President Obama’s approval rating of 55 percent has just moved ahead of former President Reagan, 54 percent, at the same time in his presidency, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. This is the highest point in the sitting president’s second term and equals his first year in office. So, the question is why?
President George W. Bush’s approval rating was a mere 27 percent, mostly due to very unpopular military actions and a plunging economy. President Obama is just three points behind President Bill Clinton’s high of 58 percent.
People tend to be more forgiving of a sitting president, after the people elect a new president in November. President Reagan and President Clinton’s numbers climbed to well above 60 percent, at that point in their presidency.
President Obama beat his own earlier second-term high right after the Democratic National Convention [DNC] in July, with a 53 percent rating. Just one year ago, President Obama was a full 10 percentage points lower in the polls than he is now.
The president hit 50 percent in February in a CNN/ORC Poll and has continued the streak for seven months in a row. If his ratings for this year were averaged, he would have a 51 percent rating.
Although he improved in all areas of the country, among all ages, and along gender lines, there were other demographics to consider. The president has an 89 percent approval rating among Democrats, up 12 points, and among Independents, he has a 56 percent approval.
But Republicans remain fixed in the new poll with a 13 percent approval, barely budging from his 11 percent approval rating a year ago, September 2015.
The president has improved in both the white and Hispanic demographics, but he has held steady with African-American ratings. He had a 32 percent rating among whites one year ago and just improved to 47 percent in this poll. The Hispanic vote moved from 60 percent to 68 percent. Approval among African-Americans remained static at an 86 approval rate in the poll.
There is also a substantial difference between whites with college degrees, of whom 55 percent approve of the president’s work, and whites without college degrees, who polled lower at 44 percent.
This CNN/ORC national poll was conducted from September 28th through October 2nd. The random sample was 1501 adults, who were interviewed via telephone. The margin of error rate was +/- 2.5 percent.
To see the entire poll, click here.
Check out CNN’s report on President Obama’s dynamic numbers: