A new national poll out from Quinnipiac University shows an improving picture for President Obama, who has boosted his standing on a number of fronts. His approval rating runs almost even nationally, up from a negative 41 - 55 split a month ago, and he is stronger in matchups with all his major GOP rivals.
“President Barack Obama seems to be improving in voters’ eyes almost across-the-board,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a release. “He scores big gains among the groups with whom he has had the most problems - whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive.”
The President leads all his possible GOP challengers outside the poll’s margin of error. He bests former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney by a 47 - 42 margin and Texas Gov. Rick Perry 52 - 36, while out ahead of businessman Herman Cain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich by double digits as well. All tallies are improvements from a month ago for Obama. Romney is the only GOP candidate that pulls more support from independent voters than Obama, although Cain comes within one point. The key against Romney is female voters — Obama gets 50 percent against Romney’s 38, while they evenly split males.
The improvement comes on the heels of a heavy travel schedule of more than a month for Obama, who took his push for a major jobs package into swing states is the Midwest, South and Mountain West. When Congress stalled on the jobs package, the President moved on to “We Can’t Wait,” a series of executive orders that he says will help alleviate some of the economic hardship, from new rules on foreclosures to helping with student loan debt.
Cain, who is currently facing allegations that he sexually harassed two women while at the National Restaurant Association (a claim which he has denied) was shown to be very favorable in the poll numbers, although most of the data comes from before a Politico article appeared Sunday that detailed the allegations. There was only one day of polling, October 31st, after the issue started being highlighted in the media.
The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza led the national GOP trial heat by seven points, taking 30 percent of the total with Romney in second with 23 and Perry all the way down to 8. But after Sunday night’s bombshell, fresh polling will show if Cain’s campaign has been hurt. And still, Quinnpiac’s numbers raised questions about Cain in the first place.
Cain is likeable, American voters say 61 - 19 percent, including 82 - 5 percent among Republicans, compared to Romney, who is seen as likeable 61 - 22 percent among all voters and 76 - 13 percent among Republicans.
Voters say 49 - 29 percent, however, that Cain does not have “the knowledge and experience necessary to be a good president.” Republicans say 54 - 26 percent he has the knowledge and experience. Romney has the right stuff, voters say 51 - 32 percent, with 75 - 13 percent among Republicans.
The Quinnipiac poll used 2,294 live telephone interviews with registered voters conducted from October 25th to the 31st. It has a sampling error of 2.1 percent.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.