Despite recent dips in President Obama's approval ratings, Americans are feeling better lately about the man they elected to steer the nation through the labyrinth of health care woes, foreign conflict and deepening economic malaise, a new poll suggests.
The Associated Press-GfK poll shows a 6-percent rise over the past month in the public’s attitude about the president’s job performance. In September, 50 percent of those polled said they approved of Obama’s performance. It marked the first time since he took office that his approval rating has risen.
What the numbers suggest is that the nation is feeling better about his handling of the economy and his proposed health care overhaul. However, when it comes to the war in Afghanistan, his numbers have dipped.
Overall, 39 percent said they disapproved of Obama's performance in office, down from 49 percent last month.
“While a majority of those surveyed remain pessimistic about the direction of the country, that number has begun to improve, too,” AP reports. “The poll found 41 percent now believe the U.S. is headed in the right direction, compared with 37 percent in September.
“But a large majority of respondents said they remain very concerned about most of the major issues facing the country. The economy was the biggest concern, with 88 percent saying they consider it extremely or very important, followed by unemployment, health care, terrorism, the budget deficit, taxes and the war in Afghanistan.
The increase in Obama's job approval rating was driven by a more positive view of his handling of nearly all of those issues.
“Fifty percent of those surveyed said they approved of the president's handling of the economy, up from 44 percent in September. And 48 percent said they approved of his handling of health care, up six points and about equal to the 47 percent who said they disapproved. Obama has made health care the signature domestic issue of his presidency.”