Study of Bill Clinton’s Presidential Approval Ratings

Author: Wert, Joseph


“This is puzzle-driven research that pushes the literature forward rather than a study that merely applies what we know and expect to another typical case….Wert’s evidence shows that disapprovers deserve separate study….Wert’s analysis provides a comprehensive, year-by-year description of both approvers and disapprovers…..Readers will also be interested in the impact of scandals, investigations, and the impeachment process on Clinton’s approval ratings….Although this is a case study of one president, it spans eight years and uses both aggregate national data and “why” data from one of the 50 states. The span of the study and the combination of data sources make this a very rich analysis and an important treatment of a president whose approval and disapproval ratings continue to be debated among scholars, political elites, and the public.” – Dr. Peggy Scranton, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

“…a book that will inform scholars of the American presidency and students of public opinion. The book examines theories about presidential approval, as reflected in public opinion polls. Several theories have been proposed to explain the factors that determine a president’s standing with the public. Wert notes the strengths and flaws in those theories, using the Clinton presidency as a case study to illuminate prior research while offering a refined version of presidential approval theory….warrants a rethinking of how scholars understand presidential approval and the factors that shape that phenomenon.” – Dr. Thomas P. Wolf, Indiana University Southeast (Emeritus)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (main headings):
Preface; Forewords
1. Introduction
2. Review of the Literature (coalition of minorities models; the economy; scandals; wars, rally-round-the-flag models; Congressional-Presidential relations; media models; psychological models)
3. Data Considerations (sources; validity and reliability issues)
4. Preliminary Data Analysis (predicted vs actual approval scores)
5. Analysis of Clinton’s Approvals (description of approvers/disapprovers)
6. Analysis of Ohio Poll Data
7. Summary and Conclusions
Appendices; Bibliography