Obama’s improvement in approval ratings since the election is not unusual. Historically, presidents add a few points of approval after re-election (2 points for Clinton in 1996 and 6 for Reagan in 1984).
Equally impressive is Obama’s recovery from his weak start in the presidential election. He began 2012 with a 40 percent approval, near his all-time low of 38 percent approval on October 16th, 2011. That was one reason for Republican optimism that 2012 was going to be a good year.
It was the failed debt ceiling negotiations in July 2011 that marked the decline of Obama’s approval rating from the 50 percent range to the low 40 percent range. Will the next crisis strengthen Obama or begin a decline?