President Obama’s approval rating has improved by 22 points in the Gallup poll since Republicans won control of Congress. Obama’s opposition to the Republican agenda is making the president more popular while destroying the myth of a GOP mandate.
Danny Vinik of The New Republic pointed out the dramatic shift in the president’s job approval rating, “On Monday, President Barack Obama’s favorability rating hit 50 in the Gallup tracking poll for the first time since June 2013, with his unfavorable rating at 45 percent. That’s a 22-point improvement since the midterm elections, when Obama’s approval rating was 39 percent and his disapproval rating was 56 percent.” President Obama’s approval rating at the height of the 2014 campaign was an underwater net (-10 to -17 points). These bad numbers can be attributed to the fact that Republicans ran an relentlessly negative campaign against the president, while Democrats made the doubly deadly decision to run away from Obama while keeping the president off of the campaign trail.
The myth that there was some kind of mandate to be gained out of the 2014 election has been widely pushed by Republicans, when the reality is that 2014 was an election where the contested races took part on Republican turf, and the latest midterm was more evidence that future elections may be decided more on geographic polarization than those mysterious favorites of the political chattering class, waves and momentum.
President Obama has turned the post-election landscape into a contest between two competing visions for the direction of the country. By acting alone on climate change, immigration, and Cuba, the president showed the American people what his agenda looks like. Meanwhile, Republicans have opposed tax cuts for the middle class, free community college, and tried to take away health care from millions. The president has appealed to economic middle of the country while Senate Republicans have spent the past month trying to pass a bill that is a gift for Big Oil (Keystone XL).
The president has become more popular by understanding that the American people want action. The president rejected the idea that Republicans gained a mandate. The worst thing that Obama could have done after the election would have been to yield to the Republican agenda. President Obama is riding the wave of a growing economy and increased optimism to shatter the myth that the American people want the Republican agenda.
Obama is soaring to a presidential resurgence because he rejected the conventional wisdom of a Republican mandate.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a 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