Huff Post- First Posted: 02/10/2012 4:35 pm Updated: 02/10/2012 4:57 pm
By- Max Blumenthal
WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the Gallup Daily tracking poll marked a symbolic milestone. For the first time in more than a month and only the third time since last July, Gallup reported an approval rating for President Barack Obama (49 percent) that was slightly higher than his disapproval rating (46 percent).
On Friday, the Rasmussen Reports automated tracking survey marked a similar landmark. It showed Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent or greater nationwide for the fifth consecutive day, a popularity not matched on the Rasmussen poll since January 2011.
The two daily tracking surveys are not alone. National telephone polls released in the past week by Fox News, ABC News and the Washington Post, Ipsos/Reuters, and the Democratic Party-affiliated Public Policy Polling (also sponsored by the website DailyKos and the Service Employees International Union) have all found increases in Obama’s approval rating since October. Most of the increases range between 4 and 6 percentage points; the Ipsos/Reuters survey found a smaller rise.
Given the recent upward blip in the two national daily-tracking polls, some have looked for explanations in the events of the past week, particularly last Friday’s Labor Department report of a rising employment rate. While positive economic news is the most likely reason for Obama’s improving job rating, the upward trend in his ratings did not begin in February. In fact, most of the surveys have tracked a gradual increase in Obama’s ratings that began in late October.
The HuffPost Pollster chart, based on all available public polls, shows a slow, steady rise of roughly five percentage points in the president’s job approval rating since it hit its all-time low in early October.