Despite increasing pessimism about the economy, President Obama’s approval rating has risen to its highest level since the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, according to an Associated Press poll released on Friday.
The president’s 57 percent approval rating, up 5 percentage points from October, may give him further leverage in ongoing fiscal-cliff negotiations with Republicans, whom a majority of Americans feel would deserve the blame if negotiations fail, other recent polling shows.
The AP poll shows the number of Americans who believe the economy will improve in the next year down from 52 percent in October to 40 percent now. And only 40 percent of Americans indicated a belief that Obama will reduce the deficit.
Still, 45 percent said they trust the Democrats more on the economy, compared with 39 percent who said they trust Republicans more. Respondents trusted Democrats over Republicans by slim margins on both the budget and taxes. On Medicare, the margin was wider, with 51 percent of Americans saying they trust Democrats more, compared with 32 percent who trust Republicans.
Conservatives have criticized Obama’s decision to publicly campaign for his solution to the fiscal cliff, which includes raising marginal income tax rates on top earners, a move designed to build public pressure on congressional Republicans. But the tactic may be working. National Journal’s latest Political Insiders poll shows that Washington insiders believe that Democrats are winning the fiscal-cliff debate. And 61 percent of Americans favor letting Bush-era tax cuts on household income over $250,000 expire, according to the AP poll.
Americans’ views on the direction of the country have remained essentially static since October, with 50 percent indicating the country is heading in the wrong direction and 42 percent saying it’s on the right track.
The poll surveyed 1,002 American adults from Nov. 29-Dec. 3. It carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.