Obama’s 14-Point Approval Margin: Political Capital for the Fiscal Cliff

The 2012 election campaign is history.

The 2012 fiscal cliff debate is in full swing.

President Barack Obama won more than 50 percent of the popular vote on Nov. 6 — and a convincing 332-206 electoral-vote margin — for a second term.

Yet the tracking of his political pulse-rate hasn’t stopped.

The president’s job approval has climbed a few points since the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the Gallup organization’s daily surveys.

It stood at 53 percent today, up two points in a day.

It’s back to where it stood in May 2011 — and February 2010, as the president stood poised to win a health-care bill that his Republican rival this year vowed to repeal if elected.

The president’s disapproval rating has slid to 39 percent — a 14-point gap in approval and disapproval. It’s at its lowest point since mid-October 2011, when the Republican presidential campaign was gearing up for primary elections.

Polling by CNN and the Pew Research Center suggests that Obama stands more to gain than Republicans do from the debate over the fiscal cliff underway. Should Congress fail to reach a deal by year’s end, those surveys show, more people stand ready to blame the Republicans.

The president’s 14-point approval over disapproval rating provides some of that political capital that the re-elected like to spend, which offers the White House a strong hand heading into the final, if they are, cliff talks.


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