President Obama has seen his approval ratings skyrocket since Republicans won control of Congress, with many seeing his opposition to the GOP’s agenda falling more in line with what the American people want.
Obama’s popularity had been slowly and steadily improving from some of the lows of the last 18 months, but since Republicans took control of the Senate in November, the shift has been much more dramatic.
Danny Vinik, of the New Republic, noted the following.
“On Monday, President Barack Obama’s favorability rating hit 50 in the Gallup tracking poll for the first time since June 2013, with his unfavorable rating at 45 percent. That’s a 22-point improvement since the midterm elections, when Obama’s approval rating was 39 percent and his disapproval rating was 56 percent.”
The jump in approval ratings comes a long way for President Obama, who hit an all-time low of 41 percent just a couple of weeks before the 2010 midterms.
There could be a number of reasons that President Obama has seen his approval ratings jump so dramatically. As PoliticusUSA noted, he was hit hard during the 2014 campaigns, with a number of GOP candidates attacking Obama in their ads.
Obama has also been unshackled in his final two years, and with no more elections to worry about, he has struck a much more aggressive tone. He has proposed free community college while also acting on climate change, immigration, and renewing relations with Cuba. Though some of his initiatives have little chance of passing the Republican-controlled Congress, they show the president to be aggressive in his final term.
Obama also has some showdowns on the horizon with Republicans. He has threatened to veto the recently passed Keystone XL Pipeline, which has been criticized as harmful to the environment.
Though the climbing approval ratings are good for President Obama, they come a little too late for Democrats. Obama’s weaknesses were a major point of contention in the 2014 midterms, which helped swing both houses to the Republicans for the first time in eight years.