In spite of a horrific national tragedy and looming ‘Fiscal Cliff’ economic crisis President Obama is enjoying one of the best months of his Presidency in terms of popularity.
‘Tis the season to be merry for the President who is scoring some of his highest approval ratings since at least the May, 2011 killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden. According to a recent poll released by CBS News Obama’s approval has shot up to 57%. Daily tracking from both Gallup and Rasmussen Reports meanwhile has the President’s standing at 56%.
The Gallup survey is particularly noteworthy. Obama hasn’t reached an approval rating of 56% since October of 2009, weeks before the ‘Afordable Health Care for America’ act was signed into law. He dropped under-50% for the first time in late-November of that year and his overall approval according to Gallup remained remarkably steady for the better portion of the next three years. The President’s high water mark of 69% was achieved just days after entering office in late-January, 2009. He dropped to a low of 38% approval in October of 2011 before rebounding to 50% on Election Day 2012.
Rasmussen Reports like Gallup wasn’t particularly bullish on President Obama’s reelection prospects for much of 2012 and even as close as days before the election. Never the less they currently offer the President a 56-43% approval margin. One area of the Rasmussen polling where Obama has struggled significantly since the early days of his Presidency is with the ‘intensity factor’. Unlike other pollsters who essentially ask for a straight up thumbs up or down, Rasmussen asks those responding to also categorize their opinions. Currently 32% of Americans ‘strongly’ approve of the job the President is doing which is slightly less than the 33% of those who strongly disapprove. On the other hand those with more passive feelings one way or the other give Obama a significantly positive 24-10% approval margin.
The President earns a seven-point bump in the latest CBS News poll. His 57-37% approval margin far outdoes the 50-42% split he received in an October poll, the last conducted by CBS prior to Election Day. Americans remain split on the key issue of the economy with 47% both approving and disapproving of the President’s handling. However by a 51-32% margin significantly more Americans support than oppose his foreign policy and by a 60-29% split the vast majority give him positive marks on the issue of terrorism.
Obama was not quite as successful in two other recent polls. The latest from ABC/Washington Post pegs the President’s approval at 54%. Another fairly recent CNN poll indicated a 52-43% approval margin for Obama, unchanged from their previous survey conducted about a week and a half after the election. Yet even taking just the average of the five polls the President’s approval rating of 55% is around four-points better than his popular vote share from the election, and one of the highest totals since the early days of his administration.