Polling Mysteries

So Obama's polls are dropping.  A lot.  In fact, he's had the biggest third-quarter drop in fifty years.  Andrew points out that by recent historical standards, his absolute approval rating is still perfectly fine.  Especially since he started out in the stratosphere.

What I don't get is the big recent change.  His Gallup favorables touched 50 briefly in August before they rebounded, but his job disapproval has marched sharply up in the last few weeks.  Which is something of a puzzle, because he hasn't really done anything in the last few weeks.  Yes, yes, Fox News and AHIP.  But while I would like to think that the nation shares my disapproval of the president personally bullying trade associations and cable networks, I'm not really suret hat that's true--and it seems just as likely that the causation runs the other way, that Obama is going on the offensive because his polls are dropping.  No, we seem to just have had a vast national fit of pique.

Also in the WTF category, Pew says there was a fourteen point drop in the number of Americans who believe there is solid evidence that anthropogenic global warming is real.  I mean, maybe 45 million Americans spent the last year reviewing the scientific evidence on Global Warming and changed their minds.  Certainly, a lot of laid-off workers have soem time on their hands.  But this doesn't really seem a spectacularly likely explanation of the phenomenon.

I can only come up with two explanations for this phenomenon:  one, that many Americans are happy to embrace a symbolic belief in global warming as long as there is no danger that anyone will do anything about it.  The other is that Americans don't know what they want, and also, enjoy messing with pollster's minds.