Andrew Sullivan’s loose grasp on reality is well known even by his own colleagues, but it’s even nicer when his errors are mathematically provable. Case in point: HCR passed the House on March 21st and today (March 25th) Andrew Sullivan wrote this:
Since HCR passed, a big jump in Obama’s approval ratings. Maybe a fluke. But he remains more popular than Ronald Reagan was at this point in his term of office – and has been ahead of Reagan now for three months. The approval graph closest to Obama’s has been Reagan’s in recent history.
Surprised that I’d not heard about this “big jump” I did what Sullivan must not have done and looked at the data, which is in 3-day rolling averages:
Since HCR passed late at night on March 21st and Pelosi did not have the votes until that afternoon (that is, the public would not have assumed passage) it seems like the window for “since HCR passed” would be March 17-20 (50% Approval) versus March 22-24 (51% Approval).
For the record, I think it will take at least a week or two to see the true impact of HCR on The One’s approval rating. But while I can’t recall ever hearing Sullivan refer to Obama’s descent from 69% (Jan 22-24 ’09) to 46% (Mar 8-10 ’10) as a “big slide”, his criteria for a “big jump” is now pegged at 1%. I wonder what he’d call it if Obama went up 2%?