President Obama is beginning 2014 on the upswing as millions are signing up for the ACA, and his approval rating has increased by 5 points according to Gallup.
The Gallup Obama approval daily tracking poll reveals that the president’s approval rating has jumped five points since the days before Christmas from 39%-44%. Disapproval of the president has fallen from 54%-49%. President Obama’s approval numbers shift wildly based on the tone of the media coverage that he is receiving, but media’s negativity was hiding a convergence of positive things.
Now that the ACA website is repaired, and millions of Americans are signing up, the media’s endless drumbeat of negativity has temporarily stopped. Without the Republican fueled Obama bashing from the corporate media, the president’s approval rating has gone up, and his disapproval rating has gone down.
Republicans and the media have consistently failed to understand, and in many cases actively worked to undermine, the fact that President Obama remains basically popular. For the sixth year in a row, the president was named the most admired man in the world. For as much as Republicans try to project their hatred and contempt for this president on to the nation, the rest of the country has never shared their feelings.
Obama’s improved poll numbers also reflect the fact that Obamacare is working. Enrollment surged in December, and yesterday HHS announced that 6 million people now have healthcare coverage thanks to the ACA. The negative stories about a glitchy website have been replaced with millions of Americans getting access to affordable healthcare.
A continually improving economy, a healthcare reform that is working, and a president who remains likable are all factors that suggest that the dip in Obama approval that occurred was caused by a combination of the ugly political environment caused by the government shutdown, a brutally negative Republican fueled media cycle surrounding the ACA website, and the public frustration caused by Washington gridlock and obstruction.
Barring a scandal or a self inflicted political wound, President Obama’s poll numbers are likely to continue to improve through 2014. Because in the sort of words of John McCain, the fundamentals of this presidency are strong. Obama may not Bill Clinton, but he isn’t George W. Bush either. This suggests that Barack Obama’s approval rating should be on the climb throughout 2014.
If 2013 was President Obama’s presidential storm, 2014 could be setting up for a bit of smooth sailing executive branch sunshine.