President Obama’s approval rating has reached its highest level in three years. According to Gallup, President Obama’s approval rating is now on par with Ronald Reagan’s approval rating at the same point in their respective presidencies.
Gallup latest presidential job approval rating was full of good news for President Obama:
Obama’s current 50% weekly average exceeds the 46% he averaged in his seventh year in office, which ended on Jan. 19 of this year. This latest rating also exceeds his 47% average since taking office in 2009, spanning nearly two full terms.
Obama’s current standing with Democrats is four percentage points higher than his average approval rating among Democrats since taking office in 2009. At the same time, his job approval ratings from Republicans and independents are close to his term averages for these groups. Obama’s current 87% reading among Democrats is also up from 81% at the beginning of this year, while his ratings among independents and Republicans have been more stable over the past two months.
Obama is doing significantly better than his most recent predecessor, George W. Bush, who had a 32% job approval rating in March 2008. Bush was rated equally poorly by the opposing party as Obama is today. However, unlike Obama, he did not enjoy the same high level of support from his own party, with fewer than three in four Republicans (72%) approving of his job performance at that time. In March 1988, 51% of U.S. adults approved of Ronald Reagan’s job performance, almost identical to Obama’s current rating. Reagan’s profile across party lines was not as polarized as Obama’s, however, with 81% approval among Republicans and 28% among Democrats.
President Obama’s approval rating with Democrats is growing because this president is still hard at work during his final year in office. The President has continued to combat Republican obstruction and take action to implement his agenda where he can.
It is possible that the increase in the President’s popularity may also be attributable to the Senate Republican decision to not give his Supreme Court nominee a hearing. The move to block the President’s Supreme Court nominee was cynically intended to get out the Republican vote in November. Instead, Mitch McConnell may have fired up Democrats with his refusal to do his job.
As his time in office winds down, some Democrats may also be appreciating this president more. The presidency of Barack Obama has been historic for both the level of partisan opposition it has faced, and what it has overcome and accomplished. Obama is a president who has changed and improved millions of American lives.
The fact that Obama is as popular as Ronald Reagan destroys the Republican fantasy that America has been ruined by this president, or is no longer great. Republicans are living on a different planet than the rest of us. The Obama failure delusion may be a recipe for victory in a Republican primary within the Fox News bubble, but it could be a path to certain defeat in November.
The numbers don’t lie. President Obama will be an important part of any Democratic victory in 2016.
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