Here He Comes: Obama Surges in Polls

Kate Hicks

12/26/2011 4:18:00 PM - Kate Hicks

 

Just eight days away from the Iowa primary, President Obama’s poll numbers are suddenly beginning to surge. For the first time since the summer, his approval index rating is in the positives, meaning more people approve of the job he’s doing than disapprove.

According to the latest Gallup tracking poll, more Americans approve of the job that President Obama is doing than disapprove for the first time since this summer.

The latest Gallup survey shows that 47 percent of Americans now say they approve of the way that President Obama is handling his job. This is a 5 percent improvement since the Dec. 16-18 Gallup survey and marks the first time the president's numbers have been in positive territory since July. The number of Americans who say they disapprove of Obama's job performance has fallen to 45 percent, down 5 points from Dec. 16-18.

The trend lines are good news for President Obama's team, with his Gallup numbers slowly climbing this month. It's too soon to draw sweeping conclusions, but it seems that the standoff with House Republicans over the payroll tax cut did no damage at all to the president — and a further climb in the polls could mean that the White House won a significant public relations victory during the payroll tax cut debate.

Indeed, rather than hurting him, the payroll tax debacle seems to be the reason for the surge. The Republicans in the House did themselves no political favors by appearing obstinate, especially after the Senate passed their payroll tax bill 89-10. President Obama capitalized on the House GOP’s initial refusal, branding himself a tax-cutting champion of the middle class – which is exactly where he wants to be heading into 2012.