Wednesday, August 11, 2010

According to a WSJ poll and an article entitled 'Obama Meets Expectations', 58% of respondents said that Obama "has done just about what they expected", 29% of respondents said he's done worse than expected and 12% said he's done better than expected.

And what a useless survey. Measuring whether Obama is meeting expectations is meaningless without putting it into the context of what those expectations were in the first place.

If, for example, you were among the 46% of voters who voted for McCain, in large part because you expected Obama would be a terrible President, then, yes, he's been living up to expectations. In fact, if you expected to the world to come to an immediate end upon his taking office, the fact that it hasn't would put you among the group who say he's done even better than expected. Or, coming at it from the other side of the ideological aisle, if you voted for him, expecting him to ram liberal programs down our throats, then you too would say he was performing up to expectations.

As for those who fall into the 'worse' than expectation column, some would be comprised of those who expected an even greater government takeover of the economy and are thus unhappy that Obama hasn't done that, while others would be those who weren't looking forward to Obama but were nonetheless expecting that he wouldn't have been as bad as he has been.

So why commission such a poll in the first place?