Barack Obama will not be on the ballot in November, but he still might have an influence on the outcome of the election.
His job approval numbers, which have rarely climbed out of the low 40’s thanks to the incessant pounding by the Republicans in Congress and the 24 hour daily drivel from Fox News and the organized Orcosphere, are now in the positive territory. In fact, depending on who you listen to, they’re better than when he won re-election.
So what does that mean for Democrats?
…This might have some effect on historians’ perspective when the president’s legacy is being debated, but it’s understandable that much of the political world would be far more interested in the latest general-election polls, not the president’s latest level of support.
But don’t be too quick to dismiss the significance of Obama’s support. He won’t literally be on the ballot, but there’s little doubt the president’s standing will have a real impact on the public’s appetite – or lack thereof – for radical change in 2017 and beyond, and insiders in both parties will be keeping a close eye on Obama’s numbers in the coming months.
What’s more, this president will be the first two-term incumbent of the television era to aggressively hit the campaign trail during his last year in office, and the more popularity he enjoys, the greater the effects will be.
The L.A. Times reported a few months ago, “Obama’s approval rating now is almost identical to that of President Ronald Reagan in his final year in office – the last time the incumbent’s party won a third election in a row.”
For the record, according to Gallup, on this date in 1988, Reagan’s approval rating was 48%. As of yesterday, Obama was at 52%.
Every little bit helps.