socialize the losses, privatize the profits from the start–will start doing that when Wilbur, Porky, Hen Wen, and their similarly-genetic buddies attain cruising altitude over Owings Mills in their approach to Dulles.

    We all wish you had a former boss who would make it a testable hypothesis, but instead of being the son of Jor-El, he’s still the guy who sits in the corner with his tail between his legs when McCain and Lieberman tell him to shut up.

    (Strange contrast: Barry refuses to lead; the pitch in favor of Rick Perry is that he follows the orders of his constituents instead of doing what he believes. He really could lock up the Republican nomination if he wanted it.)

  4. joe says:

    “handing of the economy” merely means “has he cleaned up the mess made by Republicans” so don’t know what impact it will have on this election, especially when Perry is the likely nominee.

  5. David says:

    In logic, the proposition “if A then B” is automatically true whenever condition A is false. I think that is what will happen here.