According to a Monday poll, President Obama’s approval rating has seen an increase of several percentage points in the last few months, rising from 48 percent in early April to the current rating of 54 percent. Although it seems that the president’s support within his own party has gone relatively unchanged, his approval rating amongst Republicans has seen a significant uptick of 12 percentage points. Most attribute this wave of good feelings toward the president as a result of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Obama’s approval rating has also gone up amongst the senior citizen demographic.
On the other hand, many Americans still disapprove of Obama’s handling of a bevy of domestic issues, such as health care, taxes, the deficit, etc. Obama’s recent approval rating improvement can thus be wholly attributed to his performance in foreign affairs, as well as several public appearances (e.g., the White House Correspondents’ Dinner) that have been positive for his image. While many still disapprove of his domestic policies, six in ten say that Obama “cares about people” and 55 percent claim that they believe he “shares their values,” indicating that while Obama’s policies may not be “working” for some right now, those people acknowledge that he is at least trying. Approval ratings can be as fickle as the wind, but this can only be a good thing for the president’s 2012 re-election bid, particularly in light of the relatively weak crop of GOP candidates.