President Barack Obama's approval rating edged up again according to a new poll, thanks in large part to political moderates who see the commander in chief in a better light.
Fifty-two percent of Americans approve of Obama's performance as president, a CNN/ORC poll found. The poll results, released on June 24, represent the third straight CNN/ORC poll showing the majority of Americans approve of the president's job performance.
People on either side of the political spectrum -- liberals and conservatives -- haven't changed their perception of the president, CNN noted, but Obama is faring better among moderates and independents. The network credited that group for pushing his approval ratings up since January, when a majority of Americans said they disapproved of Obama.
The increasing support for the president is at odds with how Americans perceive the direction of the country, according to the pollsters. Only 44 percent of those polled said the country is headed in the right direction, down from a high of 49 percent in May.
The numbers could have implications for the upcoming presidential election, analysts said. Obama is expected to hit the campaign trail and stump for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton ahead of November, when voters head to the polls.
"President Obama’s strong approval ratings, at this point in his presidency, can only help Hillary Clinton’s quest for the White House," presidential historian Mike Purdy told the New York Daily News. "Voters who generally believe that the president is doing a good job will be less inclined to vote for a change in the party occupying the White House."
The CNN poll's results mirror other recent measures of Obama's popularity. A Fox News poll in early June pegged the president's approval rating at 51 percent, while 50 percent of respondents in a Gallup poll said they approve of the job Obama is doing, the Washington Post reports.
The president has also benefited from several media-friendly appearances of late, including an early June appearance on Jimmy Fallon's late night show in which the host and Obama performed a "slow jam the news" skit for an enthusiastic crowd.
A Republican consultant who spoke to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity said Obama seems like a different president during the waning days of his administration.
“Give Obama and his people credit for deciding that the time for polarizing and picking fights is over," the consultant said. "His whole demeanor has changed. I’ve never seen him look more relaxed, more comfortable and more at ease."