Carol Platt Liebau
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Generally, presidents enjoy a post-election approval rating bounce.  Nate Silver notes that since Harry Truman left office in 1952, the median bounce in approval has been 6.25%; the average has been 7%.  The bounce for Obama is the smallest since Truman (who actually lost a percentage point); he has enjoyed a bounce of only 2%.

As Silver points out, this may represent the hardened partisan divisions of the present day.  But it also makes it hard to argue that President Obama is sweeping into a new term on a resurgence of public approval -- and his inability to make that claim only weakens his hand in the fiscal cliff negotiations.

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Carol Platt Liebau

Carol Platt Liebau is an attorney, political commentator and guest radio talk show host based near New York. Learn more about her new book, "Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Hurts Young Women (and America, Too!)" here.