From William Couch, Kristen Novak, Michelle Price and Joshua Hatch of USA Today, this tracker tool lets you compare ratings of past current and past presidents according to Gallup polls.
There are two views. The first (above) is ratings in chronological order. Each color represents a different president and a timeline towards the bottom highlights significant events during the presidency. One thing you’ll probably notice right off the bat are the giant spikes in approval ratings during war and invasions. Yikes.
The second view lets you compare. Select the presidents you’re interested in:
We could really use some presidential KPI’s that can be used to compare presidents’ effectiveness back through time. Approval rating is interesting, but really only tracks a president’s charisma and ability to speak to the public. President’s are popular during wars because they have a clear enemy. People naturally feel disposed towards a president when the alternative seems to be whatever we are fighting.
I get irritated when people lay everything at the foot of the president – yes, the buck may stop with him, but much of the source of any issue – good or bad – is from Congress, or through diplomats working the ground on an issue of foreign affairs (or generals in the case of a war). The president has no real control over Congress, and diplomats/generals are often inherited (as are the problems they were dealing with, often from decades prior). Yet the American Idol citizenry lays it all at the foot of the president to solve. We need more civic education as well as participatoin.
These graphs are great, but it only uses data from one poll (Gallup).
It would be interesting to see data from other polls, to get an average of all polls put together.
This would be along the lines of http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html . Note how the data from Rasmussen Reports is significantly lower then the other polls.
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