Obama Gets Surprising Bump in Approval Amid Widespread Criticism
Policy + Politics

Obama Gets Surprising Bump in Approval Amid Widespread Criticism

Despite relentless criticism of his handling of the Ebola crisis, ISIS and the economy, President Obama appears to be enjoying a bump in his approval rating just two weeks before the mid-term election – at least in one poll.

A new Zogby Analytics Poll conducted online October 15-16 showed a slight rebound in Obama’s approval rating – from 43 percent in September to 46 percent. The nationwide poll of 887 likely voters has a margin of error of +/-3.4 percentage points.

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Writing for Forbes.com, veteran pollster John Zogby said, “While critics and opponents are having a field day charging that Mr. Obama is probably not up to the job, the public doesn’t appear to be giving up on him.”

Zogby’s findings are somewhat of an outlier, with other recent polls showing Obama’s approval rating dropping to as low as 40 percent.  Zogby’s poll shows improvement across the board, “particularly among key elements of the Democrats’ electoral base, including young voters. Among the poll’s findings:

  • Obama’s rating was up two points among men (42 percent to 44 percent previously) while up five points among women (to 47 percent).

  • He went up an eye-catching 13 points among 18 to 29 year olds – 43 percent to 56 percent previously. Obama won re-election in 2012 with 61 percent of young people’s votes. “This move can be significant if it is sustained and means that young voters turn out,” according to Zogby. Obama is also four points up among 30-49 year olds (to 51 percent).

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  • Obama’s approval rating held steady at 42 percent among 50 to 64 year olds and went down among voters over 66 - from 31 percent to 27 percent.  Among Democrats, the president moved four points (to 81 percent) and among independents, he’s up to 34 percent from 29 percent last month.  Among moderates, he climbed to 51 percent from 44 percent, as  he moved up among whites (from 29 percent to 36 percent and  Hispanics (from 64 percent to 76 percent).  

Zogby concludes that the president’s new overall  approval rating of 46 percent moves him out of the “danger zone,” while the substantial increase among the young, Hispanics, and other key constituency groups could be a turning point  for the Democrats heading into  the Nov. 4 election. .

However, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released last Wednesday, 40 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, the lowest score the poll has recorded since he took office. His rating is down 1 point from September. The Gallup Organization’s daily tracking also has Obama at 40 percent.

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