With gas prices on a record low decline, and the economy experiencing its best quarter in 11 years, President Obama’s approval rating has reached its highest level in 20 months.
According to the latest CNN/ORC Poll, “Improving views of the economy have helped hike President Barack Obama’s approval rating to a 20-month high…More Americans still disapprove of the job Obama is doing as President. But at 48%, Obama’s approval rating is at its highest point in CNN polling since May 2013. The gains were driven by newfound backing among women, independents and millennials — groups where Obama’s approval numbers jumped 10 percentage points from a month ago.”
There are two developments that fueling Obama’s approval ratings. Gas prices are on a record decline. According to AAA, “The steady decline in gas prices this autumn is now longer than any period AAA has previously tracked. The national average price of gas has declined for 88 days in a row, which is the longest consecutive streak on record. Gas prices have fallen every day since September 25 to today’s average of $2.39, which is the lowest average price per gallon since May 2009.”
The other factor is that the economy has experienced its best quarter of growth since 2003. Sprinkle in two popular presidential executive actions on immigration and Cuba, and you have a recipe for a jump in President Obama’s job approval ratings.
Even though, the president doesn’t control gas prices, I suspect that the decline in the price at the pump is having a collective psychological impact on the perception of the American economy. Americans feel better about the economy because they are getting squeezed less when their fill up their tanks to go to work. This translates into a more positive feeling about the job that the president is doing.
Obama’s job approval rating may never be an accurate measurement of what the country thinks of him because Republicans and conservatives will always react negatively to everything that happens during this president’s time in office. An example of this behavior can be found in the CNN poll where the highest percentage of Republicans (40%) called the condition of the economy very poor.
Record economic growth means nothing to hyper-partisans who hate all things Obama, but the rest of the country is taking notice of the job that this president has done. Barack Obama is finally getting a bit of credit for a presidency that has been full of accomplishments and benefits for millions of Americans.
As 2015 begins, President Obama is beginning the with a momentum that could carry him through the final two years of his presidency.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association