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NBC Poll Finds Half of Americans Disapprove of Obama; Chuck Todd Sees ‘Improvement’

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that President Obama’s approval was up slightly from his all-time low of 41 percent in March and NBC did its best to spin the 44 percent approval as good news for President Obama.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, April 30, NBC’s Chuck Todd spun how “the poll numbers are better, they're still not good, okay? There is slight improvement on the health care law. And that directly related to slight improvement for President Obama.” 

Todd continued to do his best to make lemonade out of lemons over Obama’s low popularity:

What was amazing in this poll, I don't think I've ever seen this in the history of our poll, is the president's rob rating on the economy and his job rating on foreign policy are both lower than his overall job rating. It's unique that the sum is actually greater than the parts.

Usually one of the two is dragging him down. And so in this case, you see that basically health care is the driver for him now. It got him back to just barely underwater. Versus before, where I think he was much farther and a much better place.

Over on Today, NBC’s Natalie Morales spent only 46 seconds on Obama’s poll numbers, noting that “President Obama's popularity is up slightly, and so is his embattled health care law, this according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The President's approval rating is at 44%, that's up three points since March. Still, though, 50% of those polled disapprove of the job the President is doing.”

While NBC barely mentioned their own poll which shows most Americans still disapprove of his job, the network completely ignored its own poll in March which showed Obama’s approval rating was at an all time low of 41%. The Wall Street Journal noted that the 3 point bump in Obama’s approval was within the polls margin of error which Obama’s popularity statistically unchanged from March, a point that was omitted from either NBC report.

See relevant April 30 transcripts below.

NBC's Today

7:15 AM

NATALIE MORALES: President Obama's popularity is up slightly, and so is his embattled health care law, this according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The President's approval rating is at 44%, that's up three points since March. Still, though, 50% of those polled disapprove of the job the President is doing. Americans are also responding more favorably to the President's health care law. 36% of people said it is a good idea, that's up 5% from last September.

And former First Lady Barbara Bush recently said the White House needed some fresh blood, saying, quote,"We've had enough Bushes." With Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush mentioned as possible frontrunners in 2016, do you agree? 69% of people said yes, and more than the same two or three families should run.

 

MSNBC's Morning Joe

7:25 a.m. Eastern

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, with us now from Washington, D.C., we’ve got NBC News Chief White House correspondent, political director and host of "The Daily Rundown" Chuck Todd. And Chuck, we're going to have Katty get to the numbers from the latest poll and have you break them down for us. Katty what do we have?

KATTY KAY: Yeah almost as gloomy as the weather. There's this new poll that's just come in from NBC. But let's start with the overseas numbers. 37% approve of how President  Obama is handling the situation in Ukraine. That's a six-point drop from last month. Just 19% of Americans want the U.S. to take a more active role in world affairs. Nearly half favor less active approach. Those numbers have changed significantly from back in 2001, by the way. The poll shows 38% approve of that president's handling of foreign policy. That's the lowest level of his presidency. Overall, the president's job approval rating stands now at 44%. That's a few points better than last month's record low. That could weigh on Democrats, though, heading into November's midterms. Overall, 63% of those polled said the country is on the wrong track. 27% see things moving in the right direction. And, of course, whoever inherits the White House in 2016, that's going to be a concern for them. So far, Hillary Clinton is far outpacing two of her potential GOP rivals when it comes to favorability. The former secretary of state is viewed significantly more positively than former Governor Jeb Bush or Senator Rand Paul.

SCARBOROUGH: Chuck Todd, the president’s approval ratings holding pretty steady in the low to mid 40s. Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare stuck in the mid-30s. What's it all mean?

TODD: Well, it's an important development though over the last six months, Joe, if you look at it in that both the president's approval rating and the health care numbers, basically the approval rating of the health care law are at six-month highs. Meaning they're basically back to where they were the week before the website debacle. We were in the field, basically government shutdown, right when before we new the website was a total disaster.

SCARBOROUGH: But Chuck isn’t the health care at like 36%?

TODD: That's my point. It had gotten worse over the last six months. The point of the poll is this, Joe. The poll numbers are better, they're still not good, okay? There is slight improvement on the health care law. And that directly related to slight improvement for President Obama. Because what was amazing in this poll, I don't think I've ever seen this in the history of our poll, is the president's rob rating on the economy and his job rating on foreign policy are both lower than his overall job rating. It's unique that the sum is actually greater than the parts. Usually one of the two is dragging him down. And so in this case, you see that basically health care is the driver for him now. It got him back to just barely underwater. Versus before, where I think he was much farther and a much better place.

— Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Jeffrey Meyer on Twitter.