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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Obama Job Approval at 16-Month High

President Obama’s current job approval rating for May 22-24 is 53%. That’s his highest since Feb. 12-14, 2010 -- more than 16 months ago. His previous high this year was 52%, reached at several points earlier this month after the May 1 announcement of the successful raid in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.


A few days after the six-percentage-point bounce in Obama's approval rating that came in the days immediately after the bin Laden death, from 46% to 52%,  the president’s job approval began to settle back down, returning to 46% by our May 13-15 average. It then began to climb again, and for the past three days has been at 50% or higher -- including today’s 53%.

All this is quite a change from just about a month ago, in mid-April, when Obama's job approval reached 41%, tied for the lowest of his administration.

It’s often difficult to pinpoint why a president’s job approval rating goes up or goes down. The bin Laden raid was one of those times when the causal factor was pretty clear.

Now, it’s less clear. The proximate event that provides a reasonable or possible cause is Obama’s trip to Europe. The news coverage has been generally positive, with many pictures of the president appearing statesmanlike and in the company of Irish and British leaders. It’s possible as well that the tragic destruction and deaths caused by tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and elsewhere in the Midwest -- and Obama’s pledge to visit Missouri this weekend upon his return from Europe -- could be producing a rally effect of sorts.

At any rate, we’ll continue to monitor. As the accompanying graph shows, presidential job approval ratings can move around quite a bit.

Looking ahead, the magic number for Obama is 48%. That is, if he can manage a 48% or higher job approval rating in the fall of 2012, then his chances for re-election are better than 50-50. If his job approval rating in September and October of 2012 is 53%, where it is today, then his chances of being re-elected would be very high. Stay tuned.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...
May 26, 2011 at 8:33 AM  

You might wish to check the age distribution of the rise in his support. It is possible that the president is viewed as being in support of medicare while the Republicans are not. In particular white voters 35-55.

Anonymous said...
May 26, 2011 at 7:22 PM  

Maybe everyone is realizing that Obama's attempt to improve Medicare by cutting Medicare Advantage and by gradually filling up the Part D "doughnut whole" was well-meaning, that the Republicans were lying with their Mediscare tactics of the 2010 campaign, and that they are the ones who really want to put the kabbosh on "Medicare as we know it." Besides, after killing Bin Laden, the Republican "weak on foreign policy" and "defense" claims doesn't work any more.

Nix said...
May 26, 2011 at 7:36 PM  

Election season has began. Now everything changes.

Folks told polsters they disapprove of Obama because of this or that pet issue they wanted Obama to handle differently. Now folks are moving from single-issue responses to Obama's performance, to overall approval COMPARED to the Republican field.

The polls a month or two ago were purely a referendum on Obama. Now the poll results are reflecting a comparison between Obama vs. Trump, or Obama vs. Gingrich, or Obama vs. Pawlenty. All the sudden Obama doesn't look so bad when compared to the field of rivals. Obama is looking pretty good in comparison, and the polls are reflecting that.

Anonymous said...
May 27, 2011 at 1:37 PM  

No mention of the Israel/Middle East speech as a possible reason for the uptick? That is a pretty glaring omission.

Jonny V said...
June 3, 2011 at 1:49 PM  

I'm a bit late to this but he was back up to 53% yesterday, so it's all good.

It may just boil down to this simple fact: the more people see the Republicans in action, the better President Obama looks in comparison.

Right now the Republican majority in the House is holding our economy hostage (by threatening not to raise the debt ceiling which would crash our economy) in hopes of getting their crazy right wing agenda pushed through. It's a despicable move that I believe is backfiring on them.

Oh yeah; and there's that whole thing with them not agreeing to emergency funding of tornado victims unless some of their crazy right wing agenda is agreed to. That's just insane! Never before has a political party politicized emergency funding like this. It's well beyond the pale. I just can't believe anyone still respects the Republican Party considering the way they are behaving right now.

...

And have I mentioned that 235 House Republicans and 40 Senate Republicans voted to eliminate Medicare as we know it while simultaneously giving huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires?

...

President Obama may not be perfect but in comparison to the Republicans he sure looks it.

Anonymous said...
June 5, 2011 at 9:33 PM  

For us God fearing Tea Party Conservatives, this poll ain't nothing but lame stream media making stuff up and lie to American patriots.

We don't need poll, we pray and our Lord speak directly to us.

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