There may not be a consensus yet on how much political capital President Obama picked up in his re-election, but a number of post-election polls suggest his victory did wonders for his public standing.
A USA Today/Gallup survey released on Friday showed Obama and his party drawing goodwill from much of the country in the wake of their triumph at the ballot box last week. Fifty-eight percent of Americans have a favorable view of the president — up 3 points from the USA Today/Gallup poll conducted right before the election. It’s also his highest favorability rating in the poll since July of 2009.
The public’s view of Democrats is also positive in the wake of a largely successful election for the party. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed have a favorable impression of the party, a 6-point bump since August and a more impressive showing than the 43 percent who have a favorable view of the Republican Party. Fifty percent have an unfavorable opinion of the GOP, although Gallup notes that “Americans have been negative on balance toward the Republican Party since late 2005.”
Obama’s increasingly strong standing calls to mind the bullish days of his first year in office before a stagnant economy and protracted disputes with Congressional Republicans took a toll on his approval rating. If the polls over the last week are any indication, all it took was a victorious election for Obama to earn higher marks for his job performance.
Rasmussen showed Obama’s approval rating reaching 54 percent on Monday — his highest mark in the right-leaning tracking poll since July 2009. It ticked up another point the next day. Meanwhile, Gallup’s tracking poll on Wednesday showed only 40 percent of Americans disapproving of Obama’s job as president, the lowest level since early 2010. Obama’s job approval has topped 50 percent in every Rasmussen and Gallup poll conducted entirely after last week’s election.
The national winds at his back, Obama’s post-election bump has extended to a pair of hotly contested battlegrounds as well. Quinnipiac University released two polls this week showing the president’s approval rating at 52 percent in both Pennsylvania and Virginia, amounting to upticks of 2 and 3 points respectively since October.
The PollTracker Average shows the gains Obama has made in the last week, already illustrating a clear post-election trend.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.