Politics

Obama's Approval Rating Hits New High

| by Robert Fowler
President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama

President Barack Obama’s approval rating has reached its highest peak since he began his second term in 2013.

New polling indicates the outgoing commander-in-chief is as popular as he has ever been, which could play a decisive role in the November election.

On Oct. 6, a CNN/ORC poll found President Obama has an approval rating of 55 percent, matching the popularity he achieved when inaugurated for his second term and when he announced the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, CNN reports.

The survey found Obama’s average approval rating throughout 2016 has been 51 percent, his sturdiest popularity since 2009, his first year in office.

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This is a dramatic increase from October 2015, when the same survey found his approval rating to be roughly 45 percent.

Breaking down the data, Obama’s spike in popularity comes from his rise in favorability among Democrats and independents, who approve of the president by 89 and 56 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Obama’s favorability among Republicans remains abysmal with just 13 percent approving of his job performance, although that is a two percent increase from September 2015.

Along racial lines, Obama’s approval rating has risen among whites and Hispanics, while remaining the same among African-Americans. Forty-seven percent of whites approve of the president, while Hispanics and African-Americans approve by 68 and 86 percent, respectively.

The survey also found that education plays a role in Obama’s favorability; 55 percent of whites with a college degree approve of his job performance, while only 44 percent of whites without a college degree also approve.

Gallup's most-recent poll has Obama’s approval rating at 53 percent, which is five points higher than the research company's average for two-term commander-in-chiefs at this stage of their presidency.

In October 2008, former President George W. Bush’s approval rating was only 27 percent. In October 1988, former President Ronald Reagan’s approval was at 51 percent. The only two-term president with a higher approval rating than Obama’s in the last 50 years was former President Bill Clinton, who had a 58 percent approval rating in October 2000.

Obama’s popularity is good news for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. On Sept. 21, a study conducted by Pew Research Center found an outgoing president’s approval rating mattered more to voters than the voter's overall satisfaction with the country.

Obama has been hitting the campaign trail for Clinton, promoting her candidacy more aggressively than any other president in the last 50 years.

The last time a popular outgoing president actively campaigned for their preferred successor was Reagan on behalf of George H.W. Bush, who won the 1988 election, according to The Washington Post.

Sources: CNN, Gallup, Pew Research CenterThe Washington Post / Photo Credit: Brigitte N. Brantley/DoD via Flickr

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