PEJ New Media Index: Bloggers Seize on Obama's Slipping Poll Numbers

  • July 30, 2009

At the six-month point of Barack Obama's term last week, bloggers considered how he was doing. That discussion was driven largely by conservatives who relished in what they saw as Obama struggling politically, perhaps for the first time in his presidency.

From July 20-24, more than a third of the links in blogs (36%) were to stories about Obama's administration, according to the New Media Index by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. The majority of those links focused on new survey results from the Washington Post/ABC News and USA Today/Gallup that showed Obama's approval ratings slipping in recent weeks. Many conservatives argued these were the sign of a failing President.

The recent drop in support for Obama's handling of the economy and health care has received attention in the mainstream press as well, though largely in connection broader coverage of those issues. What distinguished social media last week was that the poll numbers were often the catalyst for the conversations that ensued.

The second-largest story in the blogosphere last week was far removed from American politics. A BBC report (which received 14% of the links) revealed the new costume for British TV science fiction character Dr. Who. That was followed by a report on a fight over library books in West Bend, Wisconsin (11%) that cost board members their jobs and led to demands for a public book burning.

Read the full report Bloggers Seize on Obama's Slipping Poll Numbers on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.