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Outcome: Biden 306 EV (D+1.2% from toss-up), Senate 50 D (D+1.0%)
Nov 3 polls: Biden 342 EV (D+5.3%), Senate 50-55 D (D+3.9%), House control D+4.6%
Moneyball states: President AZ NE-2 NV, Senate MT ME AK, Legislatures KS TX NC

Reality check: Obama net approval/disapproval

November 3rd, 2014, 7:00pm by Sam Wang

Coming into the home stretch, President Obama’s net approval/disapproval rating is at minus 8%. Not good…but 4% better than June. This is what candidates face as in-person voting starts tomorrow morning.

Tags: 2014 Election · House · Senate

8 Comments so far ↓

  • Joseph

    The voters are reacting in anger to the do-nothing leadership across the board. It’s a case of “a pox on both their houses”, as the bard would say. Sadly, that kind of indiscriminate anger is going to simply make things worse.

  • Max


    1. Great Recession.

    2. Fox News: 60-70% false information & primary source of news for Conservatives.

    3. Citizens United ruling & negative ads. More has been spent on negative ads over Obama’s terms than during any other POTUS.

    4. Tea Party, GOP agenda to give Obama “nothing”, doing opposite of Obama. GOP Senate minority setting record-high filibusters.

    5. Racism – over 50% of Americans hold some level of racism towards blacks, thus Obama’s approval number is lower by a certain fractional amount, 10%-50%, just based on racism.

    6. Obama’s “lowest approval number” is “best since JFK”, 1pt better than Clinton, 3pts better than Reagan, 13pts better than GW Bush, 29pts better than Congress.
    56 – JFK
    48 – Eisenhower, Roosevelt
    38 – Obama
    37 – Clinton, Ford
    35 – Johnson, Reagan
    29 – GHW Bush
    28 – Carter
    25 – GW Bush
    24 – Nixon
    22 – Truman
    9 – Congress Nov 2013

    7. Obama’s “Highest disapproval” is 3rd-best since JFK, or median since 1933. 1pt below Clinton, 1pt better than Reagan, 16pts better than GW Bush, 32pts better than Congress.
    30 – JFK
    36 – Eisenhower
    46 – Roosevelt, Ford
    52 – Johnson
    54 – Clinton
    55 – Obama
    56 – Reagan
    59 – Carter
    60 – GHW Bush
    66 – Nixon
    67 – Truman
    71 – GW Bush
    87 – Congress Nov 2013

  • shma

    Looks like there’s another typo in Senate_November_prediction.m. Line 27 should read

    if and(h=0)


    if and(h0)

    h=0 today, so you’ve accidentally reverted back to the long term prediction formula.

    • shma

      Comment system has interpreted the “greater than” and “less than” symbols as the start of html tags.

      The correct expression on line 27 should be (writing it out in words)

      if and(h less than or = 35,h greater than or = 0)

    • Sam Wang

      Yes, thanks. Bloody hell. Fixing it now

  • Joe

    Sam, I see the Election probablity number jumped for Dems 20 points between the 8pm and midnight update. What are you seeing that we are not? The meta-margin went up for (R) to a full 1.0. I checked the power rankings as well, and the only movement seems to be IA and reducing Ernst lead to just .5. If we go on trends and the way the races have been trending since the weekend, AK, CO, IA could be the holds (D) needs to retain. Those 3 plus NH and NC make 50, and by virtue 51 should Orman win and caucus with in his words “the majority”. Am I correct or off a tad? Help me here. By the way (time for a little flattery here), but I’m hooked for the next cycle and beyond. Amazing work whatever the results are tomorrow.

  • Jerone Stephens

    I simply do not see any value in your models or elaborate statistical “models”. You were quite wrong this year on the Senate, but will cover it up by not noting that 54 Republicans are actually going to win, and I think you predicted this would happen in 17% of the time. You are better than Nate Silver who is often wrong, and cannot pick a sports winner or Senate seats for that matter; he is nothing but a commercial hack that gets on comedy shows where they cannot ask any questions of value. I never bother with the models except to laugh at them. Silver consulted 1524 polls he said at the one point where I bothered to look. The polls with running averages, using the mean rather than the median when they do what is still a useless exercise, but confuses every one who follow these things daily to get reinforcement for their beliefs. A few days before elections, I looked a a few polls, looked at the political culture, went back to Robert Dahl’s book on politics and looked at his comments on turnout. I examined an old copy of the 1953 article on why the president in power always loses House seats, and it is turnout. Reagan lost 8 Senate seats in 1986 even though he was popular. Ike lost House seats from 1954 through his presidency. I called my predictions the 2 minute predictor, and got all right with the exception of NC, but got Kansas right. There is simply no need for the type of analysis “model builders” do; you seem like a nice person and sincere but you have a viable academic specialty and are wasting your time on political analysis, and I do not think any serious person is going to pay the slightest attention to model builders in 2016, at least I hope so and we can get back to real polls but only toward the end. This is likely to be a false hope given the vicious 24 hour “news” cycle, but hope springs eternal to coin a phrase. sincerely, Jerone Stephens

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