The Slatest

Obama Approval Reaches Three-Year High as America Realizes It Could, and Will, Do So Much Worse

Barack Obama and handsome Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on the South Lawn of the White House today.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Well, this—from Politico—makes sense:

President Barack Obama’s approval rating is the highest it has been since May 2013, according to the results of the latest weekly Gallup tracking poll.

Overall, 50 percent of those surveyed said they approve of the job the president is doing so far in his final 365 days in office.

I’m not a highly paid political strategist, but it seems like there is a pretty obvious reason why Obama’s poll numbers would be rising right now, namely: The dawning sense of terror enveloping Americans who are realizing that they are going to have to replace him with, probably, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Trump would be the most-disliked non-incumbent nominee since at least 1992—and Hillary Clinton would be the second-most-disliked.

There are candidates this year that Americans generally like—but they’re not the ones who are winning their races:

Obama’s not perfect, and the United States is very far from perfect, but let’s consider how things compare now to how they were eight years ago:

  • The economy is growing faster.
  • Unemployment is down.
  • Crime is down.
  • The federal deficit is down.
  • More people have health insurance.
  • Fewer American soldiers are dying overseas.
  • Osama bin Laden is dead.
  • The president generally answers questions about his policies in an honest and intelligent way.

Not bad, yeah? And the person who was around for all that is going to be replaced by Clinton—who may well continue Obama’s policies but is widely perceived as dishonest and disingenuous—or Donald Trump, who is America’s worst human. Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?