The Slatest

Heading Into the State of the Union, Obama’s Approval Rating on Rise as Economy Heats Up

President Obama during the 2014 State of the Union speech.

Photo by Larry Downing-Pool/Getty Images

On the eve of the State of the Union, President Obama is set to deliver the annual address buoyed by steadily improving pubic support of late. A Washington Post-ABC poll released on Monday shows Obama’s approval rating now stands at 50 percent—the highest it’s been in the poll since May 2013.

The president’s popularity has been “strengthened by rapidly improving perceptions of the economy and increased optimism about the overall direction of the country,” according to the Washington Post. “His standing is nine points higher than in December and seven points higher than in October, just before Republicans captured control of the Senate, increased their House majority to its highest level in eight decades and recorded advances in the states.”

Other polls show slightly smaller gains for Obama, but on average the president’s job approval rating has been trending upward. Along with a rosier economic outlook, the Upshot over at the New York Times points out: “the increase in Mr. Obama’s ratings also comes amid a flurry of executive actions or promised ones on immigration, climate change, Cuba and Internet policy.”

“The new [Post/ABC] poll represents Obama’s biggest approval bump since the mission that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011,” the Washington Post’s The Fix blog points out. “His approval rating has risen nine percentage points in the past month alone, while his disapproval has dropped by 10 points.” Here more parsing of the latest numbers from The Fix: “The gains are pretty even across the board, but the biggest are among Democrats (10 points), moderates (10), Hispanics (22), and even white evangelical Christians (10), who generally tilt heavily toward the GOP. Obama also has gained 19 points among adults younger than 30.”