A new CNN/ Opinion Research poll released today delivered more good news for President Barack Obama, and another blow to the quickly fading White House hopes of the Republican Party in 2012. Obama’s job approval has risen to 55% which is up 7 points over the past month, while his disapproval rating has fallen 4 points during the same time period. Obama is starting to look like a two term president.
According to the poll, not only has Obama’s overall job approval rating improved, but the President is now over 50% approval with both men (53%), and women (56%). Obama still struggles with white people (45% approval), but he remains very popular with non-whites (79%). Obama has always remained popular with those under 35, but now middle aged Americans are returning to the President. Those age 35-49 support Obama 53%-46%. Those age 50-64 support Obama 51%-48%. Obama still struggles with seniors, who gave the President a 53% disapproval rating, but this is the age group that disapproved of Obama.
The generational divide that shaped the 2008 election is still alive and well in 2011. Those under age 50 overwhelmingly approved of President Obama, 60%-39%, but those over age 50 were split over Obama 49%-50%. Obama does well with both those making over and under $50,000 a year. Proof that his middle class message is working can be found in the fact that those making less than $50,000 approve of Obama 58%-41%. Those making more than $50,000 support Obama, 52%-48%. Obama has a 52% approval rating among those who didn’t attend college, and a 57% approval rating with those who did.
Obama’s approval rating remains high with Democrats (87%), low with Republicans (19%), but has rebounded with Independents to 54%. All Republican hope for 2012 has rested on Independents leaving Obama, if Independent support for Obama continues to grow, then Republicans will have little chance in 2012. Moderates’ support for Obama continues to grow, as they approve of Obama’s job performance by an almost 2-1 margin, 65%-34%.
President Obama’s job approval rating is at 50% or higher in every region of the country including the Republican stronghold of the South. Not surprisingly, Obama is still more popular in the cities (63%) and the suburbs (55%) than he is in rural America (46%), but part of the Republican 2012 strategy hinges on bringing suburban voters to the GOP. If the suburbs go Obama in 2012, the nation will follow suit.
No modern era president has ever lost their bid for a second term when their job approval rating was over 50%. With each week, Obama is gaining momentum. The President has been on the upswing since the Republican victories in the 2010 midterms. Partially due to the fact that when Republicans were the minority party, they were free to sit back and take shots at the White House and the Democrats every single day, because there were no consequences, but now that their butts are on the line too, and they need Democratic support to get anything passed into law, they can’t afford to behave like they used to.
With the Republican Party being moved more to the right by the GOP fringes, Obama’s moderate message has been left unchallenged. Guess what? Americans like presidents who govern from the middle. The reality is that if the Republican nominee does not get a majority of the suburban and Independent support in 2012, they will be crushed by Obama. This election could turn into an uneventful romp to a second term for President Obama. 2012 may start to fade fast, if Republicans can’t quickly come up to a counter message that appeals to middle. If they keep moving to the right, the GOP might as well just start planning for 2014, because 2012 will belong to Barack Obama.