Obama Approval Rating Increases to 67%

by Jeffrey M. Jones

Had dropped to 59% prior to his Tuesday congressional address

PRINCETON, NJ -- In the days immediately after Barack Obama's nationally televised address to Congress on Tuesday night, his public support has increased significantly to 67% in Feb. 24-26 Gallup Daily polling, and is now just two points below his term high. This comes on the heels of a term-low 59% reported by Gallup on Tuesday.

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Obama's speech was well-received, and appears to have won him back support he had been losing in prior days, and then some.

The speech certainly came at an opportune time for Obama, but a recovery was easily achievable because the decline in his approval rating was accompanied by an increase in the percentage of Americans expressing no opinion, rather than an increase in the proportion disapproving of his performance in office.

Since the speech, the percentage having no opinion of Obama has fallen back to 11% from 16%, while his approval rating has increased eight points. There has been a slight drop in his disapproval rating as well, from 25% to 21%.

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Obama's approval rebound is due to increased support from all political groups, but especially from independents and Republicans, whose support had been waning. Over the past week, independents' approval of Obama dropped from 62% to 54%, but is now back to 62%. There has been a sharp increase in support among Republicans, from 27% to 42%. Democrats' support for Obama was already extremely high at 86%, but even this has climbed slightly, to 90% in the latest polling.

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Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,551 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Feb. 24-26, 2009, as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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