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La Palin come termine di paragone 25.11.09

Christopher Beam su Slate sostiene, non senza una buona dose di ragione, che continuare a confrontare la popolarità di Sarah Palin con la fiducia nei confronti di Obama sia come comparare pere con mele. Non fosse altro che la Palin è pure disoccupata.

The problem is, they're comparing apples to oranges. Both columns refer to polls that show Palin's favorability rating at around 43 percent-mere points away from Obama's job-approval rating of 49 percent. But as Media Matters has pointed out, favorability and job approval aren't the same thing. A politician's favorability rating is a general sense of the public's feeling about him. His job-approval rating is an evaluation of the work he's doing.
When you compare favorability ratings - apples to apples - Obama still leads Palin by a distance. The latest Gallup poll puts Obama's favorability 16 points ahead of Palin's, ABC puts his lead at 18 points, and CNN says it's 18 points higher. (Only Fox has the gap in single digits, with a seven-point spread.) It's impossible to compare their job-approval numbers because, well, Palin doesn't have a job.