President Barack Obama’s approval rating continues to climb while his disapproval rating is under 50 percent for the first time since just after his second term began nearly two years ago, according to a new Zogby Analytics Poll. Obama’s strong numbers with the coalition of voters that supported him in 2008 and 2012 -- young voters, blacks and Hispanics, and liberals -- and Republicans overplaying their hands in the budget, immigration, the Keystone pipeline and the Iran nuclear issue could have caused the president’s soaring approval rating, according to John Zogby.
Obama’s approval rating, which has been on the rise since it stood at just 36 percent in early October, now stands at 47 percent, according to the Zogby poll. Obama’s 49 percent disapproval rating, however, is under 50 percent for the first time since his second term began in 2013, Zogby said.
The president’s improving approval ratings with the coalition of voters that elected him in 2008 and 2012 is partly responsible for the rise. Obama’s 58 percent support among 18-29 year olds nearly mimics the 61 percent of the young people's vote he garnered in 2012. About 54 percent of voters 30-49 years old approve also of the job Obama is doing as president.
In addition, Obama has strong numbers among Democrats, 83 percent of which view the president favorably, according to the poll. Obama has the support of 84 percent of liberals and 49 percent of moderates, which is lower than his share of the vote in 2012, according to Zogby. About 1 in 5 conservatives approve of Obama’s job, which is around the same percentage of the vote the president won in 2008 and 2012.
A majority of white voters -- 61 percent -- disapprove of Obama’s job, but he has strong support among Hispanics at 80 percent and African-Americans at 88 percent, the poll found.
Along religious lines, 52 percent of Christian voters approve of Obama’s job while 35 percent of born-again Christians and evangelical voters say the same.
Meanwhile, Obama’s support among Jewish voters is lagging. While the president received 70 percent of the Jewish vote in 2012, only 54 percent of those polled say they approve of the president’s job. The sinking numbers come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress to criticize the U.S.’ involvement in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. About 120 Jewish voters were surveyed in the poll.
“This is still a small sample but it does reveal an interesting dilemma for both the President and American Jews,” Zogby said. “Has Mr. Obama’s poor relationship with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu caused an exodus from the Democratic Party? Are demographics causing a new party re-alignment? Is this temporary or permanent? And if Jewish voters seriously abandon the Democrats will they find a comfortable home in a very conservative party?”
The poll of 2,526 likely voters was conducted March 3-5 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2 percentage points.