A new Washington Post / ABC News poll shows President Obama’s popularity has jumped six points since the election to a 60% approval rating, the highest he’s earned since his first year in office.
Nearly 4 in 10 said they have a strongly favorable opinion of the president, the most popular response. The number who have a strongly unfavorable opinion of the president has dropped since last November. According to the pollsters, “It’s the first time he’s been significantly more strongly popular than unpopular since early 2010.”
Self-described moderates and independents drive much of the positive sentiment, with 68% of the former and 60% of the latter saying they favor the president.
The poll also finds Obama has a stronger favorable to unfavorable margin than George W. Bush did at a similar time in his presidency. Obama’s favorability exceeds Bush’s by 5 points at the start of his second term.
Additionally, by a 2 to 1 margin, more Americans approved of the president’s inaugural speech, which has been blasted by some on the right for being too partisan and too progressive. Self identified moderates and independents seem to say otherwise, with 55% of moderates and 47% of independents approving (only 20% and 25%, respectively, disapproved).
Mainstream support is also strong for many of the president’s progressive proposals, including same-sex marriage (53% support), a pathway to citizenship for immigrants (62%), and gun safety (58%), and another 80% agree that climate change is the serious threat President Obama believes it is.
This positive momentum should be a big help as Obama works to tackle these issues in his second term.