After taking a shellacking in the midterm elections, President Obama’s approval rating has risen from the mid-40 percent range in November, to 50 percent in early January, and now to a high of 54 percent in the Washington Post/ABC News poll and 51 percent in the Gallup poll on the eve of the State of the Union.
This improvement is the result of the December compromise on the extension of Bush’s tax cuts (signed Dec. 17) and Obama’s handling of the Tucson shooting tragedy (speech Jan. 12).
Because of the success of the themes of compromise and civility, you can expect to hear this repeatedly in the speech tonight. Obama and his allies recognize that the aggressive liberal legislative agenda was the major contributor to their loss of the House and his low ratings.
Now, he will move back with a vengeance to the message of the 2008 campaign, which was labeled post-partisanship then and has been translated to civility today.
It generally works to the advantage of all incumbents, but Democrats are especially prone to use it as a club against their irritating foes on talk radio, Fox News and the Internet.
See latest polls:
Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval
Wall Street Journal: President’s Ratings Climb and NBC News/WSJ poll (Jan. 13-17, 2011)
Washington Post/ABC News poll (Jan. 13-16, 2011)