President Obama has been at 50 percent approval in the Gallup daily tracking poll for the past two days, a sign that his popularity has genuinely increased since its lows last summer when he had creeped down to 38 percent.
In addition, Gallup finds that Obama leads Romney by seven points, 49-42 percent, with the president’s position improving lately among independents.
That half the country approves of the job Obama suggests not only that he will be tough to beat. It indicates many people are willing to support Obama no matter what the economic conditions, and that some strategist within the West Wing knows what they’re doing.
Think about this. Unemployment is above 8 percent. The economy is sluggish. Iran is on the verge of a nuclear capability. Gas prices are a $4 per gallon. The president has no plan to fix anything. And yet one out of two people think he’s doing a good job.
The White House in recent weeks has embarked on a policy of touting small, meaningless proposals as if they were the Ten Commandments. Meanwhile, they are savaging the Republicans as if they were Grinches who stole Christmas, Easter, and Passover.
Someone seems to be buying it.
Whether such tactics will hold up in the long run I can’t say. I don’t believe people win the presidency by vilifying others. And the next round of economic data to come out through the spring is likely to show that the economy is crawling back into its hole.
What these poll numbers may signal is that Obama will not defeat himself, and the economy alone will not be his downfall.
Romney will have to win this election, if he is to win it. And the way he won the primary – by remaining on his feet while others collapsed of their own weight around him – will not work in the general election.
Mitt will have to earn the love. Thing is, he’s not really that lovable.