The Desire For a Game Change

There’s another brouhaha this morning over another bad poll for Barack Obama, this one coming from ABC-WaPo. Both conservatives and the MSM are trying very hard to make this all about the Obamacare enrollment/individual policy cancellation “crisis,” the former in order to panic Democrats into some sort of general retreat on the Affordable Care Act, the latter, no doubt, in search of a “game-changing” story.

You can ignore all this as just political ephemera, or keep in mind that the president’s job approval rating, and that of everyone else in politics, were slipping going into, during and after the government shutdown. I have a column up at TPMCafe making the general point that pundits have vastly over-interpreted both the shutdown and the Obamacare panic, giving the impression of wild gyrations in public opinion when there’s not much evidence of them. As noted here last week, Gallup’s weekly averages of Obama’s approval rating changed only one-and-one-half percent from the end of the shutdown to November 10, and the latest averages show no further change.

Just as you can’t take the politics out of politics, you can’t take the dramatics out of political journalism–much less the malicious desire to see every adverse development as the end of the road for Obama out of Republicans–but it’s helpful to keep a little perspective.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.