The President’s Approval Hits 50 Percent

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 20 2015 @ 2:59pm

Obama Bump

Obama’s numbers are on the upswing:

His approval rating has risen nine percentage points in the past month alone, while his disapproval has dropped by 10 points. The gains are pretty even across the board, but the biggest are among Democrats (10 points), moderates (10), Hispanics (22), and even white evangelical Christians (10), who generally tilt heavily toward the GOP. Obama also has gained 19 points among adults younger than 30.

Sargent cautions that it’s “too early to say whether Obama is really in the midst of a sustained recovery”:

But one thing that will be worth watching is whether positive feelings about the economy — and about Obama — boost support for his individual initiatives, particularly those which Republicans are criticizing most bitterly, and whether they scramble the political landscape more generally.

Josh Marshall doesn’t want to read too much into recent polls:

Just as we should probably all resist the urge to write doomsaying chin-scratchers on the end of the Obama dream when the President’s numbers are soft, we should probably equally resist the urge when they’re more robust. The economy is by no means everything. The President won reelection solidly with a still anemic economy. But it’s always the place to start when the numbers move.

Something Harry Enten will be keeping in mind:

The approval rating at which an incumbent president running for re-election goes from an underdog to a favorite is in the high 40s. Obama can’t run again, and the relationship between his approval rating and the eventual 2016 Democratic nominee’s chances is a bit messier. But if Obama’s popularity inches up a bit more, he may go from being a drag on the nominee to an asset.

Nate Cohn comments along those lines in today’s NYT:

The balance of evidence suggests that the break-even point for the presidential party’s odds of victory is at or nearly 50 percent approval. If the only thing you knew about the 2016 election was Mr. Obama’s approval rating on Election Day, you might guess that the Democrats had a 37 percent chance of holding the White House with a 46 percent rating — rather than a 23 percent chance with a 41 percent rating. The difference between 41 and 46 might be worth between one and two percentage points to the Democratic candidate in 2016 — the difference between a close race and a modest but clear Republican victory.