Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's approval rating is back to 50% for the first time in more than eight months, and he currently holds an edge against all the remaining Republican presidential candidates in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups, according to a new national survey.
And a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday also indicates that the GOP's advantage on enthusiasm has been erased, and that the number of Americans who think things are going well in the country is on the rise. Six out of ten say things are going poorly in the country, but four out of ten say things are going well, up 15 points since November.
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"Does that mean it's morning in America? It is for Democrats - a solid majority of them now say things are going well in the country. But overall, six in ten still have a gloomy outlook about the state of the country," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Optimism is on the rise among independent voters, with a notable increase among men as well, although a majority of both groups still think things are going poorly."
The rise of Americans who say things are going well appears to be helping the president, whose approval rating now stands at 50%, with 48% saying they disapprove of the job Obama's doing in the White House. The president's approval rating has edged up three points from last month and is up six points from November. The last time Obama's approval rating was at 50% or above was last May, as a result of the killing of Osama bin Laden, and it stayed there for about a month before fading.
"Independents now have a net-positive view of President Obama," says Holland. "His approval rating has also reached 50% in the suburbs."
Looking ahead to November, the poll indicates that the president's re-election chances are on the rise. In hypothetical matchups among registered voters, Obama holds a 51%-46% margin over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, leads both former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas by the same 52%-45% advantage, and beats former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 55%-42%.
The president appears to have gained ground since January against Romney, Paul, and Gingrich. Only Santorum has held steady. The poll also indicates that Obama wins a majority of independent voters in all four general election match-ups.
"More than six in ten Americans believe that the policies of Romney and Gingrich favor the rich; Santorum and Paul do better on that measure, but only a quarter feel that way about Obama," says Holland.
The survey suggests that the contentious Republican primary season has decreased enthusiasm among Republican voters, virtually erasing the "enthusiasm gap" that promised to provide the ultimate GOP presidential nominee with a major advantage in the fall. In October, 64% of Republicans said that they were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for president, compared to only 43% of Democratic voters. GOP enthusiasm since that time has tumbled 13 points, to 51%, virtually the same as the Democrats' level of enthusiasm.
Other findings in the poll: 67% of the public says they are either very or somewhat angry about the way things are going in the country, down five points from September. And 31% approve of the job Democrats in Congress are doing, with 22% giving congressional Republicans a thumbs up. Both numbers are virtually unchanged from last autumn.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from February 10-13, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
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" paid for college myself. I also spent two unpaid years in Africa performing volunteer work . . "
Who among us can't relate to this Kurt?
I just love it when CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC come up with these off the wall poll numbers trying to prop up this "looser in chief"! It would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic! This empty suit will be one and done just like it was in 2010 when the House fell hard for Democrats! Get ready for round two in November boys and make sure you got plenty of tissues to wipe those tears away!
Sell all our nukes? What a great idea! Sell them to Iran, throw in Obama, and he'll ruin their country in three years! Then we don't have to worry about them anymore!
Typical CNN – Left Wing reporting. Get real with your reporting.
Dems have no need to vote since they have this election by a landslide.
Any one who votes for the GOP American Taliban is crazy.
I wish I knew where these poll numbers come from; I have not found one person in the last 3 years that supports this president or Congress. Just once I wish I could get a poll call here in the Midwest to let them know how the middle of the country feels about Washington.
President Obama is the adult in the room compared to all the GOP extremist candidates.
Santorum, Romney, Gingrich, Paul? Gimme a break.
Not a one of these GOP nitwits stands any chance of being elected.
"Poll Numbers On The Rise For President Obama"
Of course they are. This hissy-fit fest between the Repub candidates is making The President look like the only adult in the room.
Gas has gone up 84% under Obama, but funny how CNN refuses to report negative facts. Obama owns the media. Any intelligent person can see this.
A new poll shows that 80% of those who disapprove of Obama think the world was created in six days 6,000 years ago and that the Earth is flat.
Now lets please get rid of the Tea Party Morons in congress so that this president can get something done.Tax the rich as they were before.They are responsible for the mess Obama inhereted.Obama 4 more years.
When G.W. took office and immediately after 911, the GOP talking heads worshiped him, Then when it became obvious the guy is a complete idiot, these same GOP talking heads just disappeared from the comment boards. Now I'm suggesting that as the economy improves and it becomes more and more apparent that Obama will get elected, they will again crawl back under their rock where they belong.
February 15, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm
Bet they didn’t call any Catholic’s!
You mean the 98% who use birth control? Them?
President Barack Obama 2012 - keep your head up - we love you
Anyone who doubts that these polls accurately represent most Americans should compare recent polling and election results. They're usually very close.
His ratings should not be rising, he is doing everything he can to trash this wonderful country of ours.
We owe the Chinese a little over $1 trillion. The bulk of the rest of the debt is held by the Fed and American citizens. Not sure what it means when the Fed buys American debt...isn't that like your left pocket loaning your right pocket money? In any event, it's not as bad as you'd think. When you've let things go as far as we have, you have to spend money to make money(within reason, of course). The infrastructure won't rebuild itself.
My fellow Americans; CNN Polling Director Keating Holland exists for one reason, and that reason is to get specific results required by his employer to further their multi-billion dollar special interest media conglomerate. I beg of you to consider this absolute, and undeniable fact before you absorb this "news" as fact in your lives. Thank you kindly for your considerations.
1,026 people surveyed and CNN thinks the results speak for a majority of America? Whoever authorized this story should be fired – hot garbage!
Just like things keep getting better and better, people trust our fearless leader more and more!! Yeah Obama!! Four more! WooHOO!
This only means the bloggers paid by Koch will have to work a little harder. Lol
Funny how CNN is pushing the worse GOP candidate in Santorum, then talk about how Obamas numbers are rising on their own poll.
Seeing how the GOP likely won't sponsor a conservative candidate I'm going fiddle with Obama while America is burning. Who is with me?
Not a surprise, considering who the GOP candidates are. Plus the economy is showing signs of a true turn. Looks like Obama isn't going to be another Carter and Bush W still goes down in history as the worst president ever!