Thursday, July 2, 2015

June 2015 – A Big Obama Month

June may have been the most successful month in Barack Obama’s presidency. The Supreme Court saved his signature legislative accomplishment for a second time in three years with a ruling concerning state-level subsidies (June 2012 ACA mandate ruled constitutional as part of taxing power). The Court also expanded gay rights by finding a constitutional right to marry. Republicans gave the President fastback trade legislation for eleven Asian-Pacific nations. Finally, on June 30, Obama announced an exchange of embassies’ agreement with Cuba and a new climate pact with Brazil (more of a soft pledge from President Rousseff to set a target by the end of the year).

Although the month brought mixed news on the economy, the public was more comfortable with Obama’s handling of it. And, of course, this president was able to highlight his commitment to improve race relations and his rhetorical if not music skills with a powerful eulogy in South Carolina and vigorous rendition of Amazing Grace.

In an early review of the President’s month, CNN showed his approval rating above 50 percent for the first time since his re-election and second inaugural. It had been a difficult two years since those heady days in early 2013, culminating in the 2014 election debacle. But Obama appears to have momentum.

The June 29 reading reflects a five point jump since the end of May (45%, May 31, 2015). He also improved his standing with the public on handling the economy (52%, up from the mid to lower 40% since 2009, the start of the Great Recession).

Although CNN numbers were the highest in the RealClearPolitics compilation of recent polls, it highlights the President’s powerful month. (The last time Obama’s CNN approval was above 50% was in May 2013 – 53%, inaugural 55%, 2012 re-election 52%).

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