The Slatest

Obama Approval Rating Back Over 50 Percent in CNN Poll for First Time in, Like, Forever

Not bad, President Obama thinks to himself after signing House Resolution 2146, Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act and Trade Preference Extension Act of 2015, in the East Room of the White House on Monday. Not bad at all.


Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Remember spring 2013? It was a time very different from ours, when a Fast & Furious movie and a Marvel comics superhero vehicle dominated the box office and Bruno Mars ruled the airwaves. It was also the last time Barack Obama’s CNN/ORC approval rating was above 50 percent until this week:

For the first time in more than two years, 50% of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling the presidency. And his overall ratings are bolstered by increasingly positive reviews of his treatment of race relations and the economy … The new poll shows Obama’s approval rating up five points since a May survey, when just 45% approved of the job he was doing as president and 52% disapproved.

The new poll, of course, follows a week in which the Supreme Court rejected a challege to the president’s signature Affordable Care Act and found that same-sex marriage (which Obama has supported, though only since 2012) should be legal across the country. The president also delivered a well-received eulogy at the Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral in Charleston, South Carolina—one that, as Slate’s John Dickerson wrote, seemed to “wipe away the intimations toward capitulation and defeat” that he’d expressed in a frustrated commentary on gun violence in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting.

CNN’s poll found that 55 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of race relations, a number that’s up 5 points from May. Adds the network: “Overall, 74% of Americans say racial discrimination against African-Americans in the U.S. is a very or somewhat serious problem, up from 57% saying so five years ago.”

The president’s approval rating in Gallup’s oft-cited daily tracking poll, which has been as low as 41 percent during his second term, sits currently at 48 percent.