Obama's Job Approval Rating Reaches 49% Over Weekend
Politics

Obama's Job Approval Rating Reaches 49% Over Weekend

by Frank Newport

Increase occurs as economic confidence becomes sharply more positive

PRINCETON, NJ -- President Barack Obama's job approval rating rose to 49% in the three-day period from Friday through Sunday, building on an upward trend that began the middle of last week. Obama's current approval rating is the highest measured since early February, and before that the highest since June 2011.

Barack Obama's 2012 Job Approval Averages

Gallup's latest three-day rolling average is based on polling conducted Friday through Sunday, March 9-11, and reflects the impact of the U.S. government's positive employment report released on Friday. Gallup's tracking of U.S. economic confidence showed a sharp positive uptick over the weekend, with the overall Economic Confidence Index at -13 and -14 in the three-day rolling averages reported Saturday and Sunday. The -13 average for March 8-10 is the most positive three-day economic confidence average recorded since Gallup began tracking in January 2008. Forty-six percent of Americans now say the economy is getting better, the highest percentage since late 2009. Gallup's full weekly report on U.S. economic confidence will be published Tuesday morning on Gallup.com.

Obama's job approval rating was at 43% as last week began. His rating improved to 48% by mid-week before rising to 49% over the weekend, suggesting that he was on the upswing even before Friday's jobs report.

Obama's weekly average for March 6-11, based on 3,632 interviews, is 48%, the highest since May 2011.

Barack Obama's Job Approval Averages -- Recent Trend

Political news coverage and punditry in recent weeks have focused on birth control and abortion policy controversies, with some news organizations reporting that the Obama re-election strategy team sees this as an opportunity to strengthen the president's position among women. Gallup's weekly tracking of Obama's job approval by gender, however, shows his gains last week coming more from men than from women. Obama's 45% approval rating among men last week is up from 41% the previous week and is the highest recorded since July of last year. Obama's job rating among women last week was 51%, up two percentage points from the week of Feb. 27 through March 4.

Barack Obama's Job Approval Averages, by Gender

Obama's approval ratings among Democrats (85%), independents (44%), and Republicans (12%) all increased by two points over the prior week.

Implications

President Obama appears to have benefited from Americans' significantly improved view of the national economy, including the positive jobs report released on Friday. His weekly average job approval rating of 48% is up from his 45% average for the month of February.

The potential for more change in Obama's job approval rating going forward remains very real, particularly if gas prices continue to rise through the summer months to $5.00 per gallon or higher and when the eventual Republican presidential nominee steps up his attacks on the president. Still, President Obama's current job approval rating puts him in a better position to win re-election than was the case as recently as a few months ago. His current 49% rating ranks on the low end of the range of approval levels at which modern presidents have been re-elected, similar to George W. Bush's 48% approval from late October 2004.

Explore President Obama's approval ratings in depth and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup Daily tracking survey March 7-11, 2012, with a random sample of 1,530 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cell phone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both, cell phone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2011 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

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.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.

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