Many are calling last week the best of President Barack Obama’s time as the leader of the United States, and a recent approval rating poll shows that Americans are taking notice.
After a fairly steady month, a new CNN/ORC poll shows that Obama’s rating has risen above 50 percent for the first time since May, 2013, over two years ago.
The ratings are backed by increasingly positive scores in two categories: race relations and the economy.
Last week, Obama took several opportunities to address the nation on racial tension after the Charleston shooting. During his eulogy for Clementa C. Pinckney, Obama led the church in singing “Amazing Grace,” a powerful moment that will be remembered long after his time as president is over.
The approval rating for race relations was 55 percent. Obama’s handling of the economy came in at 52 percent, which is the highest rating in that category since 2009.
The stark contrast in Obama’s approval rating between races is notable, but not necessarily a drastic difference from past ratings. Ninety-one percent of African Americans who were polled said they approve of the way Obama does his job, while the number for whites is 39 percent, up from 34 percent in February.
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s healthcare law, and legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Many say that having both decisions, heavily supported by Obama, upheld, helped the ratings.
Despite victories in some aspects, Obama’s handling of gun policy only gained the approval of 42 percent of Americans. While that’s almost 10 percent higher than in spring 2014, it is less than the 46 percent he saw after the shooting in Newtown.
Though Americans are divided equally on whether or not stricter gun laws should be in place, most feel that new laws would not reduce the number of gun-related deaths in the United States.
When it comes to more broad questions about Obama’s presidency, those polled were still fairly divided.
When asked whether Obama has taken the opportunity presented to him to fix the problems facing the nation over the last 6 and a half years, 47 percent said they think the president has taken advantage of it, while 45 percent said he’s wasted that opportunity.
This week, Obama is expected to introduce reform for overtime compensation that could affect 5 million Americans. The new proposal would cover salaried workers making up to about $50,400.
The poll was conducted June 26-28 among a random national sample of 1,017 adults, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.
[Photo By Mark Wilson / Getty Images]