Politics

Obama Job Approval at 56% After Nobel Win

by Jeffrey M. Jones

Highest rating in more than two months

PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama appears to have gotten a slight bounce in support after he was announced as the Nobel Peace Prize winner on Friday. His 56% job approval rating for the last two Gallup Daily tracking updates is up from a term-low 50% as recently as last week, and 53% in the three days before the Nobel winner was announced.

Barack Obama's Presidential Job Approval Ratings, Oct. 2-4 to Oct. 9-11, 2009, Daily Tracking

"In fact, odds are the bump will not last, since the improvement in his rating from his term-low 50% early last week has come exclusively among independents and Republicans."

The positive momentum in Obama's approval rating is a departure from recent months, as his support has generally declined or been stagnant during this time. He has been below 60% since mid-July, and had been below 55% since early September. The current 56% approval rating is his best since a 58% reading in Aug. 5-7 polling.

Barack Obama's Presidential Job Approval Ratings, January-October 2009

It is unclear, however, whether Obama will be able to sustain the positive momentum of the past few days, especially after the president's and public's attention turns away from his surprise Nobel Peace Prize win back to the legislative debate over health insurance reform and the administration's decision about what to do next in Afghanistan. Indeed, after Obama's approval ratings increased in Friday and Saturday interviewing, Obama's support in Sunday's polling was slightly lower.

In fact, odds are the bump will not last, since the improvement in his rating from his term-low 50% early last week has come exclusively among independents and Republicans, who are less likely to stay loyal to the president. Democratic support has not changed after Friday's Nobel announcement.

Change in Obama Job Approval Rating, Oct. 3-5 vs. Oct. 9-11, 2009

Bottom Line

The public has taken a slightly more positive view of the president since he was announced as the Nobel Peace Prize winner last Friday, although his approval rating already seemed to be recovering somewhat even before the announcement (to 53%) from a 50% term-low early last week. But since Friday, his approval rating has gotten an additional boost and is now at levels not seen for Obama in over two months.

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Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,532 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Oct. 9-11, 2009, as part of Gallup 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 and cellular phones.

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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