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Final Draft

Chart showing President Obama's Approval numbers over his presidency, with a clear bump in January, when approval surpassed disapproval



With the 2012 elections just around the corner President Obama and his staff are working hard around the clock to raise the presidents approval ratings before the 2012 presidential elections. If you are not familiar with or haven’t been keeping up with the latest Gallup polls, in the past President Obama has not recently received a high approval rating since August of 2009. Where is approval to disapproval ratings were recorded at 61% approval to 30% disapproval this according to the Daily Gallup Poll Tracker “www.gallup.comAs of December 2010 Obama’s disapproval rating surpassed his approval ratings and have been neck and neck ever since. This could be an important factor when the 2012 presidential election rolls around. As for the month of January it was a pivotal time for change for President and his staff to start to gain headway with a positive approval rating. He and his staff did just that through hard work, good speeches such as the State of the Union Address, and with the way he handled the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona. January was a good month for President Obama, at least according to the latest Gallup polls taken from major news sources from around the country.  In the month of January, President Obama’s approval rating have went significantly higher from polls that have been taken in the past while his disapproval rating seem to be following the trend of slowly declining.

My partner and I have done some research on what could have influenced the recent changes in the polls. We also learned about what research’s think will happen if this trend continues and what they think will help President Obama in the future. We have closely examined and extracted crucial pieces of information that we believe cover the current event thoroughly but in such a way that you get two different aspects of the story. Our two main sources of information come from article’s we researched on the web. One article we used was from the (Pop and Politics) website which was written by Chris Weigant a political writer and blogger who wrote  “Big January Jump for President Obama’s Approval ratings.” .  We wanted to use this story from this website because we believed it was a more alternative form of media. For instance, it’s not a well-known news source compared to The New York Times, Fox News, or CNN.  The New York Times we believe is a more mainstream form media because a number of people read The New York Times. It is well established most of the authors have credential’s and it is known to be a very reliable source for news.  The second article was written by, John, Harwood called “ President, Rebounding, Gives Opponents Pause.” Politics. Jan 24: The New York Times. Web 20 Feb 2011.  Both articles had very important pieces of information within them, which we were able to use to help link them together. Yet with some of the same pieces of information the two articles seemed to be portraying two very different views as well.

The first article we wanted to examine was the article we used from the (Pop and Politics) website.  The history and demographics of the Pop and Politics website is to help young readers get and in-depth view of the 2010 midterm election by taking you “ into the heart of America at a time of high stakes and high anxiety.” (“Pop and Politics About”) The website was originally created by Farai, Chideya as a blog site where people could get an unconventional take on politics. The goal was to focus on a younger more diverse audience. Today, farai and her team of journalists work hard so that they can deliver breaking news when it happens so you the reader can stay informed and up to date on the latest news.

Chris Weigant the author of our first article gives us a brief glimpse at what President Obama has done which could have helped contribute to the recent turn around success he has seen in his approval and disapproval ratings. This article was very pro Obama and never seemed to really question or have any bias statements towards him unlike an article I found on the “Fox news station,” saying in October 2010 “President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped more than 18 points since taking office to an all-time low of 44.7 percent, according to a new Gallup poll” (Obama Approval Ratings lowest of Presidency) From there the article on Fox went on to be very negative saying they don’t think he deserves a second term in office due to his poor “seventh quarter approval ratings.” (“Obama Approval Ratings lowest of Presidency”).

As for the he article “Big January Jump for President Obama’s Approval ratings” it did a good job of legitimizing itself by having a graph, which showed the current Gallup poll which you can see at the top of the page. This was good because it showed that through the facts found in the article they were possibly having an influence on the American people. Second the article was full of facts, which were supported by one another in the text. I do believe that there could have been quotes from Obama himself or from other democratic representative’s this would have made the argument stronger and more legitimate.

The First point that I found to be interesting in the article was discussing the fact that “losing Congress in the 2010 midterm elections would actually be a good thing for President Obama.” (Big January Jump for President Obama’s Approval ratings). Anyone reading this would wonder how could losing a crucial asset such as congress be a good thing in terms of being re-elected? The article then goes into discussing now that the Democrats aren’t in power in congress they need to realize that “during an era of dominance of government is the constant feeling from their base that they are not doing enough” (Big January Jump for President Obama’s Approval ratings). Complacency cannot be tolerated nor do I think it will be for Obama and his staff.

Losing control of the House of Representatives does a few things for the President. First it gives him a Republican agenda to fight against. Up until now the Republicans in Congress were doing their best to simply obstruct whatever legislation they could manage. For example, undoing the health care bill, which has been a main focus in the media and also they wanted to further limit funding for abortion. This now gives the President an agenda that the White House can clearly oppose. This is a good thing for President Obama.  “The public can now compare President Obama’s legislative priorities, his leadership style, to that of Speaker Boehner and his party” (Big January Jump for President Obama’s Approval ratings).  Many people were unhappy as of late with how little President Obama was able to do, but the Republican agenda is probably extremely off-putting to many and this could work in Obama’s favor in many cases.  The article states that through the current agenda of the Republican party they will do a lot to active his base, which means it will give Obama and his staff clear objectives to fight against, in which he can rally people behind him in opposition of the Republican party.  This could be a huge factor and really help him sway some undecided voters. Also for the first two years of administration there were some serious divisions in the Democratic and Progressive movements mostly around the strategy of health care and the economy. Recently things have begun to change and it could be just in time.

The New York Times Article seemed to cover the story on more skeptical base. For instance, the article acknowledged the fact that Obama has rebounded from his recent struggles but will it last? It really looked at the story in a more realistic way than that of (Pop and Politics) which made it seem like everything for Obama would be ok from here on out.

“Mr. Obama’s recovery is not dramatic in magnitude, and may not last. What is notable is its rapidity”(President, Rebounding Gives Opponents Pause). This article focused more on his successes with dealing with the shooting’s in Tucson, Arizona. It also ties into former president Bill Clinton and how after a tragic event his popularity quickly rose again due to a widely praised response to the Oklahoma City bombing but soon after began to fade. Obama delivered a well-received message of unity to the American people that demonstrated “efficacy and empathy”. Once the applause for Obama’s speech fades, he will soon face the familiar scourges of slow recovery and high unemployment.

This article also differs from the one of (Pop and Politics) because it discusses how influential a good State of the Union speech could be for Obama and his future. The article was written a day before the speech so I found an article from the Washington Post discussing how The State of the Union Address went.  “President Obama called Tuesday for what aides describe as the most aggressive reorganization of the federal government in at least half a century, asking Congress for the authority to merge agencies and departments if necessary.”(“State of the Union 2011: Obama calls for reorganization of federal agencies”). Obama was able to deliver a powerful moving speech that outlined a plan to help the United Sates, but also acknowledge the need to reform the way our government does business in order to resolve our deficit.

With a solid State of the Union Address speech given and a clear plan of attack to help fix our economy. I believe that the information within the two articles only shows that Obama and his staff are heading in the right direction and with the Current Gallup poll’s proving that I don’t think there’s any way the democrats could go backwards.

In our book it discusses how journalist frame a story in order to persuade an audience. Well after reading each of these articles I can clearly see the differences in how each journalist framed their story differently. The Pop and Politics articles author seemed to frame the story to appeal to a more open minded group of people. for instance, the younger generation that maybe interested in the political race. The article was very pro Obama describing all the great things he has done over the past couple of  months. It framed the story to make readers think that Obama was heading in the right direction and there was no need to worry about he and his staff talking any steps backwards . The New York Times and the Fox News articles authors seem to have framed the story a little differently. These authors framed the story to persuade readers to take  reality into account. Everything may seem good for the time being but Obama still has work to do in order to turn things around for this economy. These article’s really seemed frame the story to make readers take the facts into account such as were still at war and in an economic crisis. Also i took into account that Fox News was pro Republican which is why their article maybe so one sided. while the New York Times article did bash Obama but also took into account the positives.This could be because they want to remain a neutral source for news so that they can appeal to a wide audience by sating the pro’s and the cons. With each story that is told the journalist that covers it has there own way of framing it which gives the article a voice  that the reader can follow and either listen to it or disagree with it. I think having so many news stations and  news sources available make it hard for a person to actually find a neutral source for news because each story seem to framed either one way or another.

Alex Tarnoczi & Terry Ellis

Work Citied-

. www.gallupolls.com

23 Feb 2011, Updated 5:00pm

. www.popandpoliticsabout.com

Chideya, Farai. “ Pop and Politics About” Pop and Politics and co-produced with WNYC radio. Web 21 Feb 2011

. www.popandpolitic.com

Weigant, Chris “Big January Jump for President Obama’s Approval ratings.” Blog Entry. Feb 3: Pop and Politics. Web 20 Feb 2001


. www.TheNewYorkTimes.com

Harwood, John “ President, Rebounding, Gives Opponents Pause.” Politics. Jan 24: The New York Times. Web 20 Feb 2011


. www.Foxnews.com

Holmes, L.A “Obama Approval Ratings Lowest of Presidency” Politics ;21 Oct 2010: Fox News. Web 21 Feb 2011


. www.thewashingtonpost.com

O’Keefe, Ed “State of the Union 2011: Obama calls for reorganization of federal agencies” Politics; 25 Jan 2011: Web 22 Feb 2001


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Overall everything flows nicely and it is well written. If you can just find some background information on how Pop and Politics got its start (why the political writer started this site) I think that would help a little, along with some history on the New York Times. Also for the paper we need to relate the writing to chapter four or five in . Your incorporation of quotes was utilized very well and the works cited adds credibility to your paper.

  2. alex7283
    February 24, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I really liked your descriptions of each article and you had a really good use of quotes. I got a really good idea of how each article presented the different facts on Obama’s approval rating. If there was anything for you to improve I would try and focus more on the comparing and contrasting of the articles. Also fix the read more link at the top and include a picture on the topic you are doing.

  3. February 27, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Good choice for articles that cover the same story but do so differently. I like the references to the third news source (Fox) as well.

    You’ve gotten some good suggestions from your colleagues. In addition to their suggestions about pieces of the assignment that are missing (photo, book cite, readmore link, publication background, need for more compare/contrast), you’ll also want to embed the links directly into the article rather than putting them all at the end (this would help the article’s readability).

    I think your argument would be clearer if you worked a little on the paper’s organization, perhaps first introducing the three sources, then reviewing articles in succession, then making your arguments regarding how they differ and why you think those differences add up to create differing ways of framing the same story.

    You’ll want to correct a few misstatements. For instance, the assignment does not ask you to evaluate the poll numbers, but rather to offer a comparison between how different publications cover the story and how they frame the same facts differently. You already have a lot of good data on this included, although your argument would be stronger if you used fewer evaluative statements (e.g., that one is “pro” Obama, that one or the other is more “objective”) and more clear statements about how one seems to offer more attention to Republican concerns than the other (which, I think, is why you saw Pop & Politics as more “pro” Obama). Also, the author of the Pop & Politics article is Miriam Zoila Pérez, and your piece credits Chris Weigant, who wrote an article in Huffington Post (as the article you’re reviewing states). You don’t mention Harwood, who authored the NYT piece.

    Please proof read and check your spelling and grammar.

  4. March 10, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Good corrections to your original article – definitely a much stronger article with the rewrite!

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