Obama pollster: Reporters should stop covering polls in 2014

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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After a year of seeing President Obama’s approval ratings plummet, the president’s pollster is offering a strikingly candid and pessimistic New Year’s resolution.

Reporters should go the next “year without reporting any public polling data,” Joel Benenson, president and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group, said.

His comments were made to reporter Mike Allen, who published them in his daily “Politico Playbook” morning newsletter on Tuesday.

Benenson explained that he thinks the polling often reported by news organizations lacks the proper context.

Asked his New Year’s resolution: “Here’s one — with a variation, if mine is too extreme: Go one year without reporting any public polling data.”

“Rationale: Most public polling continues to be reported on strictly from a topline, horserace-type perspective that does nothing, or at best very little, to illuminate the news of the day.”

Benenson offered an alternative if “this is too strict.”

“Go one year without reporting any public polling data that doesn’t provide in an in-depth analysis of the underlying dynamics that are truly shaping the data,” he said.

If reporters actually did forgo reporting on the president’s polling data for a year, the next time the public would hear about Obama’s approval numbers would be after the 2014 midterms.

According to Wall Street Journal/NBC news polling, Obama’s job approval fell from 52 percent at the start of the year to 43 percent today.

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