Define ‘basement’

DEFINE ‘BASEMENT’…. The Washington Times is rather candid about its ideological slant. The paper, a project of cult leader Sun Myung Moon, is unabashedly conservative.

That said, the paper’s editorial this week on President Obama’s public support was even sillier than its usual content. The headline read, “Barack’s in the basement: Obama is less popular than Nixon and Carter.”

Now, I pay pretty close attention to this stuff, and I know most polls show the president’s support pretty high. The Washington Post recently put Obama’s approval rating at 69%. The New York Times’ latest poll has it at 68%, and said the president’s support “is higher than that of any recent president at the 100-day mark.”

And yet, there’s the Washington Times.

President Obama’s media cheerleaders are hailing how loved he is. But at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years.

According to Gallup’s April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969…. It’s no surprise the liberal media aren’t anxious to point out that their darling is less popular than George W. Bush. But given the Gallup numbers, their hurrahs could be more subdued. […]

Mr. Obama’s popularity after 100 days is the second-lowest for a simple reason: He is more partisan and divisive than his predecessors — including Richard Nixon.

There’s obviously plenty of partisan hackery in the Times’ analysis, but I’m more intrigued by the numbers the editorial board relies on. Does Gallup really show Obama’s numbers that low?

Actually, no. In fact, the Times isn’t even close to being right. Eric Boehlert called the Republican paper’s argument an “Alice-in-Wonderland claim.”

The Times isn’t just wrong, it’s deliberately ignoring reality altogether. MSNBC, using Gallup data, found that since Lyndon Johnson, the only president with higher early support than Obama was Reagan, and he had a 68% approval rating that benefited from an outpouring of public support after an assassination attempt in 1981.

“Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years”? As is usually the case, the Washington Times has it backwards.

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