As he begins his move to the center and renews his image as a post-partisan moderate, President Obama’s poll ratings are moving up, putting him at 50 percent in the Real Clear Politics average of polls for the first time in a year.
Four out of five major new polls released this week put Obama over 50 percent, with an NBC/Wall Street Journal survey out today giving Obama a 53 percent approval rating as opposed to only 41 percent who disapprove of his performance.
Last month, the same poll put Obama’s approval at 45 percent, with 48 percent disapproving.
Obama has taken steps to moderate his image after two years in which he jammed through unpopular, partisan legislation, like the stimulus bill and health care reform. In the weeks before Election Day, Obama lobbed a steady fusillade of divisive attacks against the GOP
He ended the year by coming to a compromise with Republicans on extending the Bush tax cuts and has resumed an elevated tone in which he speaks about outreach to the GOP and cooperation on legislation. Obama is also making nice with the business community he spent 2010 pillorying, most recently announcing that agencies will review existing regulations to determine whether they put “unreasonable” demands on business.
Asked about Obama’s improving poll numbers in an admitted softball lobbed by ME, Gibbs seemed to confirm that bipartisan outreach is good for Obama.
I think what the American people said in the election was they wanted two political parties to be able to work together and make progress on issues that were important to them, particularly economic issues. I think that’s what they saw during the lame duck session. I think that was a productive time. People saw Republicans and Democrats working together to make sure their tax rates didn’t go up. So I think there’s some obvious benefit to doing that.