MSNBC: What a difference a few weeks can make.
Last month, Republicans were celebrating their midterm victories; Democrats were licking their electoral wounds; and President Barack Obama’s approval rating was stuck in the mid-’40s.
But after a five-week stretch that included bipartisan legislative achievements in the lame-duck session of Congress, mostly positive economic news and Obama’s well-received speech honoring the victims of the tragic shootings in Arizona, the political world has taken an abrupt turn in direction.
According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Obama’s approval rating has surged above 50 percent; confidence in the economy also has spiked; and the Democratic Party — but not the GOP — now enjoys a net-positive rating from the American public.
“The last six weeks have been the best six weeks the president has had in his first two years in office,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
…In the poll, Obama’s job-approval rating stands at 53 percent, which is an eight-point jump from last month and represents his highest rating in the survey since July 2009 … the improvement was across the board: Approval among independents moved from 35 percent in December to 46 percent now; among Democrats, it went from 76 percent to 86 percent; and among Republicans, it went from 11 percent to 15 percent.
….What is clear is that Obama will ride into his State of the Union address next week in a stronger position than many would have thought after November, when the Republican Party won control of the U.S. House and picked up seats in the U.S. Senate.
“This is a person who will walk in the hall with a great deal of confidence and with the wind at his back,” says Hart.
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