A poll that was conducted from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 showed good news for President Obama – 55 percent of Americans approve of the president’s job performance, while 44 percent disapprove. This has been his highest approval rate this presidential term, and is equal to his highest approval rate of his first term, achieved in 2009. The majority of the time, his approval rate has hovered just under 50 percent, and sometimes in the low to mid 40s, according to ABC.
There are a myriad factors that may contribute to this high approval rate, including the fact that many Americans are dissatisfied with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, so Obama may seem favorable to them in comparison, according to ABC News. White house press secretary Josh Earnest explained that Obama views himself as a “cleanup hitter” at the moment.
“He’s got the biggest bat in the lineup. And the president has had a couple of opportunities to step to the plate, but he’ll have many more in the five weeks that remain until Election Day to make a case while the whole stadium is watching.”
According to USA Today, President Obama is hoping this high approval rating will cause voters to vote for Hillary Clinton, who he endorses to become the next president. Earnest says that Obama hopes his influence will propel Clinton into the presidency, particularly in certain populations that may feel that their voices are not heard.
“He’s the guy with the high approval rating. He’s the guy with the enormous influence among young people and African Americans and Hispanics and women who are likely to play an important role in determining the outcome of this race.”
The CNN/ORC poll that was conducted polled approximately 1,500 adults and has a 2.5 percent margin of error, which means that even in the worst-case scenario, President Obama is still viewed more favorably at the present time than at most points during his presidency. The Business Insider opined that this may be a problem for Donald Trump. Jon Favreau, a former director of speech-writing for Obama, says that the president’s approval ratings will help boost the second-least popular democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, as Americans head to the poll booths. President Obama has been very vocal in his approval of Clinton for president, Favreau said.
“Obama is the single most effective surrogate she has, and I can’t remember a time when an incumbent president this popular campaigned this hard for his party’s nominee. Trump has convinced himself that the Fox News view of Obama is the public’s view, so I hope he keeps making the third-term argument.”
Steve Schale, a former Obama state campaign director in Florida, said he believes that much of the approval from the American public may stem from the fact that Obama has never engaged in name-calling or other “low blow” rhetoric that many Americans find distasteful.
“He reminds swing voters of the basic decency they miss in politics. I believe a lot of the increase in his popularity of late has to do with a visceral reaction to the abrasive vitriol of Trump. They see Obama as measured and thoughtful, dare I say with the right kind of temperament to hold the rudder of a nation through the troubled global waters. His style creates an inherent contrast with Trump, and it is a contrast that benefits Clinton.”
Historically, when presidents are popular at the time of change of command, incumbents in their party do well in the polls, and the opposite is also true. Obama’s favorable ratings are historically not a promising sign for Trump, who represents Obama’s rival party and has a much different style and manner than that of President Obama. Schale said that all of this is good for Hillary Clinton, but it is not enough for her to win the presidency, although it is certainly a help to her.
“You can’t recreate the Obama coalition — she has to build a Hillary coalition. But nonetheless, the president is a motivator, particularly for African-American voters.”
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]