John Sides finds that Obama’s approval ratings are higher than predicted by economic fundamentals. Ezra Klein wonders why:

Sides offers two hypotheses for Obama’s overperformance: First, that perhaps he’s just a likable guy. Second, that Americans still seem to place most of the blame for the bad economy on Bush. I’d add a third: That the Republican Party isn’t offering a very compelling alternative right now, and so Obama’s numbers are, in part, a relative judgment given the options available to voters. It’s easier to say someone is doing a bad job when there’s someone you can point to who looks like they’re doing, or at least could do, a better one.