Fox News Poll: Most Americans say Obama is fully engaged in his job and on top of things

In the interest of maintaining my sanity, I don’t spend my every waking hour watching Fox News Channel. But I’ve often suspected that the talking heads at FNC downplay or ignore certain findings in the polls commissioned by their network if those findings don’t comport with the overall Fox philosophy. Such was the case, I’m guessing, with a Fox poll conducted last week in which a majority of Americans agreed with the statement that “President Obama is fully engaged in his job and on top of things” rather than “disengaged and already checked out from his job.” The same poll also showed that most Americans are confident in Obama’s ability to make the right decisions for the country. And a plurality of poll respondents agreed that the president is “a strong leader who does what it takes to get his policies enacted.” For details on this poll, see HERE and...

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Flash: Fox News poll shows Obama’s job-approval numbers pretty much even

A poll released last night by Fox News affords an ideal opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Bird No. 1 is the widespread misimpression that more Americans disapprove than approve of President Obama’s performance in his job. Bird No. 2 is the tendency among most people to ignore or misinterpret the margin of error in public-opinion polls. The new Fox poll puts the president’s approval rating at 44 percent and his disapproval rating at 49 percent. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into a five-point gap. Actually, the difference is statistically insignificant. Here’s the deal: The Fox poll has a stated margin of error of plus-or-minus three percentage points with a so-called confidence interval of 95 percent. That means that if Fox conducted the same poll 20 times on the same dates, the results in 19 of those polls would fall within a range of three points lower of three points higher. On one occasion out of 20, the numbers would be pretty much worthless. It also means that Obama’s approval rating ranges from a low of 41 percent  to a high of 47 percent, and his disapproval rating ranges from a low of 46 percent to a high of 52 percent. Since those ranges overlap, the difference is statistically insignificant — although professional pollsters would shy from calling it a tie. FOOTNOTE: The talking heads on Fox News Channel usually lend an anti-Obama spin to the results of polls commissioned by their company. If there’s a negative available, they’ll find it and trumpet...

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Fox News poll on Benghazi tainted by blatantly loaded question

There was a time when I frequently noted here that I trusted the public opinion polls commissioned by Fox News, even though I usually disagreed with the spin Fox News put on much of what it reported. It seemed to me that the Fox polls, conducted by an independent firm, rarely produced results that were far out of whack with those of other major polls. But lately I’ve become distrustful of the Fox surveys — mainly because the questions asked in those polls sometimes are loaded. For example, in a Fox poll released this morning (HERE), a question regarding Benghazi was framed thusly: In the aftermath of the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya, the Obama administration falsely claimed it was a spontaneous assault in response to an offensive online video, even though the administration had intelligence reports that the attacks were connected to terrorist groups tied to al Qaeda. Which of the following do you think best describes why Obama administration officials gave false information in their early public statements about the September attacks in Libya? Come on! You’ll inevitably get biased responses when you frame the question with such stuff as “the Obama administration falsely claimed…” and “Obama administration officials gave false information…” But, of course, the skewed results of your biased poll will be trumpeted by right-wingers across the land — including a Facebook friend of mine within the past hour. Mission accomplished,...

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Fox News poll: Most Americans more likely to vote against politicians who oppose background checks

As I’ve said here on numerous occasions, the public opinion polls commissioned by Fox News generally are trustworthy, no matter the network’s notorious bias in reporting the news. The latest Fox poll is a GOOD EXAMPLE: When an expansion of background checks for guns failed to pass the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, the president urged his supporters to vote background-check opponents out of office. The new poll, released Tuesday, finds voters may heed the president’s call. Some 61 percent say they would be less likely to support a candidate who voted against expanding background checks.  That’s far greater than the 23 percent who are more likely to support such a candidate. And, conversely, backing the measure could help a candidate:  68 percent say they are more likely to support a candidate who voted in favor of expanding background checks. Even 60 percent of those living in a gun-owner household say they are more likely to support a candidate who voted for expanded background...

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Fox News poll: Most Americans think the Boston bombs were not the work of Islamic terrorists

Let me stipulate at the outset here that there’s no reason to think of polls commissioned by Fox News as biased, no matter the network’s reputation for inaccuracy. That said, HERE are a few results of a quickie poll sponsored by Fox: By a wide 62-20 percent margin, voters think homegrown terrorists are more likely than Islamic terrorists to have been behind the Boston attacks.  Nineteen percent are unsure. In general, voters say homegrown terrorists like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh (51 percent) pose a greater threat on U.S. soil than Islamic terrorists (26 percent). While 34 percent of voters are worried about a terrorist attack happening in their area, nearly twice as many — 65 percent — are not...

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